Tagged: Nadya Tolokonnikova Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Vanessa 22:42 on 17/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nadya Tolokonnikova,   

    Letters 2 Nadya 

    When I contacted EnglishPEN about writing to Nadya Tolokonnikova in prison they gave me her (now former) address in Mordovia and cautioned that if I wanted the letters to get through the censors, I shouldn’t talk about anything political. How do you write a non-political letter to the most politically aware person in the Russian nation? About whom I know nothing, save for the political? I wound up sending her several letters of chit-chat and drivel. On Friday The Guardian revealed that at least 1 person was able to have far more substantive correspondence with her:

    Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s correspondence with Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek

    • Ciara 12:39 on 18/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Vanessa, Thank you for drawing my attention to this article. There are so many points to consider here – Nadia’s courage is amazing – Zizek’s humility, touching. (Notably, he does not inquire directly about her politics but focuses his questions on her wellbeing – encouraging her to talk about her rituals and routines that serve as ways of coping with her imprisonment.) However, my first instinct is an urge to “mother” Nadia (a move, I suspect, she would strongly resist!!) for I worry that the over-arching political cause spares little compassion for the fate of the young woman upon whom it is draped…I worry about the archaic closing “comrade” (though this gets dropped as their correspondence continues) – it smacks of a heady belief in a system that also failed people abundantly… But this comment is not a discussion about political poles, it is rather about a comparison between ZIzek’s correspondence and your letters to Nadia. I think you underestimate the significance of your personal correspondence with Nadia. While, in terms of her profile as a political activist, ZIzek’s support is valuable, when Nadia is considered less as an emblem and more as a human-being, your chit-chit and banter offers her an anchor in the everyday outside of the walls of her confinement, a grounding context for all the political theorising. I think, appealing to her as a person rather than political symbol, this communication is equally as important.

  • Vanessa 16:26 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nadya Tolokonnikova, ,   

    Grass Beards or Balaclavas? 

    Hey Owen, VBCO (Vanessa Blaylock Company) has been thinking a lot about Pussy Riot this year. And as of today the Russian penal system has made Nadya Tolokonnikova totally disappear from the face of the earth for nearly 3 weeks. What about you in a grass beard and us in balaclavas? We have a variety of colors, btw.

    • Owen Parry 16:45 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Vanessa, yes I’ve been following the news about Nadya’s disappearance and understand why you would like to wear the pussy riot balaclavas. I am just concerned that wearing the balaclavas has a very very strong consequence on our performance, and I am more interested in the anonymous reference of the grass beard for this performance… as i imagine that our band is calling forth a future movement/community (as yet not recognised) rather than borrowing from one that already exists. These are just conceptual decisions, however i would be happy to chat about another way we could incorporate/support pussy riot. Perhaps I could mention something during the performance? Good to chat about this…

      • Vanessa 16:57 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

        no worries Owen, it’s just that we have balaclavas and lazy Vanessa has to try to make grass beards. haha. I’ll try to get something done by Wednesday.

        • Owen 18:33 on 10/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

          Ok. thank you so much Vanessa!! Btw, i have the space on Wednesday at 3pm GMT for a rehearsal. OK? 🙂

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