Keynote The story of Pussy Riot, punk icons and Russian dissenters, and the untold story of their infamous trial and on-going global significance.
On February 21st 2012, five members of an obscure feminist post-punk collective called Pussy Riot staged a performance in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Dressed in their trademark brightly coloured dresses and balaclavas, the women performed their song 'Punk Prayer - Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!' in front of the altar. The performance lasted only 40 seconds but it resulted in two-year prison sentences for three of the performers -and has turned Pussy Riot into one of the most well-known and important protest movements of the last five years.
This necessary and timely book is an account of the Pussy Riot protest, the ensuing global support movement, and the tangled and controversial trial of the band members. It explores the status of dissent in Russia, the roots of the group and their adoption - or appropriation - by wider collectives, feminist groups and music icons. Masha Gessen has unique access to the band and those closest to them. Her unrivalled understanding of the Russian protest movement makes her the ideal writer to document and explain the rage, the beauty and the phenomenon that is Pussy Riot.
About the Author
Masha Gessen is a journalist and the author of several books including Blood Matters. She has contributed to the New Republic, the New Statesman, Granta, Slate and Vanity Fair. Gessen lives in Moscow.
Praise for "WORDS WILL BREAK CEMENT: THE PASSION OF PUSSY RIOT" "Urgent ... damning ... Much here will be new to the American reader. All of it is infuriating." -Alexander Nazaryan, "The New York Times " "Remarkable...Masha Gessen [is] one of the most important activists and journalists Russia has known in a generation... disquieting, moving, and closely reported." -David Remnick, The "New Yorker" "The fullest account so far of the Pussy Riot story... A moving object lesson in the power of art -- perhaps especially messy and exuberant art -- to rise above repression and have the last, cement-breaking word." -Sara Marcus," Los Angeles Times" "Valuable for its insights into the modern cultural history of Russia, with all its idealistic muddles, dead-ends and false starts ... ideal for those curious about the country behind the Games." -"The Economist" "What makes someone into a dissident? Why do some people give up everything -- home, family, job -- to embark on a career of protest? ... Gessen set out to answer this question ... in this excellent short account." -"The Washington Post" "A compulsively readable book that explains in unflinching terms the tragedy that is modern Russia..."Words Will Break Cement "is an instant classic, destined to take its place with Solzhenitsyn's writings about the Gulag... one comes away...marveling at the courage of the Pussy Riot members making a stand against tyranny while demonstrating the willingness to pay a steep price" -"New York Journal of Books" "Riveting... [Gessen] is a sharp observer of people and events, and she tells Pussy Riot's story in a lively style that is somehow casual, precise, and powerful all at once. She has written a terrific book, a compelling story of three creative women who courageously attacked a repressive regime by disrupting the spectacle of its propaganda." -"The Rumpus" "The significance of "Words Will Break Cement."..is its demonstrati
Published: 6th February 2014
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.22
Edition Number: 1