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Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot

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On February 21, 2012, five young women entered the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow wearing neon-colored dresses, tights, and balaclavas to perform a “punk prayer” beseeching the “Mother of God” to “get rid of Putin.” What transformed a group of young women into artists with a shared vision, and what gave them the courage to express that vision and to deal with the subsequently devastating outcomes? Through the trial of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen, author of Putin: The Man Without a Face, tells a larger story about Vladimir Putin’s Russia, with its state-controlled media, pervasive corruption, and pliant judiciary. *Click here to see photos from the program!

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