Literature Program

Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

Hallwalls & Funtime Presents present

An Evening with Pussy Riot - Conversation and Q&A

Asbury Hall at Babeville

Karen Finley reading in support of Pussy Riot (still imprisoned in Russia at the time) at the Ace Hotel in NYC on April 16, 2012.

Pussy Riot members Masha Alekhina & Ksenia Zhivago, with Special Guest Moderator Karen Finley (Buffalo exclusive!)

Live On stage in Asbury Hall at Babeville

General admission/seated: $25

Limited front section seating (includes guaranteed access to first five rows and first chance for Q&A participation): $35.00

Buy general admission and front section tickets here.


The limited number (50) of $35, front-section seats we made available in advance for Hallwalls members only for $25 ($10 discount) directly from Hallwalls are all sold out as of today.

However, there are still plenty of tickets and seats available for this event—especially regular $25 tickets—which you can get on line OR in person at the Babeville box office in the offices of Righteous Babe Records (RBR), directly upstairs from Hallwalls, OR at the door the evening of the event. TO AVOID SUBSTANTIAL ON-LINE SERVICE CHARGES, we recommend visiting the Babeville box office in person during RBR's business hours this week, or just buying them at the door Thursday evening. This event—at least the regular $25 tickets—will NOT sell out. Buying at the door will be fine.

Russian dissident activists/performance artists/punk musicians in a public conversation about human rights around the world, Black Lives Matter, LGBT rights, prisoners' rights, Russian politics, art, activism, and more. The panel discussion, moderated by Karen Finley, will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Members of Pussy Riot are touring to raise funds for Zona Prava ("Zone of Rights"), founded by jailed Pussy Riot members Masha Alekhina (who will be present) and Nadya Tolokonnikova (who will not be) upon their December 2013 release from prison in Russia. The goal of Zona Prava is to aid those who may be deprived of liberty in camps and prisons, but are not willing to be stripped of their dignity.

Zona Prava (whose Director Ksenia Zhivago will be the other Pussy Riot member present) gives support to those who are ready and willing to fight for their rights. The organization provides information, legal representation, safety monitoring, advocacy, and oversight.

"We begin with the camps, but are convinced that if we help the convicted to find a legal manner to protest their enslavement, if we can give a voice to what is now the most disenfranchised social group, we will make a great step towards ensuring that we all find our voice, and learn to defend our opinions and our rights."

"Pussy Riot see themselves as feminist artists, who have various musical, literary, and political influences, such as Riot Grrl, Bikini Kill, Oi!, [and] Cockney Rejects, and by writers, activists, and artists such as Alexandra Kollontai, Judith Butler, Karen Finley, Simone de Beauvoir, Vladimir Bukovsky, and many more."

"On September 21, 2012 the Feminist Press released an eBook entitled Pussy Riot! A Punk Prayer for Freedom compiling writings about the punk collective. The book is a compilation of the band's lyrics and poetry along with collected letters and material from the trial. Tributes by figures such as Yoko Ono, Eileen Myles, Johanna Fateman, Karen Finley, Justin Vivian Bond, and JD Samson are also included. The Press collaborated closely with the band's members, and proceeds from the book's sales were given in support of Pussy Riot's legal defense. The book was released in print in February 2013. Containing statements from the October 10 appeal, the print version also includes new tributes by Bianca Jagger, Peaches & Simonne Jones, Tobi Vail, Barbara Browning, and Vivien Goldman."

"The group cites punk rock and Oi! bands Angelic Upstarts, Cockney Rejects, Sham 69, and The 4-Skins as their main musical influences. The band also cite American punk rock band Bikini Kill, performance artist Karen Finley, and the riot grrrl movement of the 1990s as inspirations. They stated:
'What we have in common is impudence, politically loaded lyrics, the importance of feminist discourse and a non-standard female image. The difference is that Bikini Kill performed at specific music venues, while we hold unsanctioned concerts. On the whole, Riot Grrrl was closely linked to Western cultural institutions, whose equivalents don't exist in Russia.'"