Livingston, Alexander : Small Grant, 2013-2014


Alexander Livingston (Department of Government)

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Government
Project Title: 
Pussy Riot at Cornell: Performance, Film Screening, and Panel Discussion
Project Abstract: 
Formed in 2011, Pussy Riot is an all-woman performance group that has staged guerrilla art interventions in Moscow since 2011 to protest patriarchy, homophobia, and the abuse of state power in Putin’s Russia. In 2012 a Russian court charged Ms. Samutsevich, along with two other members of the group, with hooliganism after their performance of a “punk prayer” at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Through the trial and prison sentences that followed, Pussy Riot has come to global attention as an important voice in contemporary discussions of free speech, feminism, and the arts. This project proposes to host Yekaterina Samutsevich at Cornell in spring 2015, along with two European collaborators, to screen Pussy Riot’s new film project, ‘Pussy Riot’s Guide to Feminism’ at the Cornell Cinema and participate in Cornell’s Ladyfest, a one day festival of music, activism, and film that will feature original work by women and LGBT students at Cornell. This project will also support a public panel discussion on free speech, human rights, and political repression with Pussy Riot and Cornell faculty. In addition, Ms. Samutsevich will meet with undergraduate students and would be available to faculty who are interested in having Pussy Riot participate in their undergraduate classes.