Chloe Sevigny, Karen Finley, and Others Plan NYC Solidarity Reading of Pussy Riot's Courtroom Statements

Chloe Sevigny, Karen Finley, and Others Plan NYC Solidarity Reading of Pussy Riot's Courtroom Statements
Members of a female punk band "Pussy Riot" Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L), Maria Alyokhina (C) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (R)
(NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)

The international wave of solidarity for Pussy Riot is coming to New York. Looking to build on the international protests that have taken place since the opening of the trial against the Russian anarchist collective (a spinoff of the controversial Voina art group), Amnesty International has put together a star-studded reading of the defendants' public statements at the Ace Hotel. This Thursday, on the eve of the final verdict — they are charged with "hooliganism" for having performed an anti-Putin action in a Russian Orthodox Church — visitors will hear staged readings of the courtroom statements made by Pussy Riot members Katja SamutsevichNadia Tolokonnikova, and Masha Alyokhina, in addition to prison letters and other material written by courtroom attendees.

Performing the readings will be a small — albeit highly celebrated — group of women. They will include the Shelly Memorial Award-winning poet Eileen Myles, the eminent performance artist Karen Finley, the musician Johanna Fateman (of Men and Le Tigre fame), as well as actress (and art scene mainstayChloe Sevigny. The event is free and open to the public, and starts at 7:30 PM.

 

The Ace reading will be one of several organized protests expected to take place in NYC before and after the verdict against Pussy Riot is read. On Friday, groups are invited via Facebook to wear bright colors (in imitation of Pussy Riot's trademark facemasks and scarves) during a demonstration outside of the Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral on East 97th Street. Attendants will be invited to march down Madison Avenue and eventually work their way across town for a final rally in Times Square.

Click here to have a look at Katja Samutsevich's closing statement during the Pussy Riot trial.

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