Pussy Riot Makes First U.S. Appearance

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Photo: Raya Jalabi

Two members of Russian feminist collective and punk band Pussy Riot doffed their balaclavas to speak with a group of activists at Lower East Side bookstore Bluestockings this week. The women made their first-ever visit to the U.S. in order to promote the June 10 HBO documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer — very quietly. According to the Guardianthe appearance was unannounced, and the 50 or so attendees were asked to keep news of the band’s arrival off the Internet — “all security measures, they said, to avoid the Russian security services that imprisoned their bandmates and continue to target them.” (The Guardian also adhered to a 48-hour embargo and did not photograph the women unmasked.) The women, who went by the pseudonyms Fara and Shaiba, also met with Occupy activists last week, in order to “have a dialogue” with the existing networks that have rallied around Pussy Riot.