Nadya Tolokonnikova
Human Rights Activist, Founding Member of Pussy Riot
Call 424.288.2898

Biography Print Bio

As co-founder of Pussy Riot, Nadya Tolokonnikova spent two years in jail for performing an anti-Putin concert in a Moscow cathedral. Her imprisonment sparked global debate about freedom of expression and the role of art in fighting tyranny. Since her release, she’s founded a prison reform charity, an independent news service, and brought her story to audiences worldwide.

Nadezhda (Nadya) Tolokonnikova is an artist, political activist, and founding member of Pussy Riot, the punk rock art collective that garnered international headlines, and support, after several members were sent to jail following a performance in the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Tolokonnikova is the recipient of The Lennon Ono Grant for Peace, and is a co-recipient of The Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought. Following her release in 2013, she opened the Mordovia office of Zona Prava, a prisoners rights non-governmental organization. Later, she started MediaZona, an independent news service now partnered with The Guardian.

She has spoken before the US Congress and British Parliament and has appeared on stage with figures such as Bill Clinton and Muhammad Yunus. Following a meeting with Julian Assange in November 2014, she became a board member of his Courage Foundation. Recently, Tolokonnikova appeared as herself in the hit show House of Cards. She also performed the new Pussy Riot song “Refugees In” as part of the artist Banksy’s Dismaland exhibition in 2015.

Speech Topics

  • Current Political Events

  • Pussy Riot's Story

  • Human Rights in Russia and Around the World

  • Art as a Political Tool

  • Finding the Energy and Inspiration to Resist

  • Feminism

  • Gender Equality

  • Prison Systems

  • DIY Ethics

Book: Comradely Greetings: The Prison Letters of Nadya and Slavoj
Op-Ed: In Case Of Political Catastrophe
Article: A Warning From a Member of Pussy Riot
Article: Pussy Riot Has a Wake Up Call for America's Youth in the Trump Era
Article: Pussy Riot Wants to Take You to Prison
Article: 'Inside Pussy Riot' Immersive Political Theater Experience In Works
Article: The Absurd and Outrageous Trial of Pussy Riot
Article: Nadya Tolokonnikova On Her New Anti-Trump Song
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