Freed band Pussy Riot interviewed on Colbert Report

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Masha Alyokhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova, the two members of band Pussy Riot who were imprisoned in Russia, were interviewed on the Colbert Report on February 4 about their time in prison, their opinion on Putin’s anti-propaganda laws, and the future of Russia.

With the assistance of a translator, the two women engaged in a witty conversation with host Stephen Colbert. While the interview was playful and Colbert retained his sarcastic demeanor, the women’s brave resistance to Putin’s regime was still noticeably present. When asked why they were arrested, Tolokonnikova said it was because they “sang a fun song at a church.”

The two members of the Moscow-based feminist punk band were arrested in March 2012. On December 23, 2013, they were released following the passing of Russia’s amnesty law.

“We have different ideas about a bright future, and we don’t want [a]shirtless man on [a]horse leading it,” said Tolokonnikova.

Colbert went on to ask if they believed gay people might “make the right decision and stop being gay.”

Tolokonnikova responded, “In our experience, it just turns them on even more.”

The interview, one of their first in the United States, went fairly well and the band members were continually met with wild cheering and applause. On February 1, in a much less successful interview with Irish talk show host Brendan O’Connor, he repeatedly referred to the women as “girls” and asked how they felt about becoming famous, essentially trivializing their role as activists.

Near the end of the interview with Colbert, he touched on the idea that the women were released from prison as a PR stunt for the Sochi Olympics, and asked if they believed it had been a successful move.

“We don’t think it improved the image of Russia, so maybe Putin made a mistake and should throw us back in jail,” said Tolokonnikova. They then offered to make Colbert an honorary member of Pussy Riot.

429Magazine

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