Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at the Moscow Tagansky District Court
|Native name||Надежда Андреевна Толоконникова|
November 7, 1989 |
|Other names||Nadya Tolokno (Надя Толокно)|
|Education||Moscow State University|
|Occupation||Student, Political Activist, Performance Artist|
|Years active||2008 to present|
|Organization||Voina, Pussy Riot|
|Known for||Provocative political protests; imprisonment for hooliganism|
|Opponent(s)||Vladimir Putin, Patriarch Kirill I|
|Criminal charge||Hooliganism motivated by religious hatred|
|Criminal penalty||2 years imprisonment|
|Criminal status||convicted on August 17, 2012|
|Awards||LennonOno Grant for Peace|
Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova (Russian: Наде́жда Андре́евна Толоко́нникова; born November 7, 1989 in Norilsk), also known as “Nadya Tolokno” (Надя Толокно),[note 1] is a Russian political activist. She is a member of the anti-Putinist punk rock group Pussy Riot. On August 17, 2012, she was convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and sentenced to two years imprisonment. She has been recognized as a political prisoner by the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners. Amnesty International named her a prisoner of conscience due to “the severity of the response of the Russian authorities.”
She is a philosophy student at Moscow State University with a history of political activism with the street-art group Voina. She is married to Pyotr Verzilov and has a daughter, Gera, whom they named after the Greek goddess Hera. Her first name means “hope” in Russian. She has Canadian permanent resident status and her husband is a dual citizen of Canada and Russia. There was speculation that Canadian authorities might attempt to intervene in the case, but this did not occur. Tolokonnikova is serving the remainder of her two-year sentence in the IK-14 women's penal colony in the Republic of Mordovia.
In a letter from prison after her sentence was upheld, Tolokonnikova disowned the actions of her husband, accusing him of having co-opted Pussy Riot by acting as its frontman without their consent. “His statements are lies, in the name of giving himself the status of the founder and legal representative of Pussy Riot, when in fact, he is not. Actually, Pyotr Verzilov has occupied Pussy Riot through this strange, quasi-fraudulent activity. As a representative of the group, I am outraged.” Verzilov, who had previously stated himself that he was not an official representative of Pussy Riot, declined to comment, saying he wanted to find out what happened first. Yekaterina Samutsevich also expressed surprise at the letter, which was also signed, in prison, by Maria Alyokhina.
Tolokonnikova has been a member of the Voina collective since 2007. Tolokonnikova was part of a performance in which couples were filmed having sex in the Biology Museum in Moscow in February 2008 which has been called an “orgy” by the media. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was at the time heavily pregnant. Tolokonnikova was among the Voina members who disrupted a trial for the director of the Andrei Sakharov Center in 2009.
In 2010, Tolokonnikova was among the Voina activists who attempted to release live cockroaches into the Tagansky Courthouse; the extent to which they succeeded in this action is disputed. She was later prosecuted in the same building for their involvement in Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer”. She also took part in a series of actions, Operation Kiss Garbage, from January through March 2011. This project comprised female members’ kissing policewomen in Moscow metro stations and on the streets. It was primarily an anti-government protest, but also controversial because the non-consensual “ambush kissing” could be considered sexual assault.
- In Russian, tolokno (толокно) means the finely milled flour mixture known as kama.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova|
- "Дело группы Pussy Riot". March 23, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21.
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- Miriam Elder (August 8, 2012). "Pussy Riot profile: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova: Philosophy student Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, has been described as the evil genius behind Pussy Riot". The Guardian (Moscow). Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
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- "Организация "Народный собор" снова подогревает интерес прокуратуры к предвыборной оргии в поддержку "наследника Медвежонка"". Newsru.com. October 24, 2008. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
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