Bernstein Symposium Keynote Address: Nadya Tolokonnikova, "Transforming Political Rage into Activism”

Apr. 11, 2024
4:15PM - 6:00PM
SLB Auditorium
Open to the Yale Community


Conceptual artist and activist Nadya Tolokonnikova is the creator of Pussy Riot, a global feminist protest-art movement.

In 2012, Pussy Riot gained a global following after Nadya was sentenced to two years imprisonment following an anti-Putin performance. While in prison, Nadya continued to protest. She went on a hunger strike raising awareness for the inhumane prison conditions and, consequently, was sent to a remote Siberian penal colony where she would continue to gain notoriety for her activism despite being forced to hard labor.

In addition to her activism, Nadya is also an award-winning artist. She’s performed at major music festivals and events worldwide, “Punk Prayer” was named by The Guardian among the best art pieces of the 21st century, and she’s released music with the likes of Big Freedia, Tom Morello, MARINA, Boys Noize, and Tove Lo.

In the fine art space, Nadya has been endorsed by such esteemed artists as Marina Abramovic, Judy Chicago and Ai Weiwei to name a few. She’s also made a name for herself as a curator having developed an immersive experience at Saatchi and curated an auction at Sotheby’s.

Most recently, her NFT “Virgin Mary, Please Become a Feminist” and the Putin’s Ashes installation at Deitch Gallery in January 2023 propelled her into a new criminal case, which landed her on Russia’s most wanted list.

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Schell Center for International Human Rights