Pussy Riot to headline Sydney festival of ideas

Pussy Riot to headline Sydney festival of ideas
Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

24 June 2014
Text Nadia Beard

Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina will headline this year’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney, an annual event of presentations and debates featuring a some of the world’s leading thinkers and cultural figures.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina will lead the festival, which this year will focus on freedom of speech, discussing their involvement in Pussy Riot and their political activism. Most of the talks concern those who have “shown fearlessness in challenging the established, often paying a high price for it,” according to the festival curator Ann Mossop.

Mossop added: “As part of that it’s important to look at the use of social media over the past few years and how it has been used to mobilise people from a very grassroots level to political activism, for example through the Arab Spring.”

Russian-American journalist and writer Masha Gessen will also being speaking at the event, joining Pussy Riot in a discussion about the President Vladimir Putin and his relationship with dissent.

With a list of guest speakers which has included Christopher Hitchens, Julian Assange and Germaine Greer in the past, the festival has quickly developed a reputation for its engagement with radical ideas, activism and protest. The festival will run from 30 to 31 August.

Source: The Guardian