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Pussy Riot activists plot South Africa art project

News Desk

Agence France-Presse

Cape Town, South Africa | Sun, December 2, 2018 | 03:07 pm
Pussy Riot activists plot South Africa art project

Olya Kurachyova, Veronika Nikulshina and Olga Pakhtsusova, members of Pussy Riot, a Russian Protest Punk band and art collective, hold a press conference on November 30, 2018, in Cape Town, where they take part in various art projects. (AFP/Rodger Bosch)

Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot hinted Friday at an attention-grabbing outcome after a two-week artistic collaboration in South Africa, but they stuck to their vow to keep their next performance a secret.

The group, famed for their protests against President Vladimir Putin, have been working in Cape Town with Italian performance artist Marinella Senatore.

"The main goal of our art is to attract attention and highlight stuff that seems to be hidden in the shadows," Nika Nikulshina told a news conference.

"When you describe yourself as a political activist, I just realized that you must be prepared for everything."

Asked about their next work, fellow member Olga Kurachyova said "We never tell."

The anarchist collective -- often decked out in neon balaclavas and tights -- has made its name with politically charged performances, lambasting everything from the Russian church to the persecution of the country's gay community.

Read also: Pussy Riot claim World Cup pitch invasion

Nikulshina took a dig at South Africa's scandal-tainted former president Jacob Zuma, who was widely criticized for trying to push through a Russian-built nuclear power programme.

"[Putin's] way of being president is to put his friends on top of the ruling positions," she said. "Your previous president and Putin have a lot in common. Maybe that's why they're friends, you know?"

In July, Nikulshina, Kurachyova and fellow member Olga Pakhtusova were imprisoned for two weeks after invading the pitch at the football World Cup final dressed as police officers.

Pakhtusova on Friday praised South Africa's media freedom.

"We have a lot in common between Russia and South Africa, but the one thing we do not have in common is that here in South Africa there is really working freedom of speech," she said.

In 2012, three Pussy Riot members were arrested for performing a song protesting against Putin in a central Moscow church. 

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