The Prison Letters of Nadya and Slavoj
By Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Slavoj Zizek
Translated by Ian Dreiblatt
Introduced by Michel Eltchaninoff
30th September 2014
In association with Philosophie Magazine
”We are the rebels asking for the storm, and believing that truth is only to be found in an endless search … Two years of prison for Pussy Riot is our tribute to a destiny that gave us sharp ears, allowing us to sound the note A when everyone else is used to hearing G flat.”
In an extraordinary exchange of letters, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek and imprisoned Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova discuss artistic subversion, political activism, and the future of democracy via the ideas of Hegel, Deleuze, Nietzsche, and even Laurie Anderson. Touching, erudite, sharp, and worldly, their correspondence unfolds with poetic urgency.
Though not a large book this collection of letters is entrancing; the authors correspond with such poetic erudition and passion that one cannot help but feel a sense of hope. With minds such as these in the world, change will happen, even if I don’t always agree with their points. Hell, sometimes I don’t understand their statements. I’ve got to do something about that; I hate being ignorant.
It was ignorance that drove me to request this book; I wanted to understand more about the actions of Pussy Riot in Moscow on 21st February 2012. I came away with much more than that. I saw events from a new perspective. For instance, I hadn’t realised how much peace protesting had been happening in Russia over Ukraine. It just hadn’t occured to me that the Russian people might not be happy about Putin’s warmongering, though it really should have.
This collection is well worth reading. You might not agree with everything but the different perspective, so eloquently and intelligently written, will give you something to think about.