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Pussy Riot News: Happy Anniversary!

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What's new in Pussy Riot News? Nothing. What a shame.

This is an anniversary of sorts. It was over a year ago, on February 21 that the Russian art activists known as Pussy Riot stunned their Motherland with a midnight punk concert in Russia's most sacred cathedral. It was nearly a year ago, March 3, 2012, that Pussy Riot was arrested for the crime of hooliganism. In America, all teenagers are pranking hooligans. In Russia, hooliganism is treated as state treason, without a notion of youthful frivolity.

Today, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Mariya Alyokhina count their minutes in separate prisons, both in harsh living conditions. They are fulfilling a two-year sentence for artistic expression. There is little chance they will be blessed with any time off.

Most recently, Mariya Alyokhina was denied a suspended sentence despite having a very young son. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova will be attempting a similar request in the near future. Good luck. It is a lovely but futile gesture.

Recent government actions seem to indicate that the Russian Motherland hates Motherhood. Not allowing Americans to adopt Russian orphans and denying Pussy Riot their true maternal responsibilities, the Russian government doesn't seem to mind punishing the kids first.

At the time of this Anniversary, we Americans might take a moment to celebrate our artistic liberties. To create. To exhibit. To speak. How lucky we are. A lot of solid thinking went into these rights and freedoms. It is a shame when government can be used to punish five wild girls singing a song that might lambast the President.

The mission of Pussy Riot Vodka is to keep the Pussy Riot plight in our mind's eye and in our media's attention. Upon the arrest, the greatest artists in the world shouted their support for the Russian collective. You don't hear much anymore. Going to jail is glamorous. Sitting in jail just isn't newsworthy. And today, life is grim for the two Russian artists. Their actions would warrant something less than a misdemeanor in the United States.

What are we doing about it? Fellow artist Michael Delgado and I have created a piece in honor of Pussy Riot. We want to help keep the fire burning and their story alive. We have used satire and our pop culture to manufacture the world of Pussy Riot Vodka. The humorous creation story was detailed in Part One of this article here. So far, the project has been a viral success. The vodka looks so real; it has caused a few scandals that we will tell you about. Over the next two years, we will be creating content and sharing it with you. Enjoy the show. We will never forget Pussy Riot! Have a Putini!

Read here: Mariya Alyokhina is denied a suspended sentence. In court, she fights back!

Read the Pussy Riot Vodka creation story on The Huffington Post.

Gordy Grundy is a Los Angeles based artist and arts writer. His visual and literary work can be found at www.GordyGrundy.com.

Michael Delgado is an artist. His brushwork can be found at www.akaDelgado.com

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