Pussy Riot/Nadya Tolokonnikova
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Pussy Riot Founder Shares How NFTs Can Empower Activism

BY Jex Exmundo

August 09, 2022

In February 2012, Nadya Tolokonnikova and the rest of the Russian feminist performance and protest group Pussy Riot made headlines worldwide following a guerilla performance at Moscow’s Church of Christ the Savior. The anti-Putin protest led to the group’s near-immediate arrest and eventual detainment in Russia’s harsh prison system.

Following her late 2013 release, Tolokonnikova continued her activism, protesting against injustice and rallying for social change. In recent years, she and the rest of Pussy Riot have come to see the fundraising and organizational potential of decentralized platforms, fully embracing the NFT ecosystem as a new channel of subversion in the process. Most notably, she helped found UnicornDAO, which is actively working within the space to further the rights of women and members of the LGBTQ+ communities.

In the last year, Tolokonnikova’s raised millions of dollars through the formation of UkraineDAO, the Center for Reproductive Rights via her contributions to the fundraising anthem Crypto Boy, and so much more. We sat down with her for an exclusive interview on her story so far, where she reflected on her various advocacies; namely, women’s rights, prison reform, and the overall “lack of radical imagination” present in our society today.

Tolokonnikova also mentioned one of the biggest problems that persist in the NFT space: an overall lack of diversity. This has been one of UnicornDAO’s most prominent areas of focus, as the DAO has amassed an impressive collection showcasing works from women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and non-binary artists. “Our goal is to change the statistics. Five to seven percent of global NFT sales are done by female artists — and it’s definitely not enough […] NFTs are life-changing technology, [so it] has to be accessible to people who are first and foremost already systemically fucked,” she said.

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