There’s No Stopping Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova

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I consider Sunday mornings are for lazy breakfasts and nice reads in mattress. And if it’s too chilly in your a part of the world, add a blanket or two. Whereas I can’t promise you a fantastic learn, I assure some meals for thought, one thing inspiring, or possibly even a pinch of hope.

Welcome to NFTs Driving Change—a bi-monthly column the place I spotlight tasks and creators utilizing NFTs and different Web3 instruments to create real-world influence. On this difficulty, I’m placing the highlight on Pussy Riot co-founder, Nadya Tolokonnikova’s newest NFT venture: Matriarchy Now.

Nadya Tolokonnikova
Nadya featured within the Matriarchy Now NFT assortment by Rolling Stone. Credit score: Coinbase

First, let me let you know about Nadya Tolokonnikova

I first got here throughout Pussy Riot, a Russian punk band, whereas I used to be doing my post-graduation in journalism in 2018. On the time, a classmate had launched me to them as considered one of her favorite feminist icons. However, I admit, it was largely up to now yr that I turned familiarised with Pussy Riot’s works, particularly on the intersection of Web3 and activism. Amidst this, the punk collective’s founding member, Nadya Tolokonnikova stood out; each for her private in addition to Pussy Riot-related works.

A efficiency artist, feminist, and political activist, Nadya co-founded Pussy Riot in 2011. The next yr, Russian authorities arrested her and two different members for “hooliganism” for protesting towards Vladimir Putin at a Moscow cathedral. Over time, she has continued combating for various causes, usually embracing numerous digital instruments to energy her activism. The newest in that is crypto, NFTs, and a number of different Web3 instruments.

Utilizing Web3 for activism

After dropping a number of NFTs in 2021, Nadya, alongside different crypto artists and builders, arrange UnicornDAO to empower female-identifying, non-binary, and LGBTQ+ artists. A technique they do that is by utilizing the funds they elevate to buy NFTs from these artists. In a latest interview with Rolling Stone, Nadya spoke about how a number of the queer artists UnicornDAO supported used the funds to flee Russia.

“We used this cash fairly actually to avoid wasting their lives and now they stay in a protected place,” she instructed the media. 

This was adopted by establishing one other DAO, UkraineDAO, to lift funds for war-hit Ukraine. Then got here the Proof of Protest NFT drop to help reproductive rights organisations within the wake of the Roe vs Wade ruling. To be trustworthy, she had me at “bottle of feminism.”

For these unfamiliar with the work, right here’s a recap of what she mentioned through the restricted version NFT’s launch: “We stay in a world the place virtually the whole lot is on the market. And now you may get it at low cost once you purchase greater than 1 Uncooked Further Virgin bottle of Feminism. Your voice is yours, though your womb will not be (in America). No authorities, no company can take that away from you.”

Pussy Riot’s Proof of Protest NFT collection
Pussy Riot’s Proof of Protest NFT assortment.

Beginning 2023 with Matriarchy Now

Poor market circumstances or not, Nadya began this yr with one other highly effective NFT drop; this time, in partnership with Rolling Stone and Coinbase. Titled “Matriarchy Now”, the gathering was created in collaboration with famend photographer and artist, Ellen von Unwerth. The 11 NFTs have been offered on January 11, raking in a bit of over 20 ETH in all. 

All gross sales proceeds will go to LegalAbortion.ETH, UnicornDAO’s pockets devoted to elevating funds for reproductive rights organisations. To this point, the pockets has supported a number of organisations with about $500,000. The record contains SisterSoung Girls of Colour Reproductive Justice Collective, Fos Feminista, and Deliberate Parenthood, amongst others.

All of this sheds mild on the extra impactful facet of NFTs. As Nadya mentioned earlier, “NFTs [are] the start of probably the most impactful actions within the historical past of recent artwork.” By utilizing Web3 instruments to help quite a few causes, Nadya and Pussy Riot units a notable instance of how one can use NFTs to create real-world influence. 

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