A Pussy Riot in lipstick

A Pussy Riot in lipstick

I admire the bravery of the women of Pussy Riot, who stood up against the fascism and patriarchy of the Russian political establishment and paid the price. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate tribute than painting a whole lot of very angry pussy cats in lipstick against a background of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

Pussy Riot tribute

This is a quick sketch on a small scale. The writing in the paint includes the names of the three women who face two years in jail for “hooliganism” quotes from Kirill I, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, who said “The Devil has laughed at all of us … We have no future if we allow mockery in front of great shrines, and if some see such mockery as a sort of bravery, an expression of political process, an acceptable action or a harmless joke.”

I would argue that jokes are no good at all if they are harmless. Every day we see power trying to tighten its grip, particularly on women. Whether it’s Todd Akin talking about “legitimate rape” or our own President Jacob Zuma reminding us with a smile that women who are single and childless are “distorted”, we are reminded every day of how much of an uphill battle remains ahead. We need less purring and snoozing, definitely less cute, and a whole lot more hissing and biting and scratching.

Distorted