Pussy Riots

This is a picture of a Russian Cossack attacking Pussy Riot protesters.  This picture shows unarmed peaceful rioters protesting the imprisonment of Pussy Riot (a Russian feminist punk rock band imprisoned for speaking out against the Russian government) being policed. The picture shows the power of the state to suppress political dissidence through the use of force. Although the image shows the physical violence used to squash insurrection, the state also uses images as a technology of oppression. Images are used to show failed rebellion and show the population that resistance to the state will fail. The public loses faith in opposing government and the state is able to absorb any dissent into itself. This image of the pussy riot rebellion, however runs contrary to the general image of dissent. The subversive potential of this image of civilian/police confrontation lies in the rioter’s willingness to accept punishment from the state and continue to protest despite being attacked. The protesters show strength in the face of unadulterated force and prove that violence does not beget violence.

 

Pussy Riot

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