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Masha Gessen: Words Will Break Cement

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums
Photo: Svenya Generalova

Acclaimed journalist Masha Gessen, author of Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, discusses the saga of Russian punk-rock activists Pussy Riot, the five young women arrested and jailed for performing a 'punk prayer' beseeching the 'Mother of God' to 'get rid of Putin' in a cathedral in Moscow. This fierce act of political art and their subsequent trial captured international headlines. Drawing on her exclusive, extensive access to the members of Pussy Riot and their families and associates, Gessen explores the fascinating personal journeys that transformed a group of young women into fierce global artists and agit-prop activists. 

Masha Gessen is a journalist and the author of several previous books, most recently Perfect Rigor and Blood Matters. Deputy editor of the Russian-language Snob magazine, she has contributed to Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Granta, and Slate, among other publications. 

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