See Pussy Riot’s Cameo in the New Season of House of Cards

Screenshot of House of Cards.

It crept up silently last Friday—the entire new season of House of Cards was unleashed upon Netflix subscribers on the streaming site, to every binge-watcher’s delight.

In the third season, a major plotline involves the tense relationship between the American president, played by Kevin Spacey, and the fictional Russian president, Victor Petrov, played by Lars Milkkelsen. In “Chapter 29”, Petrov is invited to the White House for a state dinner. The guests of honor surprisingly are real-life Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who play themselves in the episode and stage a performance at the fancy dinner. Standing up to pretend-toast to the Russian president, they shout “To Victor Petrov, whose loyalty runs so deep, he’s given his friends half the country!” and “who’s so open to criticism that most of his critics are in prison!” in Russian. The pair and their translator then dump their champagne on the floor and exit the dining room to protest outside the White House.

The political drama has earned several Golden Globe Award nominations and wins since its debut 2013, with Robin Wright nabbing the Globe for outstanding lead actress in a drama series.

Meanwhile, in this month’s issue of Art in America, former Le Tigre member Johanna Fateman describes her experience, along with JD Samson, of being invited to write the song featured in the show. She reports that they met the Russian musicians, with whom she feels a sort of kinship based on her own experience in a band: “While it’s preposterous to compare Le Tigre to prisoners of conscience … JD and I nevertheless felt like they were our peers in some way,” she writes. “After all, you could say we were a fake band, too. … We often felt we were adopting the form of the punk band for our political performance art.”

Ever since their public performances and protests have landed members in jail (see Pussy Riot Sues Russia), the punk feminist group has become a fixture of both the art and entertainment worlds (see Pussy Riot on Art, Activism , and Their Name’s Hilairous Russian Translation and Pussy Riot Releases Haunting New Song in Honor of Eric Garner).

 


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