COLUMN: Pussy Riot Invites Santa Cruz to Protest… and Santa Cruz Fails to Show Up

UPDATE 12 April 2018, 11:20 am: This article was substantially updated with new reporting and additional analysis.

When Pussy Riot, Russia’s premiere feminist art collective known for its rotating and balaclava-clad cast of political performers, announced a gig in Santa Cruz, I bought a ticket and readied myself for something historic.

Surrounding the evening was a hailstorm of misinformation regarding scheduled times for doors and music, and some late-comers, perhaps expecting an opening act, arrived at the venue as Pussy Riot left the stage, missing the performance completely. Pussy Riot failed to meet our expectations, varied as they were, but as I peeled back the layers of my disappointment, what I found was not a laundry list of injustices committed by an artist I did not know well, but Santa Cruz, my city and my home.

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