Reading the translations of the Pussy Riot Closing Statements published on N+1:

Thus one of the most important Christian concepts, Humility, is now commonly understood not as a path towards the perception, fortification, and ultimate liberation of Man, but on the contrary as an instrument for his enslavement. To quote [Russian philosopher] Nikolai Berdyaev, one could say that “the ontology of humility is the ontology of the slaves of God, and not the sons of God.” When I was involved with organizing the ecological movement, I became fundamentally convinced of the priority of inner freedom as the foundation for taking action. As well as the importance, the direct importance, of taking action as such.

- Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot

The art of creating the image of an epoch does not know winners or losers. It was the same with the OBERIU poets, who remained artists until the end, inexplicable and incomprehensible. Purged in 1937, Alexander Vvedensky wrote, “The incomprehensible pleases us, the inexplicable is our friend.” According to the official death certificate, Aleksandr Vvedensky died on December 20th, 1941. No one knows the cause of death. It could have been dysentery on the train on the way to the camps; it could have been the bullet of a guard. It occurred somewhere on the railroad between Voronezh and Kazan. Pussy Riot are Vvedensky’s students and heirs.

- Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot

And check out the translators' statements. Like this one:

I spent May and June this year in Moscow—I arrived just as the protests were re-energized by Putin’s third inauguration. I spent many hours talking to folks in their twenties, and a picture of an ascendant new generation of people who are well-informed, well-read, and not indifferent to the direction of their country started to emerge. The intensity of Moscow still fresh in my mind, I spent the eight days of the Pussy Riot trial getting up at dawn in a different timezone to read live updates from the courtroom, realizing quickly that, just like the protests in Moscow earlier this summer, this was close to something that could be called history in the making. It felt important to pay attention—to the travesty of justice and to the steadfastness of the accused. Some of the defendants are the same age as the students of several courses on Russian culture that I will be teaching this year. It felt important to me as a teacher to make these texts available to my students—both as some of the most important cultural artifacts of today’s Russia, and as examples of civic engagement. 

- Sasha Senderovich

I love translators motivated by solidarity and translation as a product of deep accompaniment.

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