Proof of Protest: Artists Pussy Riot and Shepard Fairey Team Up to Raise Money for Ukraine Through NFT Collection

All proceeds from the open edition Putin’s Ashes NFT collection will be donated to troops in Ukraine.

AccessTimeIconJan 26, 2023 at 9:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 26, 2023 at 9:56 p.m. UTC
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Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova and street artist Shepard Fairey are encouraging supporters to express their “proof of protest” on the blockchain through an open-edition collection of non-fungible tokens (NFT) to raise funds for Ukraine.

The collection, titled Putin’s Ashes, will be available for purchase Friday on Tezos-based NFT marketplace Objkt. All of the proceeds from the collection will be donated to Ukrainian soldiers who have been battling the Russian invasion since February 2022.

The open edition will start minting on Friday at 10 a.m. PT and end on Feb. 3. Each NFT will be priced at 10 TEZ (about $11). Pussy Riot plans to open the collection with a protest and performance Friday in Los Angeles at the Jeffrey Deitch gallery.

Tolokonnikova began creating Putin’s Ashes in August, when Pussy Riot members burned an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin in a protest. Collecting the ashes from the event, Tolokonnikova bottled them to create the artwork for the NFT collection. The collection also features work by Fairey in his signature style, depicting Tolokonnikova wearing a corset with Putin on the front that appears to be in flames.

Citing the skills she learned when she was in prison for two years following Pussy Riot’s anti-Putin performance, Tolokonnikova is eager to give back to Ukraine.

“I was forced to sew police and army uniforms in a Russian jail. I turned what I learned in my labor camp against those who locked me up,” said Tolokonnikova. “Putin is a danger to the whole world, and he has to be stopped immediately"

Tolokonnikova has also been dedicated to making the NFT space more diverse. Last year, she started UnicornDAO, a collective to empower women and LGBTQ+ NFT artists, which raised $4.5 million in May.

Ukraine has embraced cryptocurrency and NFTs as alternative crowdfunding methods. in May, the country had received about $135 million in cryptocurrency donations since the start of the war. In March, Ukraine’s Ministry for Digital Transformation began minting moments from the war as NFTs and selling them to raise funds.

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Cam Thompson

Cam Thompson was a news reporter at CoinDesk.


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