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'We can use NFTs to support good causes': Pussy Riot mints and sells first NFT to raise money for women's shelters

The video, titled Terrestrial Paradise, was bought for around £128,000 by the Iranian-born art collector and political activist Amir Soleymani

A still from Pussy Riot's video Terrestrial Paradise, which sold as an NFT-backed work for around £128,000 Courtesy of Pussy Riot

The Russian performance art punk music group Pussy Riot have minted and sold their first NFT (non-fungible token), generating 100 ETH (£128,000) in an auction on 14 March via the platform Foundation.

The NFT is for the official music video for their latest single Panic Attack, directed by Asad Malik and filmed on 106 cameras as an immersive augmented reality experience.

The video, titled Terrestrial Paradise, first depicts a utopian, kawaii world before moving into darker realms. It features a hologram of the Pussy Riot founding member Nadya Tolokonnikova, who eventually ends up in a digital wasteland alongside several of her slaughtered clones.

"After serving two years in a labour camp, I'm still struggling with mental health issues,' Tolokonnikova says in the description of the YouTube video. "Trauma, fear and insecurity never fully go away, causing depression episodes and deep anxiety."

In a Tweet, Pussy Riot say they intend to use the proceeds from the sale to support women’s shelters in Russian and to continue to create activist art. Currently, two members of Pussy Riot—Masha Alekhina and Lucy Shteyn—are under house arrest after participating in protests supporting opposition leader Aleksei Navalny earlier this year.

The Terrestrial Paradise video is one of four being auctioned by the group via the Foundation app. The video accompanies the title track of the three-song Pussy Riot EP Panic Attack, which features the two previous singles, TOXIC (with Dorian Electra and produced by 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady) and Sexist (featuring Hofmannita).

Amir Soleymani, the Iranian-born art collector, crypto enthusiast and political activist who bought the work, tells The Art Newspaper that he hoped his purchase would spur other collectors to take a greater interest in socially engaged art on the blockchain. “We can use NFTs to support good causes and communities, it’s a great thing to do, so I’m happy to be part of this.”