As a socially active queer I’ve seen stacks of politically charged performance art over the years. Gay festivals, drag nights, alternative art parties and street protests are home to some of the most confronting, weird and entertaining acts you’ll ever see.

From glitter-covered, gender-bending, dildo-sucking aliens to feminists inserting Coke bottles up places that are sweet enough already. I’ve seen a lesbian master/slave couple cut each other on stage and a bogan drag king hump some poor chump in a donkey suit. You’re not always sure what point they’re trying to make, but at least
they get ya thinkin’.

So much political art is only ever seen by a small niche audience so it’s been exciting watching the world get behind Russian protest-artists Pussy Riot. Their “punk prayer” against Vladimir Putin certainly made a splash, but the girls, who are part of a Russian street-art collective called Voina (translates to War), have done even crazier shit that hasn’t dominated international headlines.

In 2008, a very preggers pussy rioter, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and her hubby got butt-naked, along with a bunch of other folks, and had public sex in Moscow’s Museum of Biology. Apparently this “fertility rite” was a protest against the election of Dmitry Medvedev as president.

In 2010, Voina drew a 200-foot penis on a bridge in the middle of Saint Petersburg – so when the bridge was raised, the “erection” faced the windows of the KGB building.

Maria Alekhina, another Pussy Riot member, has released a video which shows her masturbating in a supermarket using a chicken leg. I haven’t seen it so I’ll let you guys ponder the meaning behind that one.

While I’ve done nothing as out there as Filipino artist May Ling Su, who filmed herself smearing menstrual blood all over her naked body on a beach, or Dutch artist Bart Jansen, who turned a dead cat into a remote control helicopter, I’ve at least had a crack.

A few years ago I entered a drag king comp but instead of impersonating a dude, I dressed up as an ape and performed a weird-ass chest-thumping striptease to Welcome To The Jungle. I didn’t win.

My comment on the evolution of gender as a social construct was clearly too “deep” for the judges that night. Or maybe it was because I spat banana on them.

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