I believe Sunday mornings are for lazy breakfasts and great reads in bed. And if it’s too cold in your part of the world, add a blanket or two. While I cannot promise you a great read, I guarantee some food for thought, something inspiring, or maybe even a pinch of hope.

Welcome to NFTs Driving Change—a bi-monthly column where I highlight projects and creators using NFTs and other Web3 tools to create real-world impact. In this issue, I am putting the spotlight on Pussy Riot co-founder, Nadya Tolokonnikova’s latest NFT project: Matriarchy Now.

Nadya featured in the Matriarchy Now NFT collection by Rolling Stone. Credit: Coinbase

First, let me tell you about Nadya Tolokonnikova

I first came across Pussy Riot, a Russian punk band, while I was doing my post-graduation in journalism in 2018. At the time, a classmate had introduced me to them as one of her favourite feminist icons. But, I admit, it was mostly in the past year that I became familiarised with Pussy Riot’s works, especially at the intersection of Web3 and activism. Amidst this, the punk collective’s founding member, Nadya Tolokonnikova stood out; both for her personal as well as Pussy Riot-related works.

A performance artist, feminist, and political activist, Nadya co-founded Pussy Riot in 2011. The following year, Russian authorities arrested her and two other members for “hooliganism” for protesting against Vladimir Putin at a Moscow cathedral. Over the years, she has continued fighting for different causes, often embracing various digital tools to power her activism. The latest in this is crypto, NFTs, and a host of other Web3 tools.

NFTs Driving Change: Using Web3 for activism

After dropping several NFTs in 2021, Nadya, alongside other crypto artists and developers, set up UnicornDAO to empower female-identifying, non-binary, and LGBTQ+ artists. One way they do this is by using the funds they raise to purchase NFTs from these artists. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Nadya spoke about how some of the queer artists UnicornDAO supported used the funds to flee Russia.

“We used this money quite literally to save their lives and now they live in a safe place,” she told the media. 

This was followed by setting up another DAO, UkraineDAO, to raise funds for war-hit Ukraine. Then came the Proof of Protest NFT drop to support reproductive rights organisations in the wake of the Roe vs Wade ruling. To be honest, she had me at “bottle of feminism.”

For those unfamiliar with the work, here’s a recap of what she said during the limited edition NFT’s launch: “We live in a world where almost everything is for sale. And now you can get it at discount when you buy more than 1 Raw Extra Virgin bottle of Feminism. Your voice is yours, even though your womb is not (in America). No government, no corporation can take that away from you.”

Pussy Riot’s Proof of Protest NFT collection featured in NFTs Driving Change
Pussy Riot’s Proof of Protest NFT collection.

Starting 2023 with Matriarchy Now

Poor market conditions or not, Nadya started this year with another powerful NFT drop; this time, in partnership with Rolling Stone and Coinbase. Titled “Matriarchy Now”, the collection was created in collaboration with renowned photographer and artist, Ellen von Unwerth. The 11 NFTs were sold on January 11, raking in a little over 20 ETH in all. 

All sales proceeds will go to LegalAbortion.ETH, UnicornDAO’s wallet dedicated to raising funds for reproductive rights organisations. To date, the wallet has supported several organisations with about $500,000. The list includes SisterSoung Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Fos Feminista, and Planned Parenthood, among others.

All of this sheds light on the more impactful side of NFTs. As Nadya said earlier, “NFTs [are] the beginning of one of the most impactful movements in the history of modern art.” By using Web3 tools to support a number of causes, Nadya and Pussy Riot sets a notable example of how one can use NFTs to create real-world impact. 

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All investment/financial opinions expressed by NFTevening.com are not recommendations.

This article is educational material.

As always, make your own research prior to making any kind of investment.

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