what are these girls smiling for?(NewYorker)Before their arrest, Tolokonnikova was a student of philosophy; Alekhina studied journalism and creative writing and was engaged in religious charities and environmental causes. Samutsevich, the oldest of the three, has a degree in computer programming. They are members of a larger group that also goes by the name Pussy Riot—they use a transliterated version of the English words—that combines radical performance with leftist ideas ranging broadly from anti-authoritarianism to feminism; the group cites figures such as Michel Foucault and Julia Kristeva among their many sources of inspiration, as well as the American punk-rock band Bikini Kill and the riot-grrrl movement of the nineties. Tolokonnikova and Alekhina are mothers of young children whom they have not seen since their arrest.