Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of female Russian punk band Pussy Riot, sits inside a defendants cage in a Moscow court, on
ALEXANDER NEMENOV

Despite being confined to a prison, Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova, one of the jailed members of the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot, has more resolve today than ever before.

In her first western media interview, the 23-year-old musician told the Guardian that she vowed to continue her activism and to hold on to her pride and beliefs in spite of her sentencing on charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred."

While a parole hearing for the case has been set for April 26, the musician remains dismissive:

"For me, the parole hearing means nothing," she said. "In our case, the government wants us to recognize our guilt, which of course we won't do. I submitted the parole documents to show that they cannot break a person."

On February 21, 2012 members of the band performed a “punk prayer" in a Moscow church during which they “asked” the Virgin Mary to expel Russian President Vladimir Putin from office.

Three of the members were later arrested for the stunt and the world took notice, including musicians ranging from Madonna to the Black Keys to Paul McCartney. 

The Guardian interview comes on the heels of a 60 minutes interview with the band’s still-in-hiding drummer, who pleaded from behind a pink balaclava for the jailed women to not “give up.”

The paper reported that Tolokonnikova has to adhere to a strict regimen, which consists of hours of labor in the colony’s factory sewing uniforms for various Russian officials. But she insists, “It could be worse.” When she is finally released from prison, the musician asserts it will not be an earth-shattering change for her: 

"My life isn't going to change—there will be new key components because of the experience I've gathered here. The vectors of politics and art will continue the same.

"I try to use all my time constructively—productively, creatively. I'm trying to learn how to relate to all this with interest, and I think I am achieving it," she said. "If your mood is bad, then time goes slow. If you learn to live paying attention to life and valuing it, even here, then time isn't lost. That's my main task: to make it so that the time they tried to take from me isn't lost. And I think I am successful."