Riot Woman features creative conversations between author Eleanor C. Whitney and a diverse range of artists, academics, and activists who were influenced by punk, feminism, and Riot Grrrl about how they have impacted their lives and the work they make.
Riot Woman with Amy Klein
Brooklyn-based musician, writer, and organizer Amy Klein for years shares powerful reflections about building a life and vision as a feminist musician and writer, how she learned about Riot Grrrl, being a feminist on the Internet, and what she learned from organizing the feminist group Permanent Wave.
Riot Woman with Artist Aurora Lady
Aurora Lady is a Los Angeles-based artist and visionary who is not only a bad ass feminist illustrator, stylist, glitter make up artist, and fashion designer, but one of my creative guides. In this conversation we talk about zines as educational building blocks for feminism, discovering punk when we lived in rural places, forging feminist community via Live Journal and how that’s different than Instagram today, making friends in LA (or anywhere) as an adult, and how we “signaled” our feminism and relationship to Riot Grrrl as teenagers and twenty-somethings through fashion, as well as the radical influence of Courtney Love.
We also process the resurgent trend of all things 90s and discuss the trap and difficulty of chasing nostalgia. Finally Aurora shares her advice about how to develop your art and what you’re about as an artist.
Riot Woman with Corinna Rosella of Rise Up! Good Witch
Corinna Rosella of Rise Up! Good Witch is a writer, zine maker, anthropologist, herbal magic maker, tarot reader, and the host of the Rise Up! Good Witch podcast currently living in Joshua Tree. In this episode she discusses how she discovered plant medicine while living in a Portland punk house, finding Riot Grrrl and zines at the advent of the internet, the expansion and evolution of her own intersectional feminism and how that informs her witchcraft practice, resisting capitalism while building a sustainable business, and how white people have a responsibility to mitigate the harm of racism and white privilege.
Riot Woman with James Spooner
James Spooner is a visual artist, a parent of two, and a vegan tattoo artist who runs Monocle tattoo in Los Angeles. He is the creator 2003’s Afropunk documentary and is currently work on a graphic novel which is chronicles his experience growing up as a teenaged black punk in the California desert, entitled The High Desert.
James and I discuss being teenagers coming into punk, especially because that is the focus of his book-in-progress The High Desert. He explains how he discovered punk as an answer to the “perfect storm of adolescence” and the frustration of being one of two black punks in the high desert of California and the “racial exceptionalism” he experienced there. We also talked about how his experience changed when he moved to NYC as a teenager and met other black punks and punks of color and how those experiences led him to create Afropunk.
We talk about the importance of embracing the “do it yourself” spirit of punk and moving from being a consumer to a creator and how the DIY spirit and punk values continue to influence James' life as an artist, tattooist, and parent.
Riot Woman with Marlee Grace
Marlee Grace is a dancer, writer, podcaster, creative advisor, and the author of the book How to Not Always Be Working. She also runs Center, an artist residency and creative space in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Much of her work is centered improvisation, self-reflection, healing, growing, and charting new paths for yourself. We talk about the power of zines and DIY in a digital era; the necessary shift from Do It Yourself to Do It Together; surviving capitalism and valuing yourself in order to be generous to others; the importance of ritual and finding harmony between many interests; and reaching beyond punk in order to bring your work and values to a wider audience.
Riot Woman with Tae Won Yu of Kicking Giant
Musician, artist, and illustrator Tae Won Yu, of the band Kicking Giant discusses his involvement in the early Riot Grrrl and do-it-yourself scene in New York, Washington DC, and Olympia, Washington in the 1990s. , where he lived for about a decade throughout the 1990s. Tae thoughtfully shares his unique experience with and understanding of Riot Grrrl, including how he first met Molly Neuman and Allison Wolfe from the band Bratmobile after reading about their zine Girl Germs in Sassy Magazine. We talk about the power of community, self-expression, and the empowering feeling of creating your own scene, identity, and movement. He also discusses how the generation of artists who lived in Olympia before him helped inspire Riot Grrrl and feminist art in the Pacific Northwest and showed him how to build a life as an artist.