(her) riot distro gives something to think about
interview with Stina B
by Elke Zobl
(her) RIOTdistro was born when Stina discovered that there are so many
feminist Swedish zines and no other distros in Northern Europe that
would distro feminist fanzines and demos. So Stina changed that - along
with Riikka from Ladybomb Distro (Finland) with whom she worked together
in the beginning. (her) RIOT distro is a non profit distro which distros
only feminist zines! You just have to check it out!
you tell me first of all a little bit about yourself? How old are you,
are you originally from and where do you reside now?
name is Stina, I'm 21. I'm originally from the north of Sweden, a town
called Piteå, when I was 5 we moved to a town near Stockholm,
Nynäshamn. Currently I live and study gender issues at university
do you do besides your zine and distro?
>Study, write letters, try to start a band, read
For how long have you been running your zine and distro now? How many
issues of your zine did you put out until now? Are you the only editor
or is there a
>My distro was born a year ago. First it was
named Ladybomb swe and worked as a sort of baby from Riikka's Ladybomb,
I helped her out here in Sweden. But after about 5 months I think, we
decided that I should have my own distro since I found so many interesting
Swedish zines and it was time for me to stand on my own feet. I came up
with the name (her) RIOT distro and stuck with it. I've got 3 zines now
I think.. one music zines that I write with Riikka Ladybomb that has 2
issues out, one mini zine about feminist self defense and I am currently
working on a sort of personal/political zines.
made you decide to start the zine and distro? How did you come up with
the idea and the name?
>Why I started to make zines.. I have no idea!
I've always written my own magazines when I was young.. as long as I
can remember really. But I got started for real a few years ago, don't
remember why, and have been obsessed by it since. The distro thing just
landed on my lap when Riikka asked me if I wanted to join Ladybomb and
I thought it'd be fun to help her out and to do something creative.
It was hard to come up with a name for my distro, when Ladybomb swe
was no longer an option.. I wanted something powerful and pro-girl,
it's named (her) riot cuz it's not only for girls, although I haven't
had one single boy customer..
topics are most often discussed in your zine?
>Girl conspiracy, the music zine, is about
music. It has interviews and reviews and thought about music scenes.
Fight Back! Is about self defense and how damn important it is to be
able to defend yourself. In my personal/political zine I discuss topics
that I walk around an think about, a lot feminist topics I must say.
do you hope to accomplish by establishing your distro and zine?
>I hope to help people find great zines when
it comes to my distro. Also show girls that distros are not only for
boys, here in Sweden there's only guys who run distros you see. With
my zines I hope to get answers to my own questions and give answers
to others questions and give people something to think about maybe.
does zine making, distributing (and reading) mean to you? What do you
love about zine making? What's the most challenging aspect of making
and distributing zines?
>It's a passion! I loved to read girly magazines
when I was a teenager and now when I've grown and gotten aware of the
misogyny in those I turned to the zines scene. The most challenging
thing with running a distro is for me personally to have it organized!
And just small things like how to make zinesters realize I can't pay
full price for their zines plus the postage for the zines they send
me. It's the small things that can sometimes make things a bit hard.
was your first exposure to zines? How did you find out about them? What
have they come to mean to you?
>Like I've said I've always written zines my
self, just didn't know there was a name for it. I think I've read some
about zines in some free magazines we get in school. The zine that got
me started for real was a Swedish one called Bleck, which has grown
to a "real" magazine now. I thought the girl who did it was
so cool cuz she was a feminist and not much older than me and she talked
about feminism at some TV show once. Then a whole world opened before
my eyes. What I love about zines is that I get a lot of new perspective
on things. It's inspiring to read what a girl on the other side of the
world thinks about feminism or what a girl 2 kilometers from here thinks
about rape or whatever. It gives me strength.
Do you consider grrrl zines as an important part of a movement of sorts?
Do you think zines can effect meaningful social and political change?
>I think zines are important as a way to communicate
and as an inspiration to others, that way I think it can make a wider
difference in this society.
does the zine community mean to you?
>It has given me a lot of strength and I've
gotten new lovely friends thought that network.
What advice would you give others who want to start a zine or a distro?
>For one who wants to start a zine I have just
one advice: start writing! it's really nothing more to it. For future
distro owners: start with a small business, don't borrow too much money
from your self, let it grow slowly.
graphic circulated in the riot grrrl movement in the mid 1990s and
is still around! You can buy this batch at Stina's distro as well
as other great stuff...
are some of the zines you admire?
>Swedish zines like 'tigerskott i brallan'
and 'bleck' has inspired me a lot, also Marie's 'it's your fucking
body' have been a huge inspiration for me, it educated me and made
me realize a lot.
you please describe a little bit the grrrl zine community in your
you define yourself as a feminist?
don't think there is any riot grrrl community here really. I know
2 bands that call themselves riot grrrls, but that's it I think I
think Sweden is a bit too small and isolated from the rest of the
world to be able to build scenes like that.
are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life (as
>Now when it's hot and it's impossible to have
much clothes on I gotta say body images. I don't shave and I get negative
comments on that almost every day, it's hard to be strong when so many
think you're disgusting.
you active in the feminist movement?
>I think I am cuz of the work I do with my
zines and distro. I study gender issues a lot and talk a lot about it
with friends and others. I yell loud at demonstrations and all that.
So yes, definitely. I do my best!
do you think about feminism today? Do you see yourself as part of Third
Wave Feminism and what does it mean to you?
>I don't consider myself as part of any movement
or certain group.. I never feel like I belong to such. But I think the
feminism today does a damn good job, it's not easy to try to convince
people that this society is wrong when all you see is bare naked ladies
on every magazine cover and see films that only portray women like victims
and Barbie dolls.
role plays the Internet for you? Does it change your ideas of making
zines and doing/reading zines? Do you have any suggestions?
>The internet means a whole lot. I would never
sell as many zines if I didn't have a web site up and I wouldn't be
able to have such good contact with other zinesters and friends as I
do now. I've found some really good friends thanks to the internet,
so I'm grateful for it.
(her) riot distro
of images by (her) riot distro 2002