arque, think, define, prove your points!
Be inspired and encouraged by Ladybomb distro
Interview with Riikka
by Elke Zobl
is a Finland based non-profit anarchist distro (distributor) of political
zines and ladymade diy projects, run by Riikka since 2000. Riikka also
does her own zine "Girl Conspiracy" and plays in a band called
"Dada Stunt Girl"! I emailed her and asked her a couple of questions.
Check out her wonderful distro and zine and order some!
you tell me first of all a little bit about yourself? How old are you,
where are you originally
from and where do you reside now?
name is Riikka, I am a finnish-italian-swedish-russian blooded girl
and I currently recide in Finland. I don't really like to talknabout
age because it doesn't matter to me at all and I don't want to be defined
by it -but my sunsign is an aquarius -I love astrology!
What do you do besides your zine and distro?
play guitar & sing in a band called Dada Stunt Girl. I also set
up gigs for lady fronted bands in Finland and I am starting up a new
anarcha feminist activist group. I also work at a candystore and try
to finish high school.
how long have you been running your zine (and zine distro) now? How
many issues of your zine did you put out until now? Are you the only
editor or is there a team?
do a zine called Girl Conspiracy (which is my third "real"
zine) with Stina from Karlstad, Sweden. We mostly interview various
lady musicians, label owners & talk about the problems in our music
just released the second issue about a few months ago (you can get it
from Ladybomb Distro). I also do various informative minizines and pamplets,
the last one was about the harms of disposable, corporate tampons and
.I started Ladybomb Distro in December 2000. I do most of the work alone
but my best friend / room mate Minna helps me out sometimes.
What made you decide to start the zine and zine distro? How did you
come up with the idea and the name?
I started Ladybomb Distro because;
*there wasn't any feminist zine distros (in finland) and i wanted to
start my own
*we need to create our own, new forms media that really speaks to us
*i am so fucking sick of the heterosexist, sexist, anorexic, racist
propagandist mainstream media
*i want to support lady made, diy political art
*i want to support & encourage all women to be active participants
in the dialogues happening in our society
*we need to create forums of art that base on support and encouragement,
not on competition and standarts of what "real art" is or
*i want to be truly revolutionary & radical and support all women,
not just a priviledged few
*i want you to be an active participant with this distro, not just a
*i want to inspire YOU to join us to fight againts the white supremacist
up with the name before I came up with the idea of the distro. I was
just walking around and though that the word & the idea of it word
started Girl Conspiracy because it just pissed us off so much how rock
n' roll women are basically ignored within the mainstream music scene
and because we didn't know any music magazines that would positively
cover female music and also women's problems & oppression within
the scene. So we decided to do it ourselves. The name came up after
a lot of thinking and we just couldn't think of a better one and didn't
want to arque and we both kinda liked this one.
What topics are most often discussed in the
zines you stock?
mostly distro zines with a political meets personal view, most the zines
are feminist focused but I also distro some anarchist publications (I
also hope that someday in the future I will get to spead some animal
liberation/ vegan stuff).
like zines that show that the "personal is political" isn't
just a cliched sentence but it is actually very true. Everything is
political. Every choice you make in your daily life is political, at
least to me.
do you hope to accomplish by establishing your zine and zine distro?
smash the white supremacist, racist, unloving capitalist patriarchy!
does zine making and distributing mean to you? What do you love about
zine making/distributing? What ís the most challenging aspect
of making/distributing zines?
mean a lot of work and a lot of fun! And that I am a part of something
bigger, something that challenges the barriers of this society and that
I am showing people that there is a viable option to the mainstream,
capitalist way of living. I feel like am a part of building a new, better
society or at least a cummunity.
was your first exposure to zines? How did you find out about them? What
have they come to mean to you?
first zine I ever read is Hella & Nyrkki, a finnish feminist comp
zine, after I started to get interested in feminism and riot grrrl.
really mean a lot to me. I feel like they (good zines) are intellectual
but yet easy to approach by a regular person. Many feminist books are
too tied to theory that most people can't really get anything out of
it, but most zines aren't and that is what I find amazing. And, as I
said, I like the personal view, so its easier for people to relate and
understant things, problems and issues. Plus zines are diy, normally
propagandist advertising free and cheap so available to many people.
Do you consider grrrl and lady zines as an
important part of a movement of sorts? Do you think zines can effect
meaningful social and political change?
personally don't really like the words "grrrl" and "riot
grrrl", I associate them within a movement that is or was a part
of the punk rock scene and I never felt I ever belonged / felt good
in punk...So if riot grrrl is a part of the punk scene, then it alienates
/excludes non-punk people and I don't want to be a part of that. I don't
really think that riot grrrl was ever well defined, to some girl it
means a way to dress, to some other feminism, to some girls playing
punk. Plus I find that riot grrrl really lacks true activism & feminism,
at least in Europe it just seems to be more music & internet oriented.
And the most important reason to be is that why should we / I as an
European girl tag myself with a word / movement that is over ten years
old and happened in the States, I think we need to create our own, new
movements and terms that are well defined instead of using a term that
is so old and that has been fucked with in the media. Sorry, I might
have gotten a bit off topic with this.
yes, I belive that zines are extremely important to various political
movements. You can connect, relate, share ideas, get important information
and most important, be inspired. Knowlegde is power.
does the zine community mean to you?
don't really see myself as a part the zine community, since I don't
really have many close friends associated within it or anything. But
I know "superficially" a lot of zinesters & distro owners,
most have been really kind & supporting to me and my work.
advice would you give others who want to start a zine or a distro?
zines; don't hurry, give everything of yourself to the issue you are
currently working on. Challenge, arque, think, define, prove your points.
like distros that are a bit picky with zines (since there is a lot of
shit too, hehe) and maybe have sort of a theme of what kind of zines
they want to distro. Also, if you aren't too rich, be prepared to be
a little low on money sometimes. And it takes time before your distro
starts growing but you will get more and more orders as your distro's
name starts growing.
are some of the zines you admire?
like really personal, really political or personal-political zines but
I feel like they have to have a gathered theme and have to make some
kind of a clever point, some perzines are awfully boring. I like a zine
that makes me think "oh I hadn't thought about that before"
or "what a clever point she or he is making" etc. Maybe something
that puts some of my ideas on paper cleverly. Some zines that I love
and admire are Quantify, External Text / Consider Yourself Kissed, Subject
to Change, Document One /Rockstar With Words, Red Scare, Hermana, Resist,
Channel Seven, a Renegade's Handbook to Love & Sabotage, Getting
Louder Everyday, etc.
you please describe a little bit the grrrl zine community in your country?
only kind of zines that I have seen in Finland are punk rock zines.
We have had two feminist zines, Hella & Nyrkki and Suffragetti but
I think both of them are passive (which I can totally understant since
Finnish people aren't very zine/ activist supportive or ready to participate).
So I guess the only "grrrl zines" in Finland are the ones
I or my friend Tukru [Kersa X, a personal zine] make.
you define yourself as a feminist?
consider myself as an eco-anarchafeminist. Or an ecologically focused
animal friendly queer anarcha feminist.
What are the most pressing issues you are confronted
with in daily life (as a woman/feminist)?
Oh.. I will try to keep this short. Beauty standarts, fat
phobia, pornography, sexism within the music industry, getting harrassed,
and the dirty sexualization of every single fucking thing. I am forgetting
Are you active in the feminist movement?
do you think about feminism today? Do you see yourself as part of Third
Wave Feminism and what does it mean to you?
consider myself as a "no-wave feminist", I am not really keen
on "the wave feminisms", I am just an anarchafeminist, hehe.
But I feel like there is certainly a new wave of these really intelligent,
smart, amazing women raising that are really critical and challenging
and bringing up new, important topics that the older feminists might
not have noticed.
role plays the Internet for you? Does it change your ideas of making
zines and doing/reading zines? What effect does it have on your zine
have a bit mixed up feelings for the internet. I would rather spend
my days outside with my friends or really doing something concrete and
important than spend my days on the net. However I am a bit netholic
and my distro would NO WAY be this popular without it. And I don't even
think that I would have no idea of what a zineis without it, I would
no way be on this point with my thinking and with my activism. I have
met most of my feminist friends through the net and really connected
for the first times of my life. The internet is such a wonderful opportunity
to people who have no friends in real life, for shy people or folks
who feel like they are totally different from the rest (like I felt),
it is sure that you can find people atleast a bit alike from the net.
I started reading zines I was already a technology / internet girl,
I was introduced to zines by the internet so I cannot really say that
it would change my idea of making, doing or reading zines. But I would
say that zines are much more important & interesting to me than
just words on screen, I hope that people will keep on doing zines instead
of just webpages. I will rather read a paper zine than a netpage. I
feel like it is a nice thing that at least in Finland it is possible
to use the internet for free almost anywhere so it isn't just the rich
ones who get to benefit from it. But I hope that people will make real
friends and real connections through the net and not get too hooked