Grrrl Europe: Establishing
a DIY Feminist Movement in Europe
Being from Austria, I have followed the growth of Riot Grrrl Europe with great interest. I think it's amazing that there is a united revolution grrrl style action also going on in Europe! I am happy that Hilde had time to answer all my questions! Riot Grrrl Europe zine issue #1 covers a London Riot Grrrl Picnic review, a Riot Grrrl Netherlands meeting review, a Poland scene report, a Le Tigre interview, an article about porn, survey questions on riot grrrl in Europe and European zine and distro addresses. Itis available at Finger Bang Distro. And the RGE Zine #2 will be out soon! And this issue is going to be all about action, about protesting and demonstrating, about fighting for a cause and inspiring others by writing about it.
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? |
My name is Hilde, and I live in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. I grew up in a little village next to Rotterdam, and like many young teenagers, I wanted to move to "the big city". At age 17, I did. I'm 23 now, and I still live there, happily ever after, together with my boyfriend.
What do you do besides your zine?
In my daily life I'm a librarian. Besides running the library collection, I also run workshops and introduction visits for high school students and immigrants in the library. My biggest passion is my band, Lady!Die. We're an all-girl screamcore trio and we make loud, aggressive music with socially aware lyrics. Mostly. My girls and my band are everything to me. I'm also thinking about creating a little distro to take along with me on gigs. It's a great way to promote grrrl zines, music and other projects. There isn't any girl oriented distro in ths country! This definitely needs change, but I don't have any experiences in setting up a distro. I also run little projects, like "women take back the streets" marches and stuff like that. Last year I was involved in organising Ladyfest Amsterdam too.
For how long have you been running your zine now? How many issues did you put out until now? Are you the only editor or is there a team?
I think Karo and I (Karo is the RGE webmistress, she maintains our website) decided to make the first issue somewhere in '99? I don't remember exactly. I think it came out somewhere in 2000, so yeah, #1 is pretty old. Karo and I wrote most of the articels, though we did get some great contributions like the Le Tigre interview from the girls from Pam Savage zine. I did the whole lay-out on my computer, while Karo looked around for fonts and images. We both wrote articles and we both promoted our zine for contribution. We actually decided not to make a #2, for several reasons, until Stina (Her Riot Distro) offered to make #2 for us. That's happening as we speak. RGE #2 is going to be an Action Issue.
made you decide to start this project? How did you come up with the idea and the
Let's start from the beginning, shall we? When I was 17, my dad bought a computer. Yes, I wasn't living at home anymore, but I did visit my parents on a regular basis....mostly to have dinner :-) Anyway, he also had an internet subscription, and back in '97, NO ONE
had internet. Seriously. I was all excited about it, and people who now have their own internet companies or who are amazing website designers, told me to shut up about that damn internet back then. Very funy. Anyways... I was into punk and activism, and immediately understood what a great opportunity this was to create an extensive network. So, while surfing around, trying to find info on my fave bands....I stumbled on this amazing thing called riot grrrl. I guess I don't have to explain to all you riot grrrls out there how that felt...it felt to right...so GOOD....you know? But again, it was '97, and the first riot grrrl wave in the states was over and people were already having "riot grrrl is dead/ not dead" discussions. AND I HAD MISSED OUT ON ALL OF IT, GODDAMNIT!!! Still, my gut instinct told me there had to be grrrls out there, not only in the US, but in Europe too. After spending some more time on the internet I ran into some grrrls situated in Holland, which was so exciting!, like Manuela (Eye-Scream) and later on Tanja (Bunnies on Strike) and Suzanne (Dutch grrrl band website). I wanted to create a space for European grrrls to get together and I had been playing around with the term "riot grrrl europe" in my head for some time. Yes, I know, not very original, but at least it would speak to all those grrrls out there. For sure. Not long after, I created the riot grrrl europe mailinglist and oh joy! So many people joined! SO many people mailed me and told me that they had been feeling so alone for such a long time, and then, all of a sudden a place for european riot grrrls had been created! Which after all, was not a hard thing to do. I just logged onto Yahoo groups, and created that list. Around that time I also wanted to make a website aka on-line information center for grrrls in Europe. But I'm an HTML disaster, and the Goddess was so kind to send me Karo, the amazing, brilliant, kick-ass, ever active and creating Karo! Hehe. Together we created the website. This way, we reached many many grrrls, and I shall be so arrogant to say that the RGE mailinglist has been a cradle for many grrrl events taking place around Europe right now. I know that many people met on that list and then moved on. Wonderful, isn't it? But with a website and a mailinglist you don't reach everyone on the European continent. Not everyone is interested in the internet, AND, not everyone has access to an computer. Think of remote areas (cause most city people can get access to everything) in countries like Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, former Yugoslavia, Spain.....these people have to be reached too! Karo and I decided that a paper zine would be the only way to "spread tha word" and thus, the RGE zine was born...
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do you hope to accomplish by establishing your zine?
What was your first exposure to zines? How did you find out about them? What have they come to mean to you?
I don't even remember when I first read a zine. I guess through distro tables at punk concerts....I don't know really. I used to write little stories when I was 8 and staple
them together in a booklet and give them to my family and friends. Didn't realize they were zines though :-)
you please describe a little bit the grrrl zine community in your country?
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What do you think about feminism today? Do you see yourself as part of "Third Wave Feminism" and what does it mean to you?
No, to be honest I don't see myself as "part of...". But, if you want me to define what this age of feminism means to me, than I'd say that sexual liberation should be a very very important part of what you call Third Wave Feminism. I think that if women realize the existence of the sexual powers they really have, deep within, that womanhood will finally bloom. And not a second earlier.
role plays the Internet for you? Does it change your ideas of making zines and
you have any suggestions? Something you want to add?