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The visual aspects of Riot Grrrl 1989-1995
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis considers the visual aspects of the Riot grrrl movement in the United States in the early 1990s, with focus on DIY media.

Riot grrrl, a subculture of activism, music, writing and visual art, was formed by and around a group of friends in Olympia, WA and in Washington D.C. simultaneously around 1990. The movement initiated from a unified reaction against several factors. The self labeled riot grrrls reacted against the extent to which men/boys by far outnumbered women/girls within the punk scene that they were part of. They also reacted to general machismo attitudes in society in general as well as several contemporary high profile court cases in America concerning feminist issues. They arranged political awakening meetings, wrote, played and performed music, produced zines, flyers and posters, all according to the traditionally punk DIY (do it yourself) principle. These young women took charge of and controlled all of their own production and ways of expression. The visual culture of this movement is hard to define due to the fleeting nature of its purpose, namely a conscious lack of copyright and with the insistance for percievers to interpret and adapt images and texts freely to make them their own.

This research has been strictly limited to the first few years of Riot grrrl and the production of a set group of individuals. With the recently initiated Riot Grrrl Collection at Fales Library & Special Collections at New York University as primary source, 31 image examples have been analysed to establish technique, aethetics and visual references. Together they offer ways to understand this visual culture. This project attempts to approach the imagery alone as carrier of significant meaning for a movement that worked towards social and cultural change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 93 p.
Keyword [en]
Riot grrrl, visual culture, punk aesthetics, visual clashes, DIY
National Category
Art History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265088OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-265088DiVA: diva2:862392
Presentation
2015-09-29, 10:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Examiners
Note

The version of the thesis that is available on the Diva portal does not contain any images because of copyright reasons.

Available from: 2017-11-02 Created: 2015-10-21 Last updated: 2017-11-02Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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