For this assignment, I will be researching the Riot Grrrl subculture, founded in the early 1990s by musicians, activists and feminists in the USA. Although Riot Grrrl is most easily described by its associated music – all-girl punk bands such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobile – it also involves communities of women distributing zines, holding meetings, organising festivals, and working together to spread a feminist message. As a subculture, Riot Grrrl is focused on identity, particularly the identity of women in rock music.
I want to look at how Riot Grrrl subculture grew from its birthplace in Olympia, Washington to many locations across the US and around the world. I also want to examine, roughly twenty years on, if the subculture still exists, and if women still identify as “riot grrrls”. The internet appear to have played a huge role in spreading the ideas of Riot Grrrl, and allowing women from all over the world to get inspired and start their own bands, zines and festivals.
My research will look at primary sources (zines, video footage, reports) from the original Riot Grrrl era, as well as scholarly articles analysing the movement and its effects on society and music.