The Knife are a Swedish band made up of siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson, who also performs solo as Fever Ray, and Olof Dreijer. As a group the Knife seem to operate in an interesting space. I would venture to say their more electro-pop style of music has situated them within particular audiences. While for some people they are well known and maybe even passe after their nod from Pitchfork, they are simultaneously unheard of by a number of my friends who are extremely music-savy. Their most popular and sampled song in the U.S. is “Heartbeats” though I dare you not to smile and dance to “We Share Our Mother’s Health”…
So why am I writing about the Knife? While not frequently referenced in feminist and queer circles, the Knife is an explicitly political and feminist group.
When the duo won a Swedish Grammy in 2003 they sent two Guerrilla Girls in their place as a protest of the patriarchal music industry. Though they rarely make public appearances, when Karin Dreijer Andersson emerged at a Swedish music award program last year she wore a red veil (keep in mind pre-Gaga) and melted face mask, intentionally subverting and challenging ideas of the female pop star.
While meanings are subjective and the work of the Knife is particularly cryptic, the content of their music addresses issues of gender and social inequalities. More subtle than the NSFW “Hangin’ Out,” my favorite song of theirs entitled ‘Neverland’ critiques issues of gender and class in the music industry: “I’m doing it for dollars and for a fancy man I’ve got a lot of money that burns in my hand”
Hoax zine has extended their call for submissions for issue number five, BUT THIS IS THE LAST CALL! I’m excited about this issue because it’s about a favorite topic of mine, feminist community.
the topic of #5 will be FEMINISM & COMMUNITY
potential ideas for material include, but are not limited to:
elitism (identity politics & border policing & hierarchies within communities)
cliques & exclusivities
success & personal stories
the environment (food politics & urban gardening & eco-feminism & women in farming/farm lands)
accessibility (language & locations (urban vs rural) & academia & pretention & childcare)
work/ production (economics & capitalism)
social movements (then vs now – legacy of the 60s)
assimilation vs liberation (when, if, and how to assimilate)
the self (self-care & where the self ends and community begins)
what makes a community (how does one feel included? & how do we include others & what it means to find a “home” (limits of family))
networking (action & teamwork & friendship)
“diversity” (do we need varieties of people in a community? & tolerance vs acceptance (cultural relativity))
space (physical/ emotional)
legislation (policy & community organizing)
love (hate & anger)
we also totally need lots of artwork (photos, collages, illustrations, drawings, paintings, comics, etc.)! particularly for background designs and things that compliment the written material.
Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month – or if you take a page out of SAFER’s book it is Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month – there are plenty of events, gatherings and benefits to raise awareness, honor survivors and engage in discussions around prevention. One quick way to take action is to support New Yorkers United Against Sexual Violence, by signing this petition to ask the New York City Council to reinstate funding for anti-sexual violence programming for the 2012 budget. (Much thanks to fellow For the Birds member, Lauren Denitzio, for designing the lovely logo!)
Here is just a sample of what is on tap this week:
Brooklyn SAYSO (Sexual Assault Yearly Speakout) on April 13th at Borough Hall. The event starts at 3pm with an information fair and speak out, followed by the Voice Out from 6 – 7. The event will include numerous activities such as yoga, music, stories, and art that celebrate healing and recovery from sexual violence.
Then head on over to…
Hey Shorty! Book Launch: On April 13th at 7PM, Joanne N. Smith, Mandy Van Deven, and Meghan Huppuch (of Girls for Gender Equity) will be at Bluestockings (172 Allen Street, Manhattan) speaking about Hey, Shorty!: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets. The book narrates the work of teen women of color at Girls for Gender Equity who have been organizing in their communities to end gender-based violence against girls, women, and LGBTQ folks in NYC. The authors and youth organizers will talk about how street harassment and sexual harassment in schools is connected, and what strategies youth and adult allies can use to fight back.
And the next day…
Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) hosts the Take Back the Bar Benefit at the Trinity Pub (229 E 84th St, Manhattan) from 6 – 9pm. SAFER is challenging campus communities to recognize this SAAM as Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month and pledge to change how their campus prevents and responds to sexual violence. Will you take the Pledge? http://www.safercampus.org/saam
If you know of other events or ways to become involved in anti-violence work please post in the comments.
From April 4th-18th, NYFA Gallery in Brooklyn will exhibit A Feminist Tea Party, a collaborative series by Caitlin Rueter and Suzanne Stroebe. The artists will be in the space each day this week from from 12noon- 5pm and have scheduled daily talks and presentations by special guests!
A Feminist Tea Party
The NYFA Gallery
New York Foundation for the Arts
20 Jay Street
12noon until 5pm daily
Each day an invited co-host or team of co-hosts will lead an event or discussion on a more directed topic:
Monday April 11, 2-4pm
“Feminist Swag: Bitches and Hoes in contemporary Rap and Hip Hop” with Jenn Dierdorf
Tuesday April 12, 2-4pm
“Pop Music and Feminism” with damali abrams
Wednesday April 13, 4:30-6pm
“Male / Female (Check One) A discussion of how our gender defines (and/or doesn’t) our everyday life” with Jennifer Dalton and William Powhida
Thursday April 14, 2-4pm
“Activism in Performance: Representing Women” with Jaimianne Amicucci, Autumn Horne and Bonnie MacAllister
Friday April 15, 2-4pm
“Sexual Relations/Violence on Campus” with Susan Ball
“Radical Sex (or Fucking for the Revolution)” brought to you by Fuckin’ (A)
Sat 7:45pm-9:15pm (assembly hall)
In the anarchist tradition of resource sharing and co-education, Fuckin’ (A) (your friendly local radical feminist sex positivity collective) invites you to participate in a workshop on the personal, social, and political implications of sex positivity, good communication, informed consent, safer sex practices, and some juicy bits about bodies and fucking. Let’s educate our comrades and friends about how consensual, communicative, radical sex strengthens our sense of community safety and solidarity while expanding our active resistance against contemporary Capitalist society’s systemic oppression!
So You Want To Start A Feminist Collective: A Flight Plan For Newly-Hatching Flocks
For the Birds’ first zine! Encouraging other people to start their own collectives and projects, For the Birds answers questions about how we started and how we continue to operate as a group. We address problems we’ve faced, how we’ve negotiated those issues, the vital importance of communication, and more. The zine is both about our own collective process and a guide to starting similar projects in your own community. It’s our way of sharing the knowledge we’ve gained together.