Five ways to celebrate riot grrrls and rebels this May

Posted at 1:30 pm, May 8, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment

It’s hard out here, for a bitch – we hear you Lily. On May 5, Lily Allen was officially back, and ‘Sheezus’ hit shelves. It’s being praised by some as a ten-track rebellious feminist mantra for the modern day, but whether or not you’re a fan, you can take a side swipe at the patriarchy at our picks of events that celebrate rebels and feminists in the coming weeks…

The Punk Singer Q&A
Lily might have the pop star kudos but outspoken Kathleen Hanna (former lead singer of punk four-piece Bikini Kill and electro-grunge band Le Tigre) called out her critics and quickly became a icon of the riot grrrl scene. She fell silent in 2005, but after nine years out of the limelight and a life-threatening illness, Hanna’s rallying cry is every bit as confrontational as ever in ‘The Punk Singer’, a tribute to Hanna’s unwavering commitment to the feminist movement. BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne joins Kathleen Hanna in conversation for a post-film Q&A. After 20 years of disquiet we’re hoping Hanna’s roar will be louder than ever. May 13, Curzon Soho, 6.30pm; May 14, ICA Cinema, 6.45pm . £14.50 adv; £12 (£10 concs).

London Rebels, Their Riots and Revolutions
The capital is awash with a darker and less obvious history far removed from the high-rises of the modern cityscape. Think anarchy, revolution and riots. This two-hour walking tour explores the history of unrest that played out on the now tourist-laden central London streets from Boudicca’s tirades to the landmark rallies of the Suffragettes. Thursday May 8. 7pm. £9.

Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else!
In 2013 Adrienne Truscott’s Foster’s Panel Prize-winning political, satirical and experimental solo show got the Fringe set talking. Now she’s taking over Soho Theatre for a 19-date run of her acclaimed part-stand-up, part-performance and part lecture. Rape culture apologists Todd Aiken and Daniel Tosh don’t escape Truscott’s logical and belly achingly funny social commentary on laws surrounding date rape and the controversial ‘what were you wearing’ argument. Truscott is fearless in her commentary on the prevalence of rape joke culture, it’s set to pop music, and oh yeah, she’s starkers from the waist down and ankles up. May 12-19, 9.30pm. Soho Theatre, 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE. £10-£17.50. 

‘Sally Heathcote, Suffragette’ Signing
In the 1990s graphic novels were at the helm of the riot grrrl movement, and have provided a medium for gender commentary that’s prolific today. ‘Sally Heathcote, Suffragette’ is a beautifully illustrated but cruelly insightful chronicle of the loyalty, courage and feminist militancy ingrained in the campaign for suffrage including the rallies on the streets and debilitating hunger strikes. Mary and Bryan Talbot and illustrator Kate Charlesworth will be signing copies of ‘Sally Heathcote, Suffragette’ at Gosh! Comics. The Talbot’s last work, ‘Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes’ was the first ever comic work to scoop the Costa Book Award, and their latest release, the emotive and sometimes harrowing story of the fight for the female vote against a vivid backdrop of Edwardian Britain, has already won the acclaim of many critics. May 17, 2-3pm. Gosh! Comics, 1 Berwick Street, W1F 0DR. Free. 

The London Radical Bookfair & Alternative Press Takeover
This weekend, the Bishopsgate Institute will be throwing open its doors to London-based art collective Alternative Press and The London Radical Bookfair. Expect a host of DIY zines and self published titles from the community of radical booksellers, artists, illustrators and writers. The exhibition, set out over three floors, is completely independent and spurns corporate sponsorship. Also exhibiting will be the Bread and Roses book prize, an award given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers to draw attention to political non-fiction books they believe have been overlooked. As well as running workshops on self-publishing and distribution, the Alternative Press Takeover will be sharing its DIY skills on everything from radical journalism, narrative illustration to embroidery. May 10. Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, EC2M 4QH. Free.

Alexandra Gerrity

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