Riot Grrrl Census
Dec. 2012 – Present
A public, online survey that tracks the lasting impact of the punk feminist movement Riot Grrrl and provides an expanded oral history. It includes over one hundred heartfelt responses from people of various backgrounds, ages, genders, and identities, with recent entries from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Wales, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand.
If Riot Grrrl has had an influence on your life, please add your voice to this brief survey.
Two Web-based elements further strengthen the overall curatorial approach [of the Alien She exhibition]: The Riot Grrrl Census and Riot Grrrl Chapters Map are open-source archives that chart the movement’s temporal and geographic evolution and expansion. It’s a new DIY feminism for the digital age.
– Chelsea Haines, “Critics’ Pick: Alien She,” Jan. 14, 2014
The connection to the present day is fundamental to the concept of [the exhibition] Alien She, which documents a history as it’s being lived. If you have a great deal of time on your hands, head to the Riot Grrrl Census (riotgrrrlcensus.tumblr.com) to read testimonial after testimonial. You’ll find plenty of people waxing nostalgic about the zine they made at age 17 in the early ’90s, but you’ll also find people talking about how riot grrrl’s influence continues to manifest itself in their lives, and younger responders who are just discovering and becoming inspired by the movement. The huge banner that hangs on the 511 Gallery’s wall emblazoned with one of the riot grrrl manifestos still resonates, and the broader aim of the exhibit is to track the continuation of feminist activism in the work of seven female artists in the prime of their careers.
– Marjorie Skinner, “Grrrl in Motion: Alien She,” Sept. 9, 2015
Alien She curators Astria Suparak, former director of the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, and Ceci Moss, assistant curator of visual arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, also launched two research projects that accompany the exhibition. Each leverages technology that didn’t exist at the movement’s birth to provide a more comprehensive look at how Riot Grrrl continues to empower women today…
The other interactive project Suparak and Moss created in conjunction with the exhibition is a continuously evolving census surveying how the women of Riot Grrrl define the movement. Suparak sees it as “a way to present and collect an oral record of the movement, the many lives it has changed, and its continued effects.” So far, the census has gathered about 100 entries, mostly from English-speaking countries.