Bikini Kill to Pussy Riot: Girl Power

by Chris Murray on November 19, 2012

Bikini Kill, 1992. Copyright © Pat Graham. All Rights Reserved.

The Washington Post published a feature story today by Chris Richards on Bikini Kill and the 20th anniversary of their debut EP which is being reissued tomorrow, November 20th. The Back Room recently posted about Bikini Kill being represented in the exhibition Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power, which is currently at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. In the story Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye, speaking of Bikini Kill, said that when they performed at D.C. Space in Washington the band’s “charisma was pretty undeniable”. Washington D.C. musician Ian Svenonius said that “They were the thing that a lot of people were waiting for, even if they didn’t know they were waiting for it”.

It was of interest that Chris Richards noted that Bikini Kill was an inspiration to the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot who are currently jailed in Russia on charges of so called “hooliganism”.

Copyright © Susie J. Horgan. All Rights Reserved. Ian MacKaye photographed by Susie J. Horgan. Featured in her exhibition at Govinda Gallery in 2006, Punk Love.

Copyright © Glen Friedman. All Rights Reserved. Here is a photo of Ian Svenonius with his band The Makeup taken by Glen Friedman, who exhibited Fuck You All at Govinda Gallery in 2000.

The 20th anniversary reissue of Bikini Kills deput EP is available through Dischord Records.

And when Bikini Kill crash-landed in D.C.’s activist-friendly punk scene after a sleepless tour of towns that had never heard rock songs about rape, domestic violence, empowerment and equality, they found a new home. ‘The D.C. scene was unapologetically political,’ bassist Kathi Wilcox says. ‘Everyone was like, ‘We understand your band perfectly.’ ”

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