To celebrate the release of “The Riot Grrrl Collection,” a new book from The Feminist Press and New York University’s Fales Library, Henry visited Kathleen Hanna, front woman for Bikini Kill and leading voice from the riot grrrl movement, to film her (“Wait! I have to get some lipstick!” she says before we roll) reading the manifesto she wrote when she was 21. Now, at 44, some of the words from the Riot Grrrl Manifesto make her smile, or cringe slightly, as she revisits phrasing and memories from when the lines were fresh. But at other moments, Hanna’s delivery is full force, because much of what the manifesto declares still needs to be said aloud, and often. Hanna has called riot grrrl the gateway drug for feminism, and she still gets letters from teenage feminists who feel ownership of the movement and the urgency of its message. Here, she sits down at home to perform the piece that is at the core of the riot grrrl archives, the language of which spurred DIY activism in the form of zines and pamphlets, and punk music inspiring grrrls to action.
Be sure to check out VFiles exclusive Bikini Kill capsule collection, available Thursday June 6.
Filmed in collaboration with Bicephaly Pictures
Video Editor: Ani Simon-Kennedy; Thanks to: Erin Greenwell, Cailin Yatsko