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Smash it Dead 2014
A compilation of artists playing the fest.

by Jen McMahon
In awe of Smash it Dead.

A round-up of essential consent zines.

A retrospective of photos from previous fests.

The punk fest fundraiser for BARCC turns four
Why safer space venues matter / by Support Boston

The desire to make shows safer for survivors was a huge part of why Support Boston was formed. Many of the folks in our collective have dealt with seeing their own abusers at shows in the past, or have even experienced that abuse and harassment at the very shows we attend. We wanted to examine the ways in which we could confront this type of behavior, regardless of the venue we are at. We are used to talking about why it matters to us on a personal level, but we think it’s equally important to share these ideas in writing, as well as at our . . .

An interview with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center / by Isis Madrid

For the fourth year, all of the proceeds from Smash It Dead Fest will benefit the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, a 41-year-old center providing free services and resources to survivors; the center is dedicated to healing, awareness, and social change. In advance of the festival, we spoke to Community Outreach Manager Meg Bossong about the services provided by BARCC, the importance of community activism, and what you can do in your everyday life to encourage mindfulness about the realities of rape culture and sexual . . .

RIYL inclusive feminist punk

Smash It Dead is an important fest for the local punk and DIY communities, but on a larger scale, it is also an integral part of a wide-spanning global community of punk musicians, writers, artists, and activists dedicated to opening up space for marginalized folks, and expanding the discourse about safer spaces and inclusion. Smash It Dead is just one of many weekend fests that will occur over the next year. Below, read up on three other upcoming festivals with similar goals: C.L.I.T. Fest . . .

SMASH IT DEAD is an annual weekend-long punk festival in Boston, collectively organized to raise funds for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. In the words of the organizing collective, the festival “aspires to use punk music, workshops, and discussion as means for spreading awareness about sexual assault.” Now in its fourth year, the fest has established a following within the national punk scene as an annual meeting place for feminist punks looking to further the conversations about rape culture, anti-oppressive politics, safer spaces, and inclusion within the punk community.

The “rape culture” conversation has evolved quite a bit since the festival started in 2011, arguably shifting from strictly a feminist concern to one of major mainstream consciousness. Yet still, when we see a 2014 high school newspaper in Wisconsin being censored by administrations for acknowledging the harmfulness of rape jokes (to name just one example), the reality of rape culture still seems like an epidemic that is
stitched into the fabric of our world. Smash It Dead is the sort of space that challenges attendees to smash that culture when they see it, encouraging a direct-action approach to sexual violence education amongst scenes and friends. Radical festivals like Smash It Dead take these difficult conversations and break them down them into concepts we can address in our every day lives, with workshops on topics like consent, self-defense, male privilege, and supporting trauma survivors. After the 2012 festival, the . . .

An interview with Victoria Ruiz / by Katie Alice Greer

When I first dreamt up this FAN CLUB column, I originally thought I would ideally use this space to talk to interesting friends and acquaintances about their fandom. But FAN CLUB is still new, dear readers! And for the time being, I will still often use it to explore my own personal fandom, because that's where my most immediate curiosity lies. I don’t know if anything I write here will do any justice to Victoria Ruiz, front person and frequent lyricist for two different Providence bands: Downtown Boys and Malportado Kids. She's a truly powerful and spellbinding performer. I can honestly say I've never really seen anything or anyone like her on stage. What's perhaps even more astounding to me is the kind of good vibes Victoria always radiates offstage as well, as an artist, activist, community organizer, and general inspiration. We're pretty good friends and it's still a mystery to me where she's harvesting this relentless energy from. In any case, we had a chance to speak via email about mass incarceration, performance aesthetic, immigration reform, and the cosmology of interpersonal relationships. 

Katie: First, tell me who you are and where you live. And tell me about your job! Your job is very interesting to me!

Victoria: My name is Victoria Marie Ruiz and I live in Providence, Rhode Island. I am originally from San Jose, California. I moved out to the Beast Coast for school in New York. I do not have any family on the East Coast, but have made a lot of friends that have created a great magnetic field of art, struggle, and community.

I was raised by my mom and my grandma in a Mexican American household in California. Sometimes I feel like my age tells so little about me because I jumped around different orbitals of being a geeky math and science poster child for affirmative action programs to being a punk singer and propagandist. It . . .

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