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On the radical potential of feminist punk fests.

by Faye Orlove
Smash it!!

Essential consent zines.

A retrospective of photos from previous fests.

The Boston punk fundraiser for BARCC's fifth year.
With Monika of Chicago's Black and Brown Punk Show Collective.

The Black and Brown Punk Show Collective is a Chicago-based group that exists as a way for people of color, queer and trans punx to network and keep the punk scene diverse and safe. Since 2010, they have been booking shows, dance parties, readings, festivals, fundraisers and more. "We envision a successful integrated punk scene that thrives on its diversity, autonomy and unique communities," the collective writes on their website. "We believe that both black and brown communities have a shared sense of struggle within the city, and we work to educate and unify both demographics." Monika is one member of the collective, who tomorrow will be helping lead a workshop at Smash it Dead Fest titled "Deconstructing Anti-Blackness". We spoke with Monika about the workshop, the importance of these discussions at punk festivals, and more.

Can you introduce yourself and explain how you got involved with Smash it Dead?

My name is Monika. I'm a founding member of the Black and Brown Punk Show Collective started here in Chicago in 2010 as an offshoot of Anarchist People of Color. We throw shows that promote safe spaces for queer and trans folks of color within the Chicago cultural space, that can range from punk to dance and more. We raise funds through a festival we have every year for grassroots organizations. We're coming out for the festival, one of the collective's co-founders Dante and I. We were asked to do the workshop because we did the same workshop at Fed Up Fest last year and it was well received. . . .

Smash it Dead Fest has grown a lot over the past five years. The fest started in 2010 and was the brainchild of Sadie Smith (Peeple Watchin', G.L.O.S.S) and some friends. In 2011 the fest became collectively organized and has grown exponentially since then. Smash it Dead Fest started as a way to raise money for the Boston Area Rape Crisis center and to raise awareness about supporting survivors and preventing sexual assault in punk and diy. Last year the fest raised $5,789 for BARCC. This year we hope to raise even more.

Every year the fest has grown in different ways as we as organizers and as a community address different issues. What started as a fest focused on supporting survivors and preventing sexual assault has grown to tackle even more issues like male privilege, racism, sexism and the like. As the fest continues annually we continue to ask ourselves important questions like how to make space
for a variety of different folks who represent a variety of different experiences. Mostly we've learned (and are still learning) how to listen.

There will be many opportunities for active listening this year at Smash it Dead Fest outside of listening and watching bands perform. There will be four workshops happening over the course of the weekend that will provide attendees with the opportunity to listen to new ideas in addition . . .

An interview with Sonam and Katie

We fvcking love Ursula. Ursula is a loud thrashy punk duo from Boston made of Sonam and Caity. They have a sick demo online that you should check out. URSULA is playing night one of Smash it Dead Fest tonight. We asked them some questions about their influences, their first practice, why they are moving to LA soon, and more. . . .

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