Trained as a historian, curiosity about punk and participation in the Riot Grrrl movement turned Teal Triggs into an avid fanzine collector. A researcher and educator, she currently teaches graphic design at the Royal College of Art, London, where she is Associate Dean in the School of Communication. As the author of several books on fanzines and an indefatigable communicator, she has become a touchstone in the study of feminist self-publishing.
Having acquired a vast knowledge of punk publications, Teal Triggs witnessed and participated in the underground feminist movement of the early nineties. Riot Grrrl emerged as a response by groups of women who were close to the spirit of punk but did not feel represented in the eminently male scene and decided to speak out and organise their own spaces and networks. And they did so by adopting punk modes of production while developing their own aesthetic and using zines as a means of spreading the feminist revolution.
In this podcast, Teal Triggs talks about the historical background of zines and their key role in generating communities outside of the mainstream, from community newsletters to dada publications by way of science-fiction, 1950s rock and roll, and activist zines. Triggs also looks at the relationship between technology and aesthetics, and discusses the Riot Grrrl movement and the language and visual universe that opened up as a result of the cross between music, DIY, activisim, femininity, and feminism in the self-publishing world. We consider as well the displacements, amplifications, and resignifications of zines as a result of the arrival of the internet and of collectionism, of their inclusion in archives and libraries and/or their transformation into artistic artefacts in the white cube.