When Ruth PO! and I started out on our year long punkgirldiaries project nearly a year ago on January 1st 2018, we didn’t really know where we were going, what we were doing, or how it would pan out. We just knew that we wanted to do something to explore, document and express what Punk meant to us. As small town teenage girls in the late 1970s we watched it all unfold, and the effect it had on us then and continues to have on us now, is still immense. Personally, I gave it until February before it either got too much or we’d run out of ideas, but then, once we’d started exploring, the ideas just snowballed, along with our enthusiasm. Since then, punkgirldiaries has taken on a life of its own, we’ve worked, skipped mealtimes and scheduled the rest of our sorry lives around it for the past 12 months, and so far have written and published 352 posts, which have had over 50,000 views since January 1st 2018. Everything below is just the tip, of the tip of what is now, the giant, safety-pinned punk girl iceberg…
We have posted some fairly straightforward bio pieces on some of the most admired or influential punk girls, but usually with our own take on their story; women like Poly Styrene, Siouxsie Sioux, and the very enigmatic Nora Forster. We’ve also dedicated many posts to the less well known, but to us just as influential and interesting; women like Lesley Woods of the Au Pairs, Crass artist Gee Vaucher and DJ Annie Nightingale to name just three – and on the flipside we’ve also taken a swipe at post punk imposters like Annie Lennox. In nearly all of these stories, a bigger picture starts to emerge and one post starts to link to another. So much for the theoretical February cut off point, Punkgirldiaries has become something of an obsession!
We’ve also looked at our pre-punk experiences, and wondered how they might have started to seed the groudwork for what was to come, our Preparation for Punk series includes looks at Suzi Quatro, Junior Choice, and even 1970s Feminism.
So what have we learnt during the past 12 months? What fun punkgirl facts can we now dine out on? My personal favourites start with the miles of very entertaining text messages Ruth and I have exchanged over the course of the past year, and favourite blog posts include Ruth’s account of a school theatre trip to see Joy Division, finding out that Lene Zavaroni performed a Dolly Mixture song on the Basil Brush Show, and spending a very funny afternoon with the legendary Unf*ckables.
What’s in store for the punkgirls in 2019?…hmmm, we’ll probably have to text each other about that and get back to you!