Subcultural #HERStory matters.

Subcultural #HERStory matters. I thought I’d share just a slice of the #graffitigrrl herstory I share in my book for Women’s History Month.

The first all-grrl graffiti crew in the US was called “Ladies of the Arts,” started by Lady PInk around 1980 in NYC. About a decade later, ClawMoney and Miss17 took the scene as PMS.

The first international all-grrl graffiti crew was founded in 2003, the Stick Up Girlz Crew hailed from #NewZealand, #Spain, #Portugal, #Japan,
and #Australia. Members were Fluro, Oche, Lady Diva, Sax, Eire Gata, Rafi, Shiro, and Spice.

Other all-grrl crews include: Altona Female Crew of Germany (1997), Bandit Queenz of Australia (1999), Crazis Crew of Chile (2000), Girls on Top of England (2000), Bitches in Control of the Netherlands (2003), and Transgressão Para Mulheres of Brazil in 2004

In 2005, an unknown #graffitigrrl launched the now defunct but at the time wildly popular website GraffGirlz.com, the first website by grrlz for grrlz and about grrlz.

Also in 2005, Foxy Lady of the Netherlands launched the ezine “Catfight,” which she described as “filled head to toe with the meanest cleanest female graff and streetworks that we could get our hands on.”

In 2008, Joske of Australia launched the first Ladie Killerz Paint Jam and it still annually!

Also in 2008, a graffiti grrl magazine hit the scene called “Chicks on Powertrips” out of Australia. These grrlz are the ones who gave me my favorite sticker AND inspired my book’s dedication.

In 2016, Sany of the Puff Crew in the Czech Republic premiered the
first #documentary film exclusively about #graffitigrrlz in the film festival
circuit: “Girl Power” (http://www.girlpowermovie.com/EN) You can watch the trailer here.

Also in 2016, @GraffitiHerstory took to Instagram and you should follow them! The first post was a picture of oldschool #graffitigrrl Charmin65 of the Ex Vandals!

There is SO MUCH MORE #herstory in my book, Graffiti Grrlz: performing Feminism in the Hip Hop Diaspora (@NYUpress 2018) and you can take advantage of the #WomensHistoryMonth discount code they are running! “WMN19-FM” will get you 35% off! https://nyupress.org/books/9781479895939

“Graffiti Grrlz” Book Reading/Signing at Bluestockings 9/14 7PM

On September 14th at 7 PM at Bluestockings, Dr. Jessica Pabón-Colón will join NYC-based graffiti writer Claw Money to discuss Pabón-Colón‘s new book, Graffiti Grrlz: Performing Feminism in the Hip-Hop Diaspora (NYU Press 2018).

Graffiti Grrlz is the first significant interrogation into the gender politics of the art form and culture of graffiti. Pabón-Colón, an interdisciplinary Latina feminist performance studies scholar, interviewed over 100 women artists in 23 countries to make a compelling case that graffiti subculture is a place where feminists come into their own.

Throughout Graffiti Grrlz, the author convincingly advances both feminism and graffiti as positive and vital social and political forces. Pabón-Colón’s work is a rich tribute to the grrls whose voices are too often silenced and a gift to all of us who love graffiti, perhaps the most significant art movement of our time.

—StreetArt NYC

Graffiti Grrlz will change the way we think about women’s involvement in Hip Hop culture and the way we think about feminist movements. Graffiti Grrlz gives us a part of the story we didn’t know we were waiting for and we didn’t know how much we needed. Powerful stuff, the prose takes shape like a fly graffiti backdrop and paints a picture that perfectly captures the work these women put in. Graffiti Grrlz is groundbreaking and game-changing scholarship that answers the question, where my grrlz at, with a powerful and provocative right here. This is a must read for anyone interested in Hip Hop Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies.

—Gwendolyn D. Pough, Author of Check It While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip-Hop Culture, and the Public Sphere

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Why I use Digital Pedagogies: a not-quite manifesto on teaching in the age of digital feminist movement.

I was invited to speak about my digital pedagogies on a roundtable at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s Performance Studies pre-conference on “Radical Pedagogy: In and Beyond the Classroom.” We had a great time and a really productive discussion (especially in relation to privacy and safety) that you can witness partially on the #ATHEActIV Twitter hashtag. In the spirit of sharing, I wanted to post part of what I spoke about here, mostly unedited. I hope you enjoy and mostly I hope you join me in engaging students online.


I don’t necessarily consider myself a scholar of digital pedagogy (though my WGSS colleagues refer to me as “digital girl”). I’m more of a practitioner by curiosity and necessity who tries things out, sometimes fails, and sometimes finds something productive. But Gywnn, [the session organizer] gave me a prompt—that my part “could be a kind of manifesto”—that allowed me to write about my practices in my most favorite thinking/writing form: bullet points.

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Before I get to my not-quite manifesto on why I use digital pedagogies, I want to provide some context in the form of three quotes:

“A new wave of feminism is here, and its most powerful weapon is the hashtag.” —Nisha Chittal, How Social Media is Changing the Feminist Movement

“If education is meant to help students learn life skills, and if feminist education is geared toward combating injustice and exploitation, and if the ability to use social media well is becoming an important life skill and feminist skill […], then social media literacy should be more explicitly taught in the feminist classroom.”—Tracy Hawkins, Can You Tweet That? (2016: 154-55)

“Technologies are the master’s tools and yet they will never be just that, any more than [we] are the master’s tool.” —la paperson, A Third University Is Possible (2017:21).

For better or for worse, feminist ideologies, representations, and actions are now widely circulated online and my job is to prepare students to be leaders of our collective feminist future. I firmly believe that we must train our students to wield the tools in the digital sphere as weapons for revolutionary decolonial social justice projects. Thus,  I use digital pedagogies:

  • to expand the personal is the political is the pedagogical into the digital
  • to deconstruct “ivory tower” disciplinary ideas about epistemologies—who owns them, how they’re produced, where they belong, and what we can do with them
  • to transmit experience and understanding beyond the walls of the classroom to a general public
  • to train my students in social media literacy skills so they can be public intellectuals translating academese to a non-academic reader/listener/spectator
  • to ensure my students engage the world outside of their world
  • to encourage creativity in the process of knowledge production, comprehension, and analysis
  • to give students the tools they need to articulate their critical feminist position better in conversation
  • to build the online community of radical queer anti-racist feminists who challenge mainstream white feminist rhetoric
  • to challenge my students to use digital technologies for social justice and selfies

On Women and Deviance

IMG_3770.jpgLast Friday I had the great pleasure of appearing on the local news station Radio Kingston with Hillary Harvey (host of the program The Source) and Allison McKim (my colleague who teaches at Bard College). In this segment, we talk about “women and deviance” in relation to #policing #mothers #breastfeeding #graffiti #recovery #agency #power #decency #mentalhealth #institutions #respectability all in about 35 minutes!

 

I would love to have this transcribed! One day…

 

My First Book Review!

I love all these milestones!

MY FIRST BOOK REVIEW IS HERE! Penned by Chi Chi of Scratched Vinyl, a Hip Hop Journalism blog.

“While this is an academic text that requires Pabon-Colon to break down and relay ideas about feminism, community, and art, she manages to do so in a way that is easy to understand…While there has been some attempts over the years to document graffiti in general, there hasn’t been any significant interrogation into the gender politics of the art form or culture until now.” Check it out here!

A Collective Response to Racism in Academia

A collective of women, gender non-binary, and Indigenous faculty of color across institutions and disciplines wrote a response to the recent Chronicle of Higher Education survey on racism in academia.

Here is the link to our letter.

View at Medium.com

We ask that if you are on twitter, please share your thoughts/retweet/etc and tag Chronicle editors @mgriley @lmcmillen @ssmallwd using the hashtags #RacismInAcademia and
#AcademiaSoWhite

Discount Code for Graffiti Grrlz!

An inside look at women graffiti artists around the world

Since the dawn of Hip Hop graffiti writing on the streets of Philadelphia and New York City in the late 1960s, writers have anonymously inscribed their tag names on trains, buildings, and bridges. Passersby are left to imagine who the author might be, and, despite the artists’ anonymity, graffiti subculture is seen as a “boys club,” where the presence of the graffiti girl is almost unimaginable. In Graffiti Grrlz, Jessica Nydia Pabón-Colón interrupts this stereotype and introduces us to the world of women graffiti artists.

Drawing on the lives of over 100 women in 23 countries, Pabón-Colón argues that graffiti art is an unrecognized but crucial space for the performance of feminism. She demonstrates how it builds communities of artists, reconceptualizes the Hip Hop masculinity of these spaces, and rejects notions of “girl power.” Graffiti Grrlz also unpacks the digital side of Hip Hop graffiti subculture and considers how it widens the presence of the woman graffiti artist and broadens her networks, which leads to the formation of all-girl graffiti crews or the organization of all-girl painting sessions.

A rich and engaging look at women artists in a male-dominated subculture, Graffiti Grrlz reconsiders the intersections of feminism, hip hop, and youth performance and establishes graffiti art as a game that anyone can play.

REVIEWS

Graffiti Grrlz will change the way we think about women’s involvement in Hip Hop culture and the way we think about feminist movements. Graffiti Grrlz gives us a part of the story we didn’t know we were waiting for and we didn’t know how much we needed. Powerful stuff, the prose takes shape like a fly graffiti backdrop and paints a picture that perfectly captures the work these women put in. Graffiti Grrlzis groundbreaking and game-changing scholarship that answers the question, where my grrlz at, with a powerful and provocative right here. This is a must read for anyone interested in Hip Hop Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies.

—Gwendolyn D. Pough, Author of Check It While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip-Hop Culture, and the Public Sphere

Vibrant, complex, and totally engaging, Graffiti Grrlz recovers women’s presence in graffiti subcultures around the globe. In this ambitious and passionate book, Jessica Pabón-Colón amplifies the resistant and creative practices of women graffiti artists and masterfully highlights their important contributions to contemporary feminism. In doing so, she transforms and expands our ideas about the meaning of graffiti and of feminist political action.

—Jessica Taft, Author of Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change Across the Americas

The graffiti grrlz featured here know how to throw up fresh ways of re-imagining feminism, urban belonging, and world-making practices. Through bright ethnographic accounts of graffiti’s gendered politics and global reach, Pabón-Colón takes down assumed notions of hip-hop culture by passing the mic to a new generation of feminist graffiti artists engaged in writing and speaking on their own terms.

—Juana María Rodríguez, Author of Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings

 

Now Available for Pre-Order

Image description: promo image for new book Graffiti Grrlz: Performing Feminism in the Hip Hop Diaspora.  Colorful graffiti-covered book cover image paired with the text “Now available for pre-order. 
FOR 20% OFF, VISIT NYUPRESS.ORG AND USE DISCOUNT CODE: “GRRLZ”