Mixed media (gouache, water colour and ink) on Felix Schoeller True Rag Etching
427 X 630 mm (original artwork is framed in one-off arched frame with bronze plaque as per image)

Prints are on Felix Schoeller True Rag Etching 310 gsm
437 x 655mm (with added white border for square format)
Edition of 15
Hand-signed, dated and numbered

Born in Portland in 1968, Kathleen Hanna first became interested in feminism when she attended a Solidarity Day rally in Washington DC at the age of nine with her mother and saw Gloria Steinem speak. The mother and daughter duo hid their involvement with the women’s rights movement owing to her father’s disapproval. When Hanna finished school, she moved to Olympia to attend college in the 80s and started stripping to pay her tuition, as well as volunteering at a domestic violence organization. During this time Hanna began doing spoken word performances around themes of sexism and violence against women, which acted as a precursor to her involvement in bands.

After starting a few smaller groups, Hanna formed Bikini Kill in 1990 with fellow musicians in Olympia with the aim to inspire more women to join the emergent, severely heteronormative and male-dominated, punk scene in the city. Among these efforts Hanna collaborated with members of the band Bratmobile and Heavens to Betsy to create the zine “Riot Grrrl”, which called on young women to defy society’s expectations of them and fight for gender equality. This contributed to the formation of third-wave feminism and what would later become known as the “Riot Grrrl” movement. Within this underground punk movement women could express anger, frustration and rage – emotions that were still largely socially unacceptable from female songwriters. Participants would sing about sexuality, racism, patriarchy, domestic abuse, rape, abortion, anarchism and classism, and use DIY ethics to enact political action. At concerts, Hanna would ask women to move to the front of the stage to avoid harassment from crowd members in the mostly male-dominated punk scene where shows were prone to turn violent because of mosh pits.

While the first two waves of feminism were largely about women’s legal rights, reproductive rights and gender discrimination, the third wave revolved around intersectional oppression – namely how race, class, sexual orientation and gender identity factor into patriarchal power structures. Riot Grrrl was quickly co-opted by the mainstream and their “girl power” slogans adopted by global sensations like the Spice Girls.

Since the 90s Hanna has continued playing in bands, being an activist and an artist.