Punk Women and Riot Grrls


  • Rosi Braidotti Utrecht University




This paper deals with feminist cultural politics, nomadic thought and media activism. It combines theoretical insights from Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy with Riot Grrrl bands and women’s punk music. The paper explores two central aspects of the Pussy Riot’s performances: the visual and the musical. The visual includes an analysis of “the face” as a landscape of both power and resistance and discusses also the function of the mask as a cultural and political device. It then highlights the role of iconic images like Queen Beatrix, Angela Davies, the Guerrilla Girls and others in popular culture. The musical component includes Janis Joplin, the ultimate Riot Grrrl band Bikini Kill, Nina Hagen and, of course, Pussy Riot. Embodying the slogan “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution” the paper argues for an affirmative and  creative approach to feminist theory and practice and to contemporary cultural politics. 

Author Biography

Rosi Braidotti, Utrecht University

[email protected]

Rosi Braidotti (B.A. Hons. Australian National University, 1978; PhD, Université de Paris, Panthéon-Sorbonne, 1981) is Distinguished University Professor and founding Director of the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. Her latest books are: The Posthuman (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013); Nomadic Subjects (second, revised edition) (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011); andNomadic Theory: The Portable Rosi Braidotti (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011). www.rosibraidotti.com


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How to Cite

Braidotti, R. (2015). Punk Women and Riot Grrls. Performance Philosophy, 1(1), 239–254. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2015.1132



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