Before Channel 4 was obsessed with competitive dining, shock embarrassing bodies and reality of a sort (not as long ago as I ﬁrst thought) it regularly scheduled a slew of late night experimental, sometimes controversial, programming called 4Later. Amongst these was a low budget video game review show called Bits. Now a cult classic, Bits featured Emily Booth, Emily Newton Dunn and is where I ﬁrst became aware of Aleks Krotoski.
Turning from gamer teenage to gaming adult through my degree in Interactive Media and into my working life, I have constantly searched out Doctor Krotoksi’s views on and open discussion around technology, gaming, sociology and the Internet whether through The Guardian tech podcast, BBC radio, print or social media. Aleks has out grown the medium that initially brought her to the attention of the British TV-viewing public from her native United States, and has now curated several exhibitions, sat on numerous committees regarding women in the games industry, been awarded a PhD in Social Psychology, and returned to television with works like The Virtual Revolution.
Fortunately, now I have ladies I admire. Tons of them!
Musicians: Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Amanda Palmer
Comic Artists: Julia Wertz, Kate Beaton, Madeleine Flores, Meredith Gran
Actresses: Zooey Deschanel, Emily Deschanel, Scarlett Johansson
I didn’t know if I qualify for submission parce que je suis un homme. But I would nominate the following person for status of heroine.
Birth name: Yana Stanislavovna Dyagileva
Born: 4 September 1966, Novosibirsk, USSR
Died: c. 9 May 1991 (aged 24)
Genres: Folk rock, Russian rock, punk rock, underground
Occupations: Musician, songwriter
Instruments: Singing, guitar, bass guitar, glockenspiel
Years active: 1988–1991 (magnitizdat only during lifetime. No official releases until after death)
Associated acts: Grazhdanskaya Oborona, Velikiye Oktyabri etc.
I first heard Yanka I guess about 10 years ago in Helsinki when I roomed with Filip and Nadia for a couple of months. The centrifuge was tapioca, brandy, curse swapping and a Russki flea tape player pumping out hissident frack. A Finnish opera singer across the landing did the translation hop, even though Nadia spoke good English with a “whatso” upper class accent and his was broken but paved. Nadia used to change the furniture in the apartment every weekend … I mean completely change it for friends of who would make the 700 km trip from St Petersburg in the 10-euro flayling bus = less than a pint of beer in Helsinki. No days off. One guy stayed for a couple of weeks, lets call him Dimitri, and he kept repeating with varying degrees of slur ability the only thing he could say in English, putting bathtub arms on my shoulders and fixing me with an unflincher: “Come to Russia YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE IT”.
So yeah, I first heard Yanka there with those people and I suppose she reminds me of myself in that particular moment and is that not the purpose (or function) of any hero or heroine? As Jünger writes in ‘The GlassBeads’ “No happiermoment existed than the moment when the gates were opened”. And that. Later I got a Russian landlady and managed to squeeze Yanka translations out of her door frame, BUT like a good zip lock fest you don’t have to understand it, you feel it.
A couple of songs below, I know the You Tube dings are not apt for print but it has to be pointed out that some American did an album of Yanka covers which my landlady said it did not fly. E.g. translated the title of the song below as ‘From Great Knowledge’ but my Tatiana insisted the correct trans is ‘From Being Too Smart’ … which to me is nodding territory. It’s from 1989.
From being too smart, all you get is begging and jail.
From a wild head only gutters and ditches.
From a beautiful soul only scabs and lice.
From universal love only bloody faces.
In a sheet in the wind, over the morning dew.
From fruitless ideas to fleshless guests.
From full tables to smashed skulls.
From closed doors to buried creatures.
Parallel to the way a black companion flies.
He’ll calm us, save us, bring us tranquility.
Under a rough wing, night at a round table
A red and white poster—“Hey, start your scooter!”
Come together, people, to a useless congress.
To a worldwide council—how can we decorate our nonsense?
To wedge your will in an idiotic land.
To sit still, to be quiet, to knock on the table.
Because from being too smart, all you get is begging and jail.
From a wild head only gutters and ditches….
Another: ‘Prodana (Sold)’ recorded in some crawling damp pad circa 1988
To die in public with commercial success
To smash your photogenic face against the rocks
To ask politely, looking into the eyes of kind strangers
My death’s been sold
To decorate interiors and hang up on the wall
To disrupt the geometry of square ceilings
To wedge like a naked brick into shiny wallpaper
Like a homeless shadow
My shadow’s been sold
I’m walking on a tightrope, sighing as I go
The rope I’m walking on will snap – soon I will fall
Under foot, under the wheels, under the heavy hammer
Going, going, gone
My death’s been sold
The traffic light is blinking merrily
This song flying fast against the winds
To rejoice in the sunshine and the raincheck
Happily ever after
My death’s been sold
For the rest just type Янка Дягилева into your favourite You Tube swab. OK, that’s it, hope this comes out as I intend as it’s difficult to write in this stupid little fucking box.
From Brussels With Love.
shitty-titties-art asked: Hi :) I was wondering if i would be allowed to submit something about my favorite heroine, even though im a Trans* guy?
Of course, submit away! All are welcome. :)
daibenzaiten asked: Could we do something with a fictional character? I don't want to stir things up with copyright infringement. This project sounds excellent. Cheers.
I don’t think that counts as copyright infringement. I’ve got people contacting me who want to write about Buffy, Matilda, etc. Personally, I think I’m going to write about Maggie from Love and Rockets, and she’s fictional.
“Rebel Woman” Emma Goldman (1869-1940)
By: Daisy Salinas
"I demand the independence of woman, her right to support herself; to live for herself; to love whomever she pleases, or as many as she pleases. I demand freedom for both sexes, freedom of action, freedom in love and freedom in motherhood.”-Goldman
Emma Goldman was a brave feminist, anarchist, political activist and writer whose life struggles and achievements should be taught to every human being. She was active in worker’s rights, women’s liberation, civil rights, gay rights (arguably the 1st American to defend homosexuality to a public) freedom of speech and played a huge role in the development of anarchist philosophy. She was coined “the most dangerous woman in America” while others referred to her as “the modern Joan of Arc” (in terms of her courage). She lived for 70 years so I obviously cannot cover her entire life in 3 zine pages but hopefully this will inspire you to read her work and learn more about this inspirational woman whose fearlessness gives me chills and leaves me speechless.
Growing up in Russia, Goldman was a passionate student but because of living in poverty, she had to drop out of school and begin working at a corset shop. At the shop, she was taken to a hotel and sexually abused by a Russian officer. When Goldman asked her father if she could please return to school, he threw her book in a fire and screamed, ”Girls do not have to learn much! All a Jewish daughter needs to know is how to prepare gefilte fish, cut noodles fine, and give the man plenty of children.” Goldman continued her education on her own and became interested in political activism when she read Chernyshevsky's novel, What Is to Be Done? (1863)
Leaving Russia, Goldman moved to NYC & soon met Alexander Berkman who she would love for many years. He invited her to a public speech that awoken her soul. He trained her in public speaking telling her that she was “to take my place when I am gone.” She became a member of the trade union movement fighting for worker’s rights. In 1893 a panic struck in where unemployment rates reached 20 percent. When hunger demonstrations flourished across the nation, Goldman spoke to a crowd of 3,000 people declaring, “Demonstrate before the palaces of the rich; demand work. If they do not give you work, demand bread. If they deny you both, take bread.” A week later she was arrested for “inciting to riot” & faced a NYC trial. Detective Sergeant Charles Jacobs offered to drop the charges if she ratted out her fellow activists & in response threw a glass of ice water in his face. Frightened by Goldman’s politics, the judge sentenced her to one year in prison. Yup, she had fucking guts!
After her release, a crowd of 3,000 people greeted her back into the world. Now passionate to study medical work, Goldman sailed to Europe to study nursing and received two diplomas all while continuing her anarchist work. In 1906, Goldman started a publication called Mother Earth staffed with radical activists including and also reprinted selections worldwide from writers such a Friedrich Nietzsche and Mary Wollstonecraft. Goldman continued lecturing and writing for years while she was under government surveillance. She soon became interested in reproductive rights which were extremely controversial during this time period.
In her pursuit to make contraceptives available to women, Goldman joined Margaret Sanger (writer of publication “The Woman Rebel”) and soon after Goldman conducted a nationwide speaking tour to raise awareness about birth control. Both Goldman and Sanger were arrested with violation of the Comstock Law, a law banning contraceptives along with banning the distribution of information on contraceptives for educational purposes.
In 1917, Woodrow Wilson decided that the US should enter World War I and the Selective Service Act of 1917 was passed requiring all males between 21-30 to register for military conscription (a draft). In Mother Earth, Goldman wrote against the war and against conscription. For this, she was imprisoned for two years. During trial, Goldman stated, “We say that if America has entered the war to make the world safe for democracy, she must first make democracy safe in America. How else is the world to take America seriously, when democracy at home is daily being outraged, free speech suppressed, peaceable assemblies broken up by overbearing and brutal gangsters in uniform; when free press is curtailed and every independent opinion gagged? Verily, poor as we are in democracy, how can we give of it to the world?”
When released from prison, the US Department of Justice decided to use the Anarchist Exclusion Act to deport non-citizens that were seen as anarchist revolutionaries. By now, Goldman, along with Alexander Berkman, were “beyond doubt, two of the most dangerous anarchists in this country.” Goldman and Berkman were deported to Russia. When arriving to Soviet Russia, Goldman was so let down by the country’s conditions that she wrote the book My Disillusionment in Russia. In her time there, she supported strikers who demanded food and more unions claiming “To remain silent now is impossible, even criminal.” In a Riot in Kronstadt, about 1,000 strikers were killed and 2,000 more arrested. Goldman and Berkman realized there was no future in Russia for them and decided to leave.
After Russia, Goldman traveled and/or lived in England, Canada, France and Spain continuing her activism. In 1928 she began writing her autobiography called Living My Life and after suffering from two strokes she died on May 14, 1940 at the age of 70. Her legacy continues because what she fought for we continue to fight for today. Thank you Emma Goldman for putting your entire heart into your politics and sacrificing so much, even your freedom, for the better good of humankind. Thank you for never giving up. If I can have 1/10 of the guts you did before I die, I will be perfectly satisfied. Your torch of bravery and hope for a better world is handed down to us. For every time we take a stand against injustice (despite the odds against us) and fight for equality and liberation, your memory lives on forever.
Daisy Salinas writes a feminist fanzine called “Muchacha”. She can be contacted at Riotgrrrl56@yahoo.com or visit her site and muchachafanzine.tumblr.com