Punk Icon Viv Albertine of The Slits Defaces All Male Punk Exhibit
"What about the women!!!!"
Oi! The history of punk is often told by straight white dudes, but isn't entirely composed of straight white dudes. This is precisely the point that Viv Albertine of legendary rock band The Slits was trying to make when she defaced the text of an exhibition titled “Punk 1976-78" at the British Library in London.
It's great to see the history of punk rock being appreciated by culturally "legitimate" institutions -- what's less great is when these institutions don't include women, POCs, or queers in the narrative of punk. So, upon seeing text that read “Groups such as Sex Pistols, the Clash, and Buzzcocks stimulated a nationwide wave of grassroots creativity, sparking a vital cultural legacy that endures to the present day,” Albertine crossed out the names of the bands and wrote, “The Slits, X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie & the Banshees. (What about the women!!).”
Albertine wasn't shy about sharing her rage and documented the vandalism on Twitter:
There's pretty much nothing more punk rock than defacing an exhibit on punk rock, right?
Here's a video of Viv talking about her punk inspirations -- know your history, kids!