Thursday, 31 March 2016

New Badges

A batch of new badges will be available at the store from Friday 1st April for $2 each. They include classic designs like 'ACAB', 'Riots not Diets', 'Dump Him', Queer, Trans and Anarcho flags, John Key with a gun to his head *~and more~*

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Cutting Out the Missing Heroes

Revolutionary Women:
A Book of Stencils by the Queen of the Neighbourhood Collective

Leila Khaled

“A RADICAL feminist history and street art resource for inspired readers!”

When we look at the ‘heroes’ of radical and revolutionary history, we see a bunch of dudes. Che Guevara, Mao, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela – the poster boys of any first­year’s revolutionary dorm aesthetic. This book was prompted by the question: “Where are the women?” – and the follow up: “Where are the glamorous, Che­esque stencils of their high­contrast faces?” Well here they are.
This project was originally a zine (made in New Zealand at Cherry Bomb Comics in Auckland, 2005). It’s now a book but one produced with heavy awareness of what it means to be a zine project – with focus on anti­copyright, swappability, ease of reproduction and propagation. Though creating a book limits some of these functions, the Queen of the Neighbourhood Collective are transparent in their reasoning – making a book has allowed them to reach wider audiences and, more excitingly, to include a wider range of stencils and revolutionary histories. Readers are invited to cut and paint.

Qiu Jin
This isn’t a coffee­table book; it’s a “street­level resource.”
Each stencil comes with a short history of the woman’s revolutionary life. The classics – Emma Goldman, Angela Davis and Harriet Tubman are there, alongside women from all parts of the world and all parts of history.

The concept is solid. The original zine was reproduced and utilised all over the place. These simple stencils and concise histories are clearly effective as tools for spreading our history and changing the way we consider (or dismiss) women’s participation in the revolutionary past.

The concept is simple and it’s interesting that the book’s 8­page introduction focuses almost entirely on formative questions behind the project. How is a revolutionary defined? Which women and nationalities have been favoured and why? What is the purpose of idolising heroic images, when “the most successful of women’s struggles come about from leaderless anarchist collectives”? These are legit and important questions and it’s great to see not only that the QN Collective has considered them – but that they’re inviting readers to consider them as well.
Emma Goldman

The Freedom Shop Collective has made a batch of patches and t­shirts using these stencils. Come grab some from the shop. We also have copies of the book for $16.00.

Electronic versions of many of the stencils are available here:

 The book is published by PM Press 2010

- Reviewed by Kathleen, originally published in aargh!, # 5, October 2015

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Raft Race and Newtown Fair

Two long running annual events are happening in Wellington this coming weekend:

On Saturday, 5 March, we have the 8th Anarchist Raft Race, this year at Hataitai Beach / Evans Bay instead of the usual location at Oriental Beach (to avoid clashes with the dragon boat race there). Start is about 1pm. Bring life jackets, drinks, food etc. We had a collective of orca turn up for it once!

Then on Sunday, 6 March there is of course the Newtown Festival. We won't have a stall but we will have the shop open from about 10am onwards.

See you then!