After my tutorial and speaking to Jules, we have come to a conclusion that I need to do more research in relation to having more cultural references in my work in order to build a solid zine with a deeper understanding of my theme of female empowerment and body image. I need to figure out how I can use references such as riot girls or pussy riot and connect it to my theme of body image, positivity and self care- whilst creating suitable imagery and illustrations to go with this topic. Although I do not intend on making this zine with a strong political agenda, I believe that it is important to research the modern stems of the riot grrrl movement such as the start of the pussy riot movement so that I fully understand their attitudes and beliefs which I can hopefully project onto my final zine so that it has underlying themes the audience can detect. I think this will definitely be challenging as I need to figure out how to include this theme of feminist protest into my work. I think it would be interesting to look into Pussy Riot artwork and styling, whilst incorporating some text such as quotes or poetry to go alongside it- I think this will at least give it some context.


Pussy Riot is formed by a musical girl group in Russia who are known to perform guerrilla performances in public. With the help of social media (particularly youtube) the Pussy Riot group share their music videos online demonstrating their protests on views concerning sexism, Trumps election, LGBT rights, and Putins dictatorship that have lead them to voice their anger through lyrics and performance. Starting as a small feminist protest band, they started gaining recognition world wide. The most notable performance by Pussy Riot was their controversial stunt in a  Moscow church that attacked the Orthodox church and its support for Putin (1) in their Punk Prayer video, wearing their symbolic coloured balaclava masks.

“In February 2012, Alyokhina and three other young women in bright tights and balaclavas crashed the cathedral altar to stage a 40-second performance, “Virgin Mary, Drive out Putin!” “None of us thought there would be charges or a sentence when we did it,” she says — but a week later they were on the run. After a bizarre trial that evoked Soviet-era proceedings against dissident artists, they were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”. “We joked that, if they caught us, we would be the new dissidents,” says Alyokhina, “which was just what happened.(2)”

The Pussy Riot adopt a punk style attitude, by standing out, and standing up for issues in Russia where there is far less of freedom of speech, and where feminists and other minorities may be seen as a taboo, or is not widely spoken about, especially in Russian media. With the power of social media and their music videos, they bring out messages that focus on the mistreatment of people- a recent video ‘Make America Great Again’ criticised Trump and his policies by using satirical and grotesque imagery.

What has inspired me about researching into Pussy Riots is their punk attitudes in bringing forward strong statement and messages. I will try to adopt some of this confident, strong imagery into my work which can be seen as a reference to pick out.







(imagery by Nische Ink of Nadya Tolokonnikova)









I decided to do a small test shoot so that I could then use for collage and illustration purposes. It was quite a last minute shoot therefore did not too much planning for it. I knew I wanted to keep the theme minimal and feminine, so I thought including a floral aspect to it would make the standard portrait stand out. I don’t think that these images have turned out particularly well, however I think I will be able to jazz it up through the use of collage or through illustration. This is simply a good foundation I can build upon. I am really happy with the first three images on the contact sheet and will definitely will be using them for further experimentations.


As a part of Marthas workshop, I needed to create a slogan and a signature font that can perhaps be used for my zine. I am 99% sure that I have decided upon the name of ‘GIRLHOOD’ for my zine so therefore I need to brainstorm and come up with ways in how I want the font to look, which can reflect on the word itself, but also communicate the whole zine/feel i’m going for.

(page in zine where I could use my own type font- i like the idea of having a softer type with a more rigid, toughened font for contrast)


Relating to all the research I have conducted so far, I want to do my own photoshoot to highlight the female form in a raw, empowering light that will hopefully lead to a positive, uplifting outcome. I want the shoot to really focus on the female form- therefore highlighting body parts that some women may feel most insecure about, such as the stomach and its folds, stretch marks, thighs. By really focusing on these areas I aim to achieve an abstract effect, with some images creating an effect where you can’t really distinguish which part of the body it is. I believe that the skin is a beautiful part of body. With skin, it holds your identity- the fine lines and wrinkles defining your age, the colour of your skin defining your race, and so on. I think by highlighting the skin we have is a wonderful way of showing that all bodies are equally as significant. I aim to create a message that allows women to feel confident with their bodies.

I have created a moodboard shown above that carries some inspiration for my shoot. As I have researched the riot grrrl movement, I really like the idea of having women posed in quite strong, abstract poses that almost gives a ‘fuck you’ vibe. I am mostly inspired by the image of the woman in fishnet tights (photographed by Pure Stent) which has a woman bent forwards- it’s almost quite abstract and shows the female form in an interesting way. It would definitely be interesting to experiment with unusual poses which would result in some unique outcomes.