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Wolverette:

"Taking you and your GRRRLness Seriously"

An interview with
Dodo B.
from: Tübingen, Germany

by Sonja Eismann, Haydeé Jiménez & Elke Zobl

January 2008

 

"
It was the kinds of magazines I had always wished for, something where girls were not excluded but, au contraire, taken seriously and were actively involved, where stuff was discussed that actually did matter and that was part of MY REAL world."
- Dodo B.


 

Can you tell me a little bit about your personal (age, place of birth and residence etc.) and educational background?
I’m from south western germany. that’s where I’ve been born (in 1983) and have lived so far. At the moment I live in Tübingen where I study Ancient History, Philosophy and Italian at the University.

What are you currently doing, or involved in, besides your zines?
University keeps me pretty busy but I write here and then for the Mädchenblog and I am very loosely involved with the anti-lookism homepage (actually I’ve done only a few translations for them and distributiong stickers). Other than that I try to keep the tape and zine tradings up and I’m thinking about getting involved in a project that aims to do a feminist calendar but I’m not sure yet.


Dodo B.

Can you tell our readers about Wolverette? How many people are involved in it?
Well, it’s a grrrlzine so that gives you the approximate frame of its ummm… “atmosphere”. The only stable person involved is me but I “recruit” writers/contributors via the internet, mostly people from message boards. That gives the zine a variety of opinions, experiences, writing styles, ideas and so on which is exactly how I wanted it to be.

Every issue gets a rough topic and it’s interesting what associations the contributors have, what they pick to write about when they see the topic.

What topics do you discuss in your zines most often? What language are they written in?
Like already said, every issue has its own kinda theme. So far we’ve had “Riot Grrrl” for the 1st issue and “Sex” for the 2nd. The next issue of Wolverette will be about Girls/Grrrls (or, more general, feminists) who write but #3 is still in progress.

I’m pretty sure I will keep this themed issues thingy, I like it. Maybe there will be a “mixed issue” one day, I don’t know yet. So far I like it cause it shows how different the grrrls’/contributors’ ideas about one and the same topic is. It shows the variety and uniqueness of the grrrls which I find really cool. The only must to get published is a feminist/riot grrrl-ish point of view, it’s a grrrlzine after all.

The zine is written in English because most people somewhat understand this language and it gives good opportunities to get to know zinesters/zine readers all over the world.

How long have these zines been running?
Well, I started to send out the 1st Wolverettes in June 2007; the zine making process before the virgin issue was about a year, I guess. So… my zine’s still in its baby shoes haha.

Where/how are your zines distributed? Who are your readers?
Basically you send me an e-mail with your addy and how you wanna pay. If you have €uros you can send it cash, if you have German stamps you can pay the amount in stamps. Zine trades are always an option, just like other trades like mixtapes or whatever. As soon as I get the stuff I send out the zine. So all in all the distribution works over the Wolverette E-Mail addy alone (except the folks who happen to post on the same Message boards, they sometimes send personal messages).

Right now I’m too lazy to consider another form of distribution.

What kind of responses do you get from your zines’ audience?
Not enough!!! Haha, seriously, I would love to see more feedback (and the other Wolverette contributers, too, I bet!). Only some of the people who get a zine give me feedback. But at least it’s all very positive. The only response that wasn’t all puppies and rainbows came from a zine review website, they said I should’ve used staples for the zine. I can live with that heheh




Wolverette Issue 2

How did you become introduced to the culture of zines?
When I was about 13 or 14 I started buying the typical punkrock fanzines, some of which now aren’t exactly underground anymore. I got my 1 st grrrlzine when I was 17, a zine that I wrote a (pretty crappy) article for and I was hooked. It was the kinds of magazines I had always wished for, something where girls were not excluded but, au contraire, taken seriously and were actively involved, where stuff was discussed that actually did matter and that was part of MY REAL world. All the lovely contacts with the zinesters did the rest: I wrote for quite some zines or got interviewed but I also saw that the grrrlzine culture got somewhat…sloppy. that those incredibly powerful girls could do better than a “my fave Hole songs”-lists and “why I wish I could’ve gone to that peaches gig”-articles, I wanted to get them serious, taking themselves and their thoughts seriously again so I started my own zine.

What do you hope to accomplish by making and distributing your zine?
Partly this is already answered in the previous paragraph: I wanna make the girls get their voices out, encourage them again and also putting some effort in it so that they realize that their ideas, experiences, fears and opinions matter and are precious enough to formulate them in words and get them out. Kinda like “Get your fucking asses up! You’ve got something to say, now I give you the opportunity to do so – no more excuses!” There’s also an interview with me (here : http://www.nomajesty.net/grrrl/archives.html) where I explain it in detail, I think.

The zine is also an outlet for MY ideas and thoughts, the stuff that I want people to think about, simply because I think they’re important.


What do you love and find challenging about zine making?

The first answer to both is trying to raise some enthusiasm and make people contribute.

I also love to… collect so many thoughts from different grrrls. Thoughts that I deem important and that all kinda dance with each other in the zine in the end.

A lot of grrrls I know have such great ideas and interesting opinions but sometimes (way too often if you ask me!) theres too much apathy, like they’ve given up…a bit at least. Making these grrrls write and show them that its worthwile to let others know what they think, fear, wish,…

Which role does the Internet play for you?

A huge one. I’d probably run my zine without the internet anyway but I would never wanna miss it!! It makes things a lot easier and you make so, so many lovely contacts with other zinesters.

Please name some of your favorite zines and the reasons why you like them.

The best zine I’ve ever read is Elena’s Not Just Boys’ Fun, the issue about rape/sexual abuse. It’s shocking, it’s brutal but incredibly important and I’ve learnt so much from it.

Nina’s Flapper Gathering is always inspirational and I remember that I liked Hello Trouble a lot and Born In Flames.


Wolverette Issue 1


What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a zine?
Patience, courage and time. Most important thing is that you actually dare to do it. But put some effort and thoughts in it. Find out what exactly you wanna do and try to achieve your goals, but keep them vague enough to let your zine develop.

And what makes a zine a GOOD zine is: soul. and honesty. If you let a little of your soul shine through your words it will make it more interesting, touching and honest than anything.

No one will give a damn fuck if your articles are journalistic masterpieces or teenage rants, as long as it’s written with your heartblood. It feels good, too.


Do you feel part of a (grrrl or general) zine community or network and what does it mean to you? What is the zine scene like in your community?

Not sure. I kinda feel like my “zine community” is the folks who have written for Wolverette, the ones I have written for, the ones who get my zines, traded zines, whose zines I got. it DOES feel like a community, but it’s a bit vague.

Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Actually I cannot understand how an intelligent person can NOT call themselves feminist.

What do you think about feminism today? How would you explain what feminism is to someone who has no idea what it is?
Feminism is as necessary and logical as it always has been. What feminism is? Realizing that, even nowadays, men and women are still not equal, that women are still seen as something “special”, as an “other” instead of just fellow humans. That their needs are still considered “special needs” instead of simply human needs. Realizing this and trying to change it – that’s feminism. And the little things like having the courage to not laugh over sexist jokes are just as important as the “big things”. If you wanna build a road, you have to put one stone after another.

What would a “grrrl”-friendly society look like in your view? How do you think society might be re-envisioned and transformed tin order to become an “ideal” world for women, grrrls and queer folks? Do you have any suggestions for the development of women/grrrl/queer-friendly policies?
That’s too much to answer. I could write book volumes about that. Respect between people is a huge aspect.

What are some of your personal wishes/visions/ideas/plans for the future, if you like to share them?

Health and happiness for my family is my biggest wish. Second, I wish my time at the university to be successful and become as independent as possible. I wish people would just love each other, their very selves included.

Oh, and the great big grrrl revolution, of course!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks again for taking your time for the interview!
You’re very welcome. I appreciate your work a lot.

<3

 


info:

wolverette.zine [AT] yahoo.de

e-mail

 


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