Genesisters × Illuminations Festival: The Fabulous Stains at Genesis Cinema

Genesis cinema in Mile End goes Riot Grrrrrl for a wild night of mischief.

#Genesisters is a monthly riot girl night first curated by Genesis Cinema back in September 2015. Inspired by Bikini Kill’s ‘girls to the front’ policy of the 90s DIY riot grrrl movement, which prioritised safe spaces for women at punk gigs, as well as a showcase for female artists. Footage of a Bikini Kill gig in The Punk Singer showing singer Kathleen Hanna shouting, ‘all girls to the front. I’m not kidding. All boys be cool, for once in your lives. Go back.’

Now it will be partnering with Rockfeedback’s Illuminations Festival to curate a screening of ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains!’ The cult American 1982 rebellious teen flick about a (you guessed it) a punk rock girl band, and starring a young, Ray Winstone (he still had the swag even then).

The film will be introduced by Caroline Coon (punk journalist and technical advisor on the film) and there will be live music from Estrons (and more!), a DJ set from Kathryn Woods (Fresh) and more guest DJs to be announced, feminist zine stalls, Corinne Burns cupcakes, themed ‘The Stains’ cocktails and punk make-up artists. We look forward to seeing what other riot grrrl mischief Genesisters has up its sleeve for 2017…

You mentioned you were inspired by Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna and her infamous “all girls to the front” call to arms… how did the name and general monthly format of film screenings, music and craft at #Genesisters first come about?

While working at Genesis Cinema (where the name #genesisters comes from!), Michael Hall and I first bonded over our love of Kathleen Hanna (who I was later lucky enough to interview) and started talking about the disturbing number of gigs with only male bands on the bill, and unwelcoming male crowds – and talked about creating our own nights to prioritise female music. We started #genesisters last summer (with the first night in September 2015) with our friends Rosie Knight and Bobbie Hughes. I think it was also a product of a real sense of solidarity and community I felt while working at Genesis.

By keeping it ‘grassroots’ online and adding the hashtag to the name, is this to create a wider activist feminism conversation online?

The internet is such a great place to form communities with other like-minded women. It’s so exciting to see different women you admire connecting with each other online and crossing paths and sharing advice or working on projects together – and I think #genesisters is the product of following feminist activism, conversation and zines online for years, and then wanting to bring these digital dialogues into physical space. Feminist conversation online is so important, as is feminist physical space, and I hope #genesisters contributes to both.

Is there a plan for more events in Christmas and the New Year? If so can you tell us the details?

As well as continuing our quarterly #genesisters events, we hope to add more special panel screenings (like the one we held for Mustang this summer). We’re also working on a #genesisters weekend festival – stay tuned!

What is the main motivation for #Genesisters?

Gigs can be so unwelcoming and unsafe for women, and we wanted to create a film, music and zine night which celebrates female-led and all-female bands in a safe and welcoming space for those who identify as women, people of colour and LGBTQ+ people. The manifesto of riot grrrl is still so important and we hope to bring that to intersectional feminism and prioritise marginalised voices. On the nights, there’s something incredibly special about being part of a crowd supporting female music and art, and we’re so proud to be part of that scene.


5th November/7:30pm till late/£10

Buy tickets: https://genesiscinema.co.uk/GenesisCinema.dll/WhatsOn?Film=4163419

Natalie Wardle