On 4 December was the first day of the worldwide Punk Scholars Network conference, 4-11 December 2021.
The Dutch PSN affiliate has only started this year. Yet, they had a big plan for a face-to-face event in OCCII in Amsterdam. Main theme: women in punk. Four bands, all including women, playing live. Researchers speaking about women in punk in Denmark, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. Helen Reddington aka Helen McCookerybook interviewing Dutch punk women of four waves, 1977-2021.
Alas, a new COVID-19 wave intervened. A face-to face event became impossible. We had to cut the conference in two. The main theme, women in punk, will get a full day in spring 2022. While on 4 December we had a webinar about punk and venues in the Netherlands; from the 1970s till today.
PSN Netherlands co-founder Terry had made a cool computer screen background. Two o’clock arrived. No more time for discussions on how Zoom works. We had to start!
Mike Dines of PSN in Britain introduced the conference. Then, PSN the Netherlands representative Anita Raghunath did likewise. Then, she gave the floor to the chair of our panel Punk and venues. Being Marie Arleth Skov, of the PSN Denmark/Germany affiliate. We had organised the conference jointly with her.
First, a paper by Herman de Tollenaere: “Venues and punk concerts in greater Leiden 1976-1982”.
Then, a paper with a PowerPoint presentation by Marcel Stol about the longest-lasting DIY Punk (squat) venue in the Netherlands: “Goudvishal Arnhem (1984-2007)”.
Then came “Eerlijk Zullen We Allen Spelen”, a 25-minute documentary film about former DIY venue SUB071 in Leiden by Minja Šarović, released in 2017.
Finally, a paper with a PowerPoint presentation by Yorgos Paschos on DIY venues in the Netherlands in the post-2020 COVID-19 times: “Physical Space and Collective Identity- Making: DIY Cultural- Political Centers in Times of Lockdown”. Yorgos concluded that the coronavirus crisis, closing down physical spaces, had damaged links between people active in DIY. I agree this will have happened in many cases. On the other hand, the COVID-19 crisis also led to people establishing online contacts more intensely. The Dutch PSN affiliate was a product of that.
After that, discussion about the papers and the film. Marie Arleth Skov concluded that more research, like oral history of people involved, is needed.
Then, final words by Herman de Tollenaere: We had to change things all the time in preparing the conference. But as the Japanese women of the band Shonen Knife, playing since 1981, sing: ‘You know I’m a punky girl. I never say die. And no one can stop me!’ In this video:
The majority-female PSN the Netherlands team measured up to the Shonen Knife standard. They worked hard. They still managed to have a great webinar today.
At the very end, a fine video preview by Terry of the conference “Women in Punk” in spring 2022 in Amsterdam.
I saw a maximum of 26 people at the same time at our webinar, so there must have been more than 26, as not everyone was present the full 2 hours. That is not bad. At some sessions of the PSN conference in the big North American continent last year, there were also about 25 people. Less than a tenth of the 270 at the PSN Indonesia day in 2020.
Tomorrow, 5 December, from 7pm Central European Time on, PSN USA/Canada with some interesting subjects.