Agata – G*TTF is for girls and queers and nonbinary people, and actually anyone from a wide range of identities
David – A few years into this project, you added an asterisk to the word “Girl”, in the name of the collective. Why is that?
G*TTF came from Riot Grrrl, it was a quote from Kathleen Hannah*, and that’s how we chose our name. When we started, we had feminism in mind, and when we were thinking about women, we also thought about queer women. The queer part was kind of obvious, at least obvious for us.
We meant for them to be included. In our first open calls and in the description of our parties, we’re always like saying by girl, we mean anyone who wants to identify as one. And that our parties and our zine is open to anyone who wants to publish under our name.
Over time, we received submissions and we had a crowd of people that were queer, that were non binary, or anywhere on the LGBTQ spectrum that were participating. However we felt that we needed to do more. Even if it’s obvious for us, it’s not obvious for everyone because the narrative in mainstream media is different and girls often means cis-hetero girls.
So we decided to add that little star there for people to check what the star is for and then find out that it’s also about queer people, nonbinary people
We did a zine that was called “All Queers To The Front” to give the message that we also want to hear the voices of queer people. Even if it was always clear in our mind, we wanted to put it straight out there. Since then we felt that, okay, e is a bit misleading for people if they don’t know us and they don’t know our opinions and our beliefs.
I think that at the beginning, seven years ago, we (Ola and I) didn’t know that much about the binary issue. During these years, we also learned that it’s not only women, trans women, but also non binary people and people who don’t want to identify with any gender.
We know the stories about witch hunts in other countries and the current climate really resembles that
We learn from our audience really, they propose these stories that just are really eye opening. When I started Girls* To The Front, I didn’t know much about feminism. I felt that I didn’t read enough, I didn’t feel valid enough to speak about those things. Now that I have worked with people, that I have heard their stories, I understand better than I would have with any lecture. Really.
David – It may be a weird question, but something that struck me when I visited Poland and met with feminist organizations, is a shared “witch-like” aesthetic, it’s something also present in G*TTF. Is there a reason for that?
Agata – Polish culture originally was extremely feminine, even in Polish mythology. There were so many demons and gods that were women, powerful creatures. Since Catholicism was introduced in Poland, all of this was erased. No more strong female creatures, nothing like that. I think that many organizations and artists are trying to reclaim that, to rediscover that because even if we heard about it, it was not considered cool. I guess it was just forgotten.
In Poland, we never really had witch hunts or anything like that. During protests, you can see signs and banners saying “we are the daughters of witches you couldn’t burn”. Because it’s just such a similar situation. If you are having a different opinion, different lifestyle, then you are being hunted for it.