Reel Smart Academic Roundtable: Widgies, Sharpies and Punk(ettes)
In this Reel Smart Academic pitch, the La Trobe research team share the story of the rebellious girls who sought freedom and identity in subcultures in Australia in the second half of the twentieth century.
La Trobe University and AIDC present the Reel Smart Academic Roundtables which sees academics from La Trobe University pitch up-to-the-minute original research to producers at AIDC with the aim of triggering the development of new factual series or one-off documentary projects.
Widgies, Sharpies and Punk(ettes) tells the story of how an alternative girlhood evolved in Australia in the second half of the twentieth century. What became of the rebellious girls who sought freedom and identity in subcultures? The Widgies – tight-sweatered girlfriends of 1950s rockers; the Sharpie chicks described by Magda Szubanski as “a Frankenstein’s monster of baby-doll plucked eyebrows, skinhead-meets-mullet hair …Clothes worn too tight and too small.”; and the young women who found expression through punk and post-punk, who became both producers and consumers of their own subversive style.
For many girls, especially those trapped in the nullifying suburbs, identifying with a subculture promised adventure, and a way out of prescribed gender roles. Widgies, Sharpies and Punk(ettes) asks whether or not it delivered. What was life like for these young women, and what were the rewards and hazards of their risk-taking? Did they grow up, get married, put away their safety pins and Staggers? Do they see it all differently now? Or are they still there somewhere in their minds?
Even today, representations of subculture are overwhelmingly from the male perspective – It is my aim to bring women’s voices to the fore.
The Reel Smart Academic Roundtables are limited in capacity. Interested delegates are encouraged to reserve their spot via AIDC’s online event platform early to avoid disappointment.