Pink Bloque in the Press


When the Pink Bloque started, we were so busy planning outfits, messaging and dance moves that we neglected to realize that the paparazzi would be all over us [after all, we did have the same choreographer as Britney!]. Our first brushes with mass media were with Chicago-based independent publications Lumpen and The Chicago Reader. These experiences were largely positive in that both publications asked us to write about ourselves and/or reflected what we were about in a way we liked. But, as many other pop stars can attest, mass media can be a fickle love.

At the protest against the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue, what seemed like a gauntlet of mainstream press hounds kept asking us questions like, "Why are you wearing pink?" "What are you protesting?" and "Are you bunnies?" and taking hundreds of photos of us in our snazzy pink sweat suits. It was at once intimidating and exciting. We were forced to reckon with the fact that while some media was amused by us and willing to elevate our "2 Cute 2 B Arrested" patches to iconographic status, other members of the media were waiting to throw down some serious hateration [See Chris Jones, "Unfocused Frolic is Curtains for Street Theater," The Chicago Tribune, November 11] that merited us to come back with Roxanne Shante-style retorts [see Pink Bloque response, Chicago Tribune Letters]. It was our first realization that we were not always going to be able to control how we were represented in mass media.

Some of us saw the media exposure as an opportunity to insert more positive images of the radical left into the mainstream consciousness while getting coverage for important issues, and others of us felt skeptical that mainstream media could ever represent us accurately without minimizing or co-opting our message. This proved to be a debate that would be a part of the Pink Bloque process for the duration. Questions arose about giving individual names or trying to attribute all quotes to "The Pink Bloque" or "Ellen Jones." We struggled with questions of which media we would engage [Did we really want to be in Elle Girl? --No! We did not!] How would we deal with Bennifer-esque overexposure and remain cultural producers rather than be turned into cultural products that are just in the press because people want a story or a cute photo? We decided to engage the media on a case-by-case basis. We realized that the best we could do was try to take as much control over representations of us as possible by being clear, concise and articulate when talking to the press, and that we had an opportunity to push the media envelope by encouraging press to ask us more critical questions than "Why pink?" or "Can men join?"

At the end of our run, the Pink Bloque's press packet contains articles and interviews from Venus to Clamor to the Washington Post, and from C-Span to The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. We have yet to make it into the pages of Us Weekly, or have a VH1 "Behind the Music" special made about us, but even Madonna would have to agree that our ability to navigate the media without a publicist was impressive. (See bibliography below.)

~Rachel Caidor


Sarah Kanouse, "Cooing Over the Golden Phallus," Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, 2005, 21

Anne Elizabeth Moore, Hey Kidz! Buy This Book, Soft Skull Press, 2004, 123,128,139,153

C-Span, Pink Bloque Interview, August 2004

"Politics of Dancing," Rockpile Magazine #108, Fall 2004, 20

Pink Bloque Interview, Ladyfriend #7, August 2004, 4-6

Matt Wolf, "New Queer Live Art," LTTR Explosion, July 17, 2004

Emily Udell, Pink Bloque Interview, Punk Planet, July 2004, 44-46

Emily Udell, "Pink Bloque Party," In These Times, March 2004, 39

Estelle Raboni, "Pink Bloque Rocks," TeenWire.Com, June 15, 2004

Jonathan Menjivar, "Chicago Matters: Pink Bloque's Artful Protest," NPR, June 7, 2004 (radio segment on the Pink Bloque)

Emily Udell, Interview, "Fire on the Prairie," WLUW, Chicago, IL, April 4, 2004 (radio segment on the Pink Bloque)

Washington Blade, performance announcement with picture, August 11, 2003,

Pittsburgh Post Gazette, performance announcement, August 10, 2003,

Marissa Lo, "Dance Protesters Are in the Pink," The Baltimore Sun, August 7, 2003, Section E, 1, 3

Pulp, performance announcement, July 31, 2003

W.M., "Political in Pink," Richmond Style Weekly, July 30, 2003, 39

Joe Mac, "Weekly Highlights: Pink Bloque Kick, Ball, Change the World," The Baltimore City Paper, July 30, 2003, 41

Sarah Godfrey, "Pink Bloque," Washington City Paper, August 1, 2003, 77

Whet Moser, "Talking 'Bout a Pink Revolution," The Chicago Tribune, July 27, 2003, Arts and Entertainment Section 7, p 8

Jonathan Padgett, "Pink Bloque: Radical Cute," The Washington Post, July 24, 2003, E5

Peter Margasak, "Fringe Benefits: Musicians Mix It Up for the Pink Bloque," The Chicago Reader, July 11, 2003, 35

Dave Chamberlain, "Bloque Party," The New City, July 10, 2003

Maureen Murphy, "Busting a Movement," F News, March 2003, 11

Elisa Harkins, "On Tour: Pink Bloque," Lumpen 90, 2003, 19

"Tactical Media," Lumpen Magazine, Vol. 11, Issue 4, 2003, 11

"Don't Be Fooled by the Rock That They Got," Pistil Magazine, Summer 2003, 10

"Profile: The Pink Bloque," Ten by Ten, Winter 2003, 21

Amy Schroeder, "The Pink Dozen," Venus Zine, no. 14, Winter 2002, 10

Chris Jones, "Unfocused Frolic is Curtains for Street Theater," The Chicago Tribune, November 11, 2002, Tempo Section 1-2

Cara Jepsen, "Getting Down for the Downtrodden," The Chicago Reader, October 11, 2002, 38

Tom Burtonwood, "A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down," Insert>Vol. 1, October 2002,

"The Pink Bloque," Select Media, #04, 2002, 10-11

Pink Bloque: Disconnect, Issue #3, (authored by Rachel Caidor and Dara Greenwald), 2004

"Pink Bloque," The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest (authored by Rachel Caidor and Dara Greenwald), 2004

"Pink Bloque: Photo-essay, Bad Subjects," Issue #65 (authored by Rachel Caidor and Dara Greenwald), 2003

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