A Heidi inspired mix for the Berlin based Make Out Magazine completed in November 2012 to coincide with their second issue, which also featured an interview with me.
MoM: Jenny, you grew up in the States, spent some time in Switzerland and are living in London at the moment. Is there a place you call home?
Jenny Woolworth: Growing up as a first generation American with strong familial ties back to Germany and Switzerland I have always been part of multiple cultures. I suppose that makes it both easier and more difficult to travel and settle somewhere – therefore home for me has always been where my family and friends are. Also, fortunately, I am part of that great global queer underground network, so everywhere I go there are people to contact and places to go that immediately make me feel welcomed.
MoM: The focus of the current MoM issue is “Heidi.” Have you heard about her story while you were living in Switzerland?
Jenny: The story of Heidi is definitely a major pop cultural reference in Switzerland but I did not encounter it too much – probably because I moved there as an adult and not as a child. I definitely knew of the story and especially the TV series while I was growing up in the US – that theme song is ubiquitous around the world!
MoM: You had a radio show called Tiger Beat in Zürich, have been a DJ for many years and finally founded the Women in Punk Archive. Where does the need comes from to get involved with music that much?
Jenny: Music and archiving are my big passions and I can’t imagine it being any other way. It has actually taken me a long time to make these interests a central part of my life but I am working on it as I find ways to tell people’s stories, dig into the past and curate projects around music and social movements.
MoM: By the way, how would you describe the reactions on the Women in Punk Archive? What is the important thing about this project?
Jenny: The reaction to the archive has always been positive – varying from general feedback to specific detailed fact-checking. I welcome it all – the archive is a living thing that needs support from the community to grow and remain relevant. I am just here to collect stories and present them back for the public. What’s important is that this era, these bands and these women get recognition and have a proper place in our feminist, queer, punk and cultural history.
MoM: Punk is more than a genre of music. Do you think we can leave this statement like this? What does punk mean to you?
Jenny: It’s an attitude that extends well beyond certain music and a particular era. From my time as part of the US riot grrl movement in the 90s, I still carry strong core values of self-confidence and defiance that remind me I can take up space and actively do something to make the world a better place.
MoM: You made this wonderful mixtape for MoM. What influences the way you create a playlist or a mixtape?
Jenny: Putting together a mixtape or playlist is about telling a story or creating a journey – whether it’s a subtle connection through the lyrics or a more obvious flow of beats. As I started to mull over the theme of Heidi I realized that I strongly identified with certain elements of her story. So I envisaged her as a modern day Holly Golightly character – escaping the country mountain life, heading to the big city, getting lost in the bright lights and good times only to find that she longs for a home she can never return to.