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Extended Through May: D.C. Punk

Celebrate the D.I.Y. culture and working-class ethos of “D.C. Punk”

UPDATED 4/13: Due to popular demand, this exhibition will remain on display through May.

This engrossing exhibit of memorabilia from the regional music scene’s golden era of the 1970s and ’80s will be on display throughout April at Central Library.

Arlington County was a well-known base of operations for many of the musicians and music labels that created a straightforward Mid-Atlantic sound best known through now-legendary bands like  Slickee Boys, Minor Threat, Government Issue and later Fugazi.

The artifacts were culled from the DSI Archives, which is affiliated with Arlington-based Dark Self Image Records. One of the contributors writes,

It was a state of mind that we embraced because we felt as kids no one cared about what we were doing and saying, so if we wanted to do this we better be ready to do it all ourselves. This happened at the same time across the US and the world and somehow this ragtag bunch of teens and young adults managed to start a movement for themselves through a network of small independent communities that eventually influenced mainstream media.
So much of the “PUNK” movement was about “just doing it” and not caring if anyone else was into it or not.

View a selection of the flyers, artifacts and news articles on our flickr page. Learn more about the DC Punk scene on the Banned in DC website, or check out photographer Jim Saah’s archive of DC Punk photos.

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The DC Punk exhibit was inspired by Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, our Arlington Reads 2012 fiction title – a take on growing up and growing old in the digital age, with key scenes taking place during the 1970s San Francisco punk scene. Egan will speak at Central Library on April 26 at 7:00 p.m.

Also in conjunction with Arlington Reads 2012, Central Library will screen the documentary Instrument – Ten Years with the Band Fugazi: A Film by Jem Cohen and the Washington D.C. Band Fugazi, on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m.

Arlington Reads is Arlington Public Library’s annual one-theme, one-community initiative promoting thoughtful discussion and the joy of reading throughout the County.

Arlington Reads is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Arlington Public Library.




Comments (4)

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  1. [...] a blog post, Golkin noted that Arlington played a key role in the region’s vibrant punk rock [...]

  2. Michelle says:

    Will this only run for the month of April?

  3. Public Information Officer says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for asking. It depends on the schedule for incoming displays. We’re checking and hope to have an answer soon. Our art coordinator is off this week.

  4. [...] anywhere near Arlington, Virginia from now until the end of May, check out the recently extended “D.C. Punk” exhibit at the Arlington County Public Library (where I did an author event in 2009). The combination of [...]

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