Vivien Greene, Toni Young and Giovanna Righini, 1981

by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS





The photo book Banned in DC, about the punk scene in the nation’s capital, was published in 1988—so quickly that some questioned whether it was too soon to document the scene.

Nearly three decades later, co-author Cynthia Connolly has produced a seventh edition and is making stops around the country to talk about the scene.

“I’m talking about the development of the punk movement and what we call DIY culture,” she said. “It started with the American punk movement.”



On Oct. 9, she’ll be in Olympia, sharing her experiences and showing slides of ephemera and photos not included in the 183-page, black-and-white, glossy paperback, subtitled “Photos and Anecdotes from the D.C. Punk Underground (’79-’85).”

These appearances are the way to market the book, said Connolly, a fine-art photographer from Arlington, Virginia. Rather than touring the way a band would, she gives talks when she happens to be visiting an area. “It’s super fun to do this,” she said. “Every discussion and slide show is completely different. I try to identify people in the audience who might have been involved in the punk movement and involve them,” she added. “In Olympia, I imagine there are going to be people there who might interact.”

She didn’t take most of the pictures in the book. Rather, she and co-authors Sharon Cheslow and Leslie Clague collected them.

After compiling the book, though, she realized few of the pictures showed women, who had moved literally to the back of the room to avoid the increasingly violent dancing.



“We were putting the book together and realized there weren’t enough women depicted,” Connolly said. “So we went back and found photos that showed women in the scene.”

Except for the afterword, the seventh edition remains faithful to the earlier editions. “It’s kind of a bootleg of itself,” she said.

What: Banned in DC slide show and talk

Where: Obsidian,
414 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia

When: 5-7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9

How much: free for the event;
$25 cash for a copy of the book

Learn more: 360-890-4425 | Obsidian