From the Zwicky diaspora: spinning and trimming in Denver

Thanks to Google Alert, a pointer to a story in Westword (Denver News and Events) yesterday, “One Track, One Trim at a Time: DJ and Stylist L.A. Zwicky Promotes Self-Expression” by Bree Davies:


Lauren Zwicky, mixing

Hey, she’s creative and queer. Also young and in-your-face.

Lauren Zwicky is all about aesthetics, something that’s evident in her work as a hair stylist as well as in her efforts as a DJ and event organizer. For her, music can influence the way we present ourselves to the world as much as the way we look can have an impact on the art we make. Whether she’s behind the styling chair or the turntables, Zwicky is constantly innovating, hoping to be part of the personal transformation of both her clients in the salon and her followers on the dance floor.

“The motivating force behind anything I do — whether it’s deejaying, doing hair or throwing parties — is to just give people the chance to be themselves,” says Zwicky. “There are so many beautiful, fierce people out there who have been ridiculed their whole lives and don’t have that opportunity to be who they are.”

Through her work, she strives to give people the freedom to be themselves, one track or trim at a time.

Zwicky’s taste in music is simple: Anything bass-heavy goes, and that includes everything from Rihanna to Shamir to Brenmar. She loves old-school ’90s house, Baltimore house and UK funky. “Anything with a diva vocal; anything fierce,” she says. Her crowds go crazy for it, too. Her ability to blend lesser-known tracks from Top 40 artists with local beatmakers’ music and songs from off-the-beaten-path international acts puts this mixmaster in a category all her own.

As a DJ and promoter, Zwicky — who goes by Tha Bitch Prince — has been curating equal-opportunity dance-floor atmospheres for more than five years. Her goal is true inclusion and acceptance; she wants to create “safer” spaces for her party-goers and give members of Denver’s queer community a place where they can truly let loose and explore their individuality.

There’s a fair amount more; it’s an interesting, detailed piece.

My most recent postings on the Zwicky diaspora (which radiates from Canton Glarus, Switzerland, throughout the rest of the country and then throughout Europe, thanks in part to the Napoleonic wars, and then to North America and places much further afield, like Argentina and Australia):

from 7/2/14, “From the Zwicky Diaspora”: skateboarding cop Joel Zwicky in Green Bay WI

from 2/24/16, “Annals of art and design: LC2 in Swiss concrete”: Swiss designer Stefan Zwicky (in Zürich)

Along the way I’ve mentioned that there are two poets, both women, named Zwicky, one in Canada (now in Victoria BC), one in Australia (now in Perth, Western Australia) — what’s with this western edge of the continent thing? The first looks pretty clearly to be a Zwicky by blood, like Lauren and Joel and (of course) Stefan and me, but the second is certainly a Zwicky by marriage (to her first husband, now dead, who was a Zwicky from the Netherlands); the Australian poet is not only a woman but also a Jew, and she’s pointedly estranged from her native country.

First, in Canada, from Wikipedia:

Jan Zwicky (born 10 May 1955) is a Canadian philosopher, poet, essayist, and musician.

Zwicky is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Victoria, where she taught both philosophy and interdisciplinary humanities courses from 1996 until 2009. She has served as a faculty member at the Banff Centre Writing Studio, [where she] has conducted numerous writing workshops

Zwicky is an eco-political and anti-colonial thinker, comparable to fellow Canadian poets Tim Lilburn and Don McKay, who promotes the fundamental unity of ontology and ethics by laying emphasis on the act of attention.

Zwicky’s poetry, which she composes aloud, is influenced by musicians and noted composers and deals as well with the natural world, and has often been cited for its intense lyricism

And then in Australia, again from Wikipedia:

Fay Zwicky (born 4 July 1933 in Melbourne) is a contemporary Australian poet, short-story writer, critic and academic primarily known for her autobiographical poem Kaddish which deals with her identity as a Jewish writer.

Born Julia Fay Rosefield, Fay Zwicky grew up in suburban Melbourne. Her family was fourth generation Australian — her father, a doctor; her mother, a musician. Fay Zwicky was an accomplished pianist by the age of six, and performed with her violinist and cellist sisters while still at school. After completing her schooling at Anglican institutions, she entered the University of Melbourne in 1950, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in 1954. Descended from European Jews, she described herself as an “outsider” (“I was ashamed of my foreign interloper status”) from an “Anglo-Saxon dominated” Australian culture. She began publishing poetry as an undergraduate, thereafter working as a musician, extensively touring Europe, America and South-East Asia between 1955 and 1965.

She settled in Perth with her Dutch husband Karl Zwicky (the two married in 1957) … and returned to literature working primarily as a Senior Lecturer in American and comparative literature at the University of Western Australia until her retirement in 1987.

Recurrent themes of Zwicky’s are the relation between art and the artist, the exploration of the author’s Jewish heritage and autobiographical experiences [including her grief at Karl’s death].

… In her essays Zwicky traces the ways in which the construction of an Australian literature has served to marginalize minority writers and women. She discusses the absence, until very recently, of any place for a Jewish writer in Australian literature: “Living and growing up in this country has been an exercise in repression”.

(On being named as a “living treasure” of Western Australia, Zwicky described the honor as “repulsive”.)

A plus. I see that I haven’t posted on another notable in the Zwicky diaspora, though I get regular Google Alert notices about her doings: Stéphanie Zwicky, in Paris. She says:

Je m’appelle Stéphanie Zwicky, je suis blogueuse, coach mode et chroniqueuse mode et beauté. Je vis à Paris d’origine suisse

SZ in street fashion:


From T Magazine (New York Times) in Women’s Fashion, by Nancy MacDonell on 9/4/12, in “Large Format | Stéphanie Zwicky’s Blog de Big Beauty”:

The belief that French women’s vaunted chic and their slender waistlines are inseparable — indeed, self-propagating — is so reflexive that it’s spurred its own ever-expanding self-help genre. So it may come as a surprise to learn that one of the most popular fashion bloggers in France is the Swiss-born, Paris-based plus-size model, actress and television host Stéphanie Zwicky of Le Blog de Big Beauty, who is happily and unabashedly Rubenesque. Zwicky started blogging in 2005 as a resource for other women struggling to find stylish clothes in sizes larger than 42 (an American 12) — which, she notes, is what 60 percent of French women wear. Today, she logs 230,000 readers from around the world every month, many of whom post ecstatic reviews of her colorful, body-conscious outfits (“J’aime, j’aime, et je sur-aime!” reads a typical comment.) “There are girls like me on every block, I’m just lucky to be so visible,” she says.

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