Banned In DC
East To West
Lengths & Breaths
Big Lots
Stories from the Island of Big Sur, CA

Banned In DC

Cynthia Connolly, Leslie Clague, Sharon Cheslow

After nearly 10 years out of production, Banned In DC is finally back in print.

It was thought that the sixth edition - which was released in 2005 - would be the final version of the book, as the many of the negatives used to make the printing plates had deteriorated beyond use. However, due to consistent demand, Connolly decided to undertake the laborious task of recreating the book, hewing as closely as possible to the original design only this time as a permanent digital negative.

Assembled by Cynthia Connolly, Leslie Clague, and Sharon Cheslow and originally released in December of 1988, Banned in DC collects hundreds of photos, flyers, and stories documenting the DC punk scene of the mid-’80s.

The intention of the book – one of the first to be published on punk in the US -- was to capture the feeling and energy of the movement, using stories from the many people who were involved. Images of many of the bands of that time can be found in this book: Minor Threat, Faith, Marginal Man, Scream, Red C, Bad Brains, Nuclear Crayons, Insurrection, Hate from Ignorance, G. I., Bloody Mannequin Orchestra, Void, Second Wind, and many more.

With the seventh edition of Banned in DC, publisher and founding author Cynthia Connolly has added an eight-page afterword explaining how and why the book came together. The story highlights years growing up in Los Angeles in the late ’70s and early ’80s – going to shows and discovering and documenting the punk scene in DC after her family relocated to the area in 1981.

To buy this book from Cynthia in the US, go to the online store. (If the online store is “empty” that means Cynthia is on a road trip and not taking orders at the time. Sorry!) You can also buy it from Dischord Records.

Banned in DC Talk, Slideshow and Book Signing

Over the years, Connolly has eschewed distributing the book through large mainstream distributors and instead works with smaller indie distributors. She always has a small stash of books in her car and sells them when on road trips to record and book stores. Since the release of the seventh edition in 2015, she has travelled all over the United States delivering a fast-paced slide show and talk to book stores, art spaces, museums and universities to further continue supporting the scene that supports her. A book signing and sale has followed. If you would like to bring Cynthia to your town, please email her and write “Banned in DC” in the subject line.

For the talk, Connolly focuses on punk music in the late 70’s and early 80’s from Los Angeles and DC, her involvement in those scenes and the importance of creating and supporting community. She tells the story about how and why she created and published the book Banned in DC focusing on the DC punk music scene. The slideshow is full of rare flyers and ephemera that she collected during that time. Each slideshow is different reflecting stories about the place and people with whom she is speaking, and sometimes involves a panel after the talk. Additionally, she might touch upon how she still uses the model of community building and DIY that she learned in the music scene but now in her curating and art practice.

Washington, DC: Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Hirshhorn Museum held a panel discussion on the 30th anniversay of the publishing of the book with with Cynthia & Leslie Clague, co-founding editors of the Banned in DC, and Mark Beasley, Media and Performance Curator.