Reparations Thrift asks white Madisonians to pay it back in style

The mutual-aid organization makes a case for fashion-based reparations.

Reparations Thrift purposefully connects fashion with reparations. Cultural appropriation is rampant, particularly on Instagram, says Thrift co-head Venus Han. Personalities like the Kardashians get likes—and accumulate social capital—by cherry-picking aspects of style from Black and brown cultures. Read more at Tone Madison.

Willy Street’s giige brings healing tattooing practices to the forefront

The new collective creates a space where queer and Indigenous people can reclaim their bodies.

giige (pronounced “ghee-GHEH”) means “heals up” in Anishinaabemowin, the language of many of Wisconsin’s Indigenous tribes. Healing is the foundation of giige’s mission. The collective’s trauma- and gender-informed tattooing practice is steeped in the act of body reclamation. Read more at Tone Madison.

Relief at last for patients with the ‘worst pain in modern medicine’

Retiring UW Health surgeon Dr. Hans W. Sollinger pioneered an operation

Two years ago, Kristin Meurrens’ life was nearly over because she was considering ending it. At 37, the mother of two was in constant debilitating pain that no doctor had been able to effectively understand and treat.

She likens the bladder pain to being both electrocuted and passing kidney stones. Countless CAT scans came back negative. Seeking relief, Meurrens was admitted to the hospital every two weeks or so. Opioids took the edge off, though doctors became suspicious.

“They treated me like a drug seeker and it was just a terrible situation to have doctors not believe that you were in any sort of pain,” she says. “I was very suicidal at the time. The pain medication had taken its toll not only on my body, but also my mind. I wasn’t really living any sort of life. I was lying in my bed 24 hours a day.” Read more at Madison Magazine

Punk and circumstance

An independent documentary looks at the scene that flourished in Washington, D.C.

Punk is not dead. That’s the takeaway from a documentary featuring key members of the Washington, D.C., hardcore scene. Featuring an interview with Jeff Nelson, drummer of Minor Threat and co-founder of Dischord Records. Read more at isthmus.com.

Madison’s pop guitar queen

21-year-old wunderkind Raine Stern has big plans

On a Thursday night at North Street Cabaret, Raine Stern and her band roll through a set of original funky blues rock songs, filled with her jaw-dropping solos and versatile vocals. Her short, curly blonde hair hangs in front of her round wire-rim glasses, her mannerisms calling to mind one of her influences, Prince. Midway through the set, her band exits the stage and she performs a few solo tunes. Read more at isthmus.com.

True American art

“Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas” is an exhibit of wonders

In a dimly lit gallery in the School of Human Ecology on the UW-Madison campus sit three cases draped with linen. Beneath the coverings are funerary objects taken from Indigenous resting places — swatches of handmade cloth and bags that were meant to be used by the dead in the next world. Read more at isthmus.com.

Ode to an outsider

Marielle Allschwang creates a multimedia tribute to Milwaukee’s Mary Nohl

On childhood trips to her grandmother’s house Marielle Allschwang would drive past a cottage on Lake Michigan in the suburb of Fox Point. Its yard was dotted with playfully bizarre sculptures.  Read more at isthmus.com.