Two excellent teaching resources….

Posters from the See Red Women’s Workshop are available under a Creative Commons license.

Explore the imagery and communication strategies of the Women’s Liberation Movement…

protest

Using Archives to Teach Gender is an excellent resource that includes scans of images from the Feminist Archive North and the Marks & Spencer Company Archive which are both based at Special Collections, Leeds University. Also includes a handy links page to further resources.

As ever, the Sisterhood & After oral history project is a must and first stop shop for research into the WLM.

Women’s Liberation Music Archive – catalogued and available for use

Fliers for the Women's Liberation Music ArchiveThe Women’s Liberation Music Archive is now available for consultation in the University of Bristol Special Collections, and is stored with the Feminist Archive South.

It has the reference DM2598 and contents can be viewed on our online catalogue.

It consists of 7 boxes of materials relating to Music and the Women’s Movement in the 1970s and 1980s.Street Performance of Clapperclaw

Gems include audio and audiovisual recordings of bands such as Clapperclaw, Jam Today, Ova, the Fabulous Dirt Sisters, Feminist Improvising Group, Frankie Armstrong, The Mistakes, Guest Stars,  and Contradictions, as well as a range of fascinating ephemera including fliers, diaries, budget books, manifestos, songbooks, posters, oral histories and much more.

Listening and viewing facilities are available within the archive for this material.

Big thanks to Sarah Cuthill who catalogued the material for us.

 

Student visits to the archive

The Feminist Archive South is continuing to get increased use from students (undergraduate and postgraduate) from the University of Bristol and further afield (UWE, Bath, Exeter, Bath Spa and beyond).

In March 2014 we held four workshops when we hosted all of the first year University of the West of England design students (around 80 in total).
Two students read documents, a banner stating 'Bristol Greenham Women' is in the backgroun

They were inspired by the collection to create their own pieces of work, and a fascinating time was had by all involved, students and staff alike. Discussions took place on Greenham Common, Miss World (and alternatives to Miss World), Sistershow, relationships, art work, 1950s central Europe, and everything else!

A group of students gather round the table reading and discussing archive materials

Protect women only homelessness services in Bristol

Please sign and share this petition to help protect women only homelessness services in Bristol.

Women only accommodation is currently under threat as part of Bristol City Council’s commissioning plan for medium level homelessness services.

The option currently favoured by Bristol City Council is to reduce the number of women only accommodation from 34 units to 10 units.

The evidence is that more women are accessing and needing services and that they continue to be in need of safe and secure women only accommodation.

Please sign this petition to pledge your support for women only accommodation and urge Bristol City Council to reconsider their proposal to reduce this vital and specialist service in Bristol.

For more information visit the Missing Link website

Women’s Radio Workshop – Women and Music

We are slowly migrating our audio cassette-based collections to digital files and we thought we’d share some of the fruits of our labour here.

The Women’s Radio Workshop programme ‘Women and Music’ provides a rare and unique insight into women’s liberation music making.

Women and Music Front women and music back

The programme features ‘seven women who play and write music’ including Rosemary Schonfeld, Jana Runnalls (Ova), Andrea Webb, Janie Webb, Judya Manthis (sp?), Lawrie Strike, Louise Marsden, Rosie Fisher and Sarah Gillam.

For more background on music making and the WLM visit the online Women’s Liberation Music Archive, in particular read the introduction to the Sisters in Song book. The physical WLMA has been deposited in the FAS and is in the process of being catalogued – check back soon for updates on this!

For now, enjoy!

Cfp – Situating Women’s Liberation; Historicizing a Movement Symposium

Situating Women’s Liberation; Historicizing a Movement Symposium

The University of Portsmouth: Friday 4 July 2014

The women’s liberation movement (WLM) erupted into late 1960s Western society as a powerful force for social change, challenging rigidly defined and oppressive sex role stereotypes, promoting a set of formal demands for women’s equality and introducing terms such as ‘sexism’ and ‘male chauvinist’ into everyday language. There is little doubt that the women’s liberation movement had a profound impact, yet popular images of the original ‘women’s libbers’ portray second wave feminists as men hating, bra burning, dungaree clad harridans. There is currently renewed interest in feminism, and an upsurge of feminist activity. This has been accompanied by a desire amongst feminist historians to develop the historiography of the WLM. The aim of this one day conference is to historicize the women’s liberation movement within western society between c1968-1990.

Papers are invited in any area of women’s liberation c1968-90 in Britain, Continental Europe and North America. We are particularly interested in the following themes:

  • ‘The personal is political’: consciousness raising, personal narratives, oral testimony – remembering the WLM;
  • Sexuality and contraception, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender feminists, sexual violence and ‘reclaim the night’;
  • Struggles at work: women’s strikes, equal pay, against sex role stereo typing – equal opportunities;
  • The WLM and media: campaigns against sexist advertising;
  • feminist publications;
  • Black feminism;
  • Women from ethnic minorities/ women of colour in the WLM;
  • Cultural dimensions of the WLM: feminist art, theatre, writing;
  • Transnational dimensions

This conference is aimed primarily at historians but will also be of interest to scholars in other disciplines, notably Literature, Cultural Studies, Sociology and Media Studies.

Please send abstracts up to 300 words to Sue Bruley (sue.bruley@port.ac.uk) by 4th April 2014.

Website and Booking: http://www.port.ac.uk/centre-for-european-and-international-studies-research/events/situating-womens-liberation/

Local Information:  http://www.visitportsmouth.co.uk/

Translation/ Transmission: Women’s Activism Across Space and Time Film Season, March 2014

We are very excited to be supporting Translation/ Transmission: Women’s Activism Across Space and Time Film Season, that is taking place across March 2014 at the Watershed.

Translation/ Transmission brings together well-received and less well-known films that will be shown together for the first time in a season that explores the potential of film and feminist media to translate across the boundaries of language, genre, time and culture.

Translation Transmission Flier

Untitled-3-a6.indd

Translation/ Transmission features activist documentaries and women filmmakers from the Women’s Liberation Movement in Britain, Jamaica, Palestine, Germany, Vietnam, USA, Iran and France/ Cameroon, highlighting the diversity of different feminisms across geographical locations and historical moments.

Screenings will be enriched by discussion from activists, academics and artists; audiences will be invited to participate in discussions about the role played by feminist artists and filmmakers in rendering visible forgotten histories and marginalised experiences.

We are excited to be sponsoring the screening of Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair and In Our Own Time which is taking place on Sunday 16 March at 1pm.

Check out the full programme.

Calling all Spare Rib contributors – from the British Library

Please note that the text below is from the British Library, NOT the Feminist Archive South.  Respond to the address given below – copyright@bl.ukThank you!

Few titles sum up an era and a movement like Spare Rib. The magazine ran from 1972-1993 and for many women was the debating chamber of feminism in the UK.

The British Library has recently embarked on a pilot project to assess the feasibility of digitising the complete run of Spare Rib magazine. Although the entire run of the magazine has always been available to readers at the British Library and other libraries, digitising the copies and making them freely available online would transform access for researchers and the wider public.

As Spare Rib is still in copyright, in order for this project to go ahead it is crucial for the British Library that all Spare Rib contributors (including illustrators and photographers) grant permission for their material to be digitised and made available online for non-commercial use. The contributors and Spare Rib collective members we have spoken to date have been very positive but we still need to contact a great number of former contributors to ask their permission to digitise their content.

The British Library is undertaking a feasibility study between now and the end of December 2013 to see whether this will be possible. Without sufficient permissions to digitise the project will not go ahead.

If you were a contributor to Spare Rib then we want to hear from you! Please get in touch for more information by contacting copyright@bl.uk.  If you could specify the approximate date you were a contributor and the name by which you were known that would be very helpful.

New Additions to the Greenham Common Collection – The story of Mrs. Jocelyn Wood

The latest item we have catalogued contributes to our already significant collection relating to Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.

We were recently contacted by Michael Wood, the son of Mrs. Jocelyn Wood, who sadly recently passed away, to see if we would be interested in housing a piece of the Greenham Common fence and some photographs of the camp. Of course we said yes!

An email from Michael is included below to introduce his mother’s text, which outlines her memories of being stationed at Greenham Common during the Second World War, years before she returned to Greenham as an activist.

A big thankyou to Michael for letting us post this story on the website, along with the photos. If you want to view the items in the flesh, they bear the catalogue number DM2123/1/Archive Boxes 129.

‘Hello

My wife has recently contacted you about a piece of fence from Greenham Common from my mother (Jocelyne Wood, nee Withycombe) – correspondence below. We think she has some photos as well which we will try to dig out and send them together.

DM1981 129 1 5 065

She did write a few notes about her life – nothing about going to Greenham during the seventies (?) but she was stationed there for a few months during the war until the Americans arrived – see attachment.

We’ll be in touch again when we’ve found the photos.

Best wishes

Michael (Wood)’

DM1981 129 1 3 061

DM1981 129 1 6 067RAF Greenham Common was like a holiday camp after Hednesford, I spent three very enjoyable summer months there July to August 1943, WAAFs were billeted in a large house with a garden stretching down to the Kennet, a fast flowing chalk stream, It was ideal bathing, We were working outside doing daily inspections on Oxfords, which in good summer weather was pleasant work.

We did the same jobs as the RAF – for which as far as I can remember we got half the pay, NCOs were all RAF and most had served RAF apprenticeships.

DM1981 129 1 4 064Greenham was a Training Command station. WAAF mechanics were never sent to active service stations – a fact you were not told when you joined up. Our Greenham was very different from the USAF cruise missile base, The main Basingstoke road, now diverted, ran through the camp. As far as I can remember there were no fences even round the runway. It trained for night flying so there must have been some way of stopping traffic when flying was in progress.

Hitching to Fleet from Greenham was easy usually only taking about an hour, so I went home a lot – sometimes just for a half day.

The road to Basingstoke was beautiful with wild clematis and scabious. I had my cycle with me as did most of the others. A favourite evening ride was to Kingsclere where there was a good YM canteen in a magnificent barn. (I have since tried without success to identify that barn.)

DM1981 129 1 1 059

The Services’ canteens and hostels were very useful, There were hostels in most major towns which I made much use of on my hitching expeditions. London ones were particularly useful making theatre visits possible, A uniform opened many doors. Looking back it seems very unfair. Girls conscripted to factories like ROF Chorley worked much harder and for longer hours than we did, were away from home living inferior hostels with inferior food but had no such facilities, nor did the Land Army.

For other entertainment there was Newbury and the Americans, There were several US bases nearby that invited us to dances, The main attraction was the food rather than the G.I.s most of whom were boring. There were WO exceptions, I got to know David McGeon because I happened to tell him I was reading War & Peace. I went out with him several times. He was a film script writer and was fairly left wing. He was interesting, but too introspective to be easy company, Then Stan Sobolewski took over. I met him at a dance at the Corn Exchange in Newbury from where we walked through the park by the river orchestrated by thunder and lightning – but no rain.

DM1981 129 1 2 060

I saw a lot him during the next two weeks. He was tall, dark and handsome and very attractive, but not political. He was of Polish origin and came from Detroit, Two weeks later the blow fell: the Americans were taking Greenham over and the RAF had to move. Stan and I corresponded for several months and met once in London, but the magic had gone. I had had a lucky escape.

The news of the move was devastating to everyone. We all liked Greenham. We had one week’s notice. A special train was provided for the move. The whole station packed up and moved. Our destination was Long Newnton, Glos. It was an unattractive camp and the nearest town, Tetbury, was no compensation for Newbury in spite of its lovely old buildings. I was there less than a week before I was posted yet again – to the Fitters’ Course at Halton.