Category Archives: Exhibitions

The Feminist Archive awarded funding from the Women’s Suffrage Centenary Grant Scheme

The Feminist Archive is delighted to announce that it has been awarded over £50,000 by the Government Equalities Office as part of the Women’s Suffrage Centenary Grant Scheme.

FAS was one of 8 standout schemes to be awarded a share of the Large Grant Fund designed to “celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage, educate young people about its significance, and encourage more women to participate in public life so that they have an equal voice.”

As well as the Women’s Suffrage Centenary, 2018 marks the 40thanniversary of the the Feminist Archive South which was established in 1978 to document the histories of international feminist social movements active between 1960-2000. Including over 160 metres of diverse archive materials – oral histories, pamphlets, posters, the personal papers of women activists, periodicals– the archive tells the story of how activists struggled for gender equality and realised the increased participation of women in public life. Alongside our partner archive based at the University of Leeds (FAN), we hold one of the most significant collections of women’s activist histories in the UK.

The Women’s Suffrage Centenary project aims to increase knowledge of UK democracy and contribute to greater gender parity in local and national politics through three interlinked project strands: digital engagement, educational workshops and a touring exhibition. These events will celebrate the historical legacy of suffrage and the WLM and bring untold feminist narratives to light. They will also work to engage groups underrepresented in politics and civic life, particularly LGBT+ people, those from lower-socio-economic backgrounds, and those living in rural isolation, with caring responsibilities or homebound due to a disability.

  • Strand One ‘Hatpins to Hashtags: Digital Democracy’ will deliver intensive training days on working with participatory, active democracy platforms via adult education centres and support women to cascade their digital democracy learning.
  • Strand Two will develop and deliver a series of educational workshops for young people aged 16 – 30 at FE colleges and youth groups, providing engaging educational opportunities for young people to learn about the diverse histories of feminist activism as it links to contemporary debates about gender equality in their lives.
  • Strand Three will celebrate and reflect on the achievements of the feminist movement to date by curating five exhibitions of FAS’ rich poster collection across the South West as well as delivering a speaker series at each regional exhibition addressing topics such as ‘Intersectional suffrage’ and ‘Digital feminism: challenging online abuse’.

The Feminist Archive would like to express our gratitude to the Government Equalities Office for funding this project and congratulate the 7 other winning projects. You can read more about the Women’s Suffrage Centenary Grant Schemeand other projects here and follow our news and project developments on Twitter and Facebook.

Sistershow materials catalogued and searchable

The materials from the Heritage Lottery Funded Sistershow Revisited project, which took place from 2010-2011, have now been catalogued and are searchable on the University of Bristol’s Archive Catalogue. They bear the reference ‘DM2606 Sistershow Revisited’.

Two women sit under a giant hat, one pulls a funny face, both look mischeivous

Pat VT West & Jackie Thrupp sit together under a giant hat that was made by Jackie for the first Sistershow performance in March 1973

In the meantime, enjoy these photos that we digitised as part of the project:

A party scene in a house, women dance dressed up in clothing from the 1930s and 1940s

The figure dressed in red satin is Alison Rook, who donated a large archive for the exhibition, and was instrumental in getting the project off the ground.

Two women lay a wreath at the war memorial in the centre of Bristol in memory of women who had died from illegal abortions

Part of Helen Taylor and Brenda Jacques tape slide project that was used to raise awareness between women/ feminist groups about the activities and ideas behind women’s liberation

Two women stand either side of a person dressed in a suit, wearing a face mask

One of the few photographic documents of the Sistershow performances. This is the first show, that took place at Bower Ashton. Note the degradation of the image.

We still have catalogues from the exhibition available and you can get one for a small donation.

Revealing Stories – OutStories Exhibition

Its the last week you can see the Bristol-based LGBT history group Outstories’ exhibition Revealing Stories, which is being displayed at MShed.

Revealing Stories is part of LGBT history month and tells the (sometimes hidden) histories of LGBT people and communities in Bristol and the South West.

It also includes a number of artefacts from the Feminist Archive South, such as the Bristol Lesbian Line Banner below, and copies of Move, the local lesbian publication from the 1970s.

Fabric banner with letters 'Bristol Lesbian Line' and a phone number.

The exhibition is a fantastic achievement and a valuable tool to educate people who may not know about the experience of LGBT people.

It is moving and lovingly constructed, and will no doubt help contribute to the gradual de-stigmatisation of LGBT people in Bristol, and beyond. Well done Outstories!

Go see it before it is gone!

Sistershow Revisited

In 2010-2011 the Heritage Lottery Funded Sistershow Revisited: Feminism in Bristol, 1973-1975.

The project used the antics of Sistershow, an anarchic theatre and arts troupe to tell the history of feminism in Bristol during 1973-1975.

There is extensive documentation of the project, which produced a three week exhibition at Centrespace Gallery, a book and a series of cultural events, on the blog. It includes photos, audio and film and is well worth a look!

The exhibition catalogue is still available from HammerOn Press.

Sistershow cover

The book and exhibition was designed by Jan Martin, who also made the fetching banner for this site.