The Feminist Archive South is planning to kick start a year of projects to celebrate its 40th anniversary with an invitation to explore some of the most radical and striking posters held by the University of Bristol’s Special Collections. The event, which will take place on 31st January from 2-5pm, will be the first of a series of monthly collaborative workshops seeking to engage new audiences with the archive.
The Feminist Archive South holds over 160 metres of inspirational materials collected by activists documenting the progression of feminist politics since the 1960s. Our drive for the next era in the FAS is to create new opportunities for discover the diversity of our collections, explore the intersectionality of materials and bring untold feminist narratives to light.
These sessions will enable participants to learn about archive cataloguing, have a good rummage in our collections and meet people who are interested in the feminist archive. No previous experience is necessary – we welcome anyone curious about the archive to come along and find out more.
The archive sessions will lay the foundations for the 40th anniversary projects, within which we plan to develop cutting-edge learning resources and a new exhibition based on topics such as gender in education, migration and transnational feminisms.
The workshop launch on 31st January will be a chance to see and research posters ranging from politics and performing arts to violence and Reclaim the Night.
The dates for the first four events are 31 Jan, 14 Feb, 21 March and 18 April from 2-5pm at Special Collections, UoB Arts and Social Sciences Library (wheelchair accessible). If you are interested in attending or have any questions please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Numbers are limited therefore registration is essential.
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;
Women from ethnic minorities/ women of colour in the WLM;
Cultural dimensions of the WLM: feminist art, theatre, writing;
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.
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’.
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:
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.
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
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.
This week we were visited by Conni Rosewarne who is filming parts of the archive for her third year university project.
Conni was particularly interested in material relating to Greenham Common, as both her grandmother and mother protested at the camp. Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, established in Sept 1981, was a protest against the presence of nuclear cruise missiles on British land. Missiles were removed from the camp in 1991, but women still protested there until 2000. For more information about the camp, please visit here and here.
Part of fence at Greenham Common
This photo is a piece of the fence, which women used to cut into during actions.
Shawl collectively made by women at Greenham Common
This photo is of a collectively made shawl by Greenham Women which depicts a number of spider webs sewn together. Before the world wide web connected people across the world, women at Greenham used the metaphor of a spiders web to imagine global connections between peace activists.
Brighton University Student Conni Rosewarne films the shawl and piece of the fence for her university project
Conni in action! She has promised to send us her film when it has been made – so watch this space!
The fence, from a different angle
Another close-up of the fence – a highly emotive part of our collection. If you want to see some amazing pictures of Greenham, visit Cary Welling‘s site.
This symposium will explore why and how oral history has been privileged as a methodology for capturing women activists’ experience in very different countries and contexts.
We will compare interviewing, archiving, interpretation and publicising methods and identify good practice that we can share. We will also identify strategies for future oral-historical research on transnational and cross-cultural feminism.
Featuring seven innovative feminist oral history projects
Unbecoming Men: Masculinities and the Women’s Liberation Movement, 1970–1985
Date Thursday 11 April 2013
Venue University of Sussex, Silverstone Building, Room 309
Cost and registration The day is free but registration beforehand is essential. Please contact Margaretta Jolly at email@example.com
This event is co-sponsored by The University of Sussex (Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research) and The University of Brighton (Centre for Memory, Narrative, History). We also thank the British Academy for its generous contribution.
Further information http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/mnh
This is a request from George Stevenson, a PhD candidate at Durham University. Can you help him or know someone who can?
Get in touch with George at the address stated below.
‘My name is George Stevenson and I am PhD student at the University of Durham researching the ways in which women’s socio-economic background and circumstances impacted on their relationship to the women’s liberation movement and other women within and outside of it. I am considering how ‘class’ was conceived of and treated within the movement and whether working-class women faced particular class-based oppressions that middle-class women did not, as well as how these were interpreted and responded to. My research will also detail the cultural, economic, political and social contributions made by working-class women to the women’s movement in whatever arena to illustrate the significant role they played within it.
I am looking to speak to any women who were involved in the women’s movement in this period, as well as women who may have been involved in parallel political movements, such as industrial disputes, about their experiences and feelings about the movement. If you are interested in being involved or have any questions then please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.’