Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance – Act 3 – 2019

I was invited to curate a series of objects from Feminist Archive South (FAS) for display in the third ‘Act’ of Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, that ran at Arnolfini from September-December 2019.

My selections focused on three stories: the early history of the archive and Jean Freer’s unique classification system; how volunteers built the archive, brick by boulder, through approaching feminist publishers, well-known authors and activist organisations from Britain and internationally; FAS’s collaboration with Feminist Audio Books, an organisation that helped visually impaired women access feminism’s rich print culture of the 70s and 80s.

Items displayed included: photographs of archive founder Jean Freer and her instructions to early volunteers; letters to Isis International, Women’s Revolutions Per Minute, The Lesbians and Policing Project (LESPOP), Virago Press and Andrea Dworkin requesting donations and correspondence about FAS’s policy, from the mid-80s, to record the archive’s collections onto audio tape.

Huge thanks to Hannah Lowery of Special Collections at the University of Bristol for helping source items for display and to Kieran Swann and Still I Rise curators Irene Aristizábal, Rosie Cooper and Cédric Fauq for the opportunity to be part of this amazing exhibition!