Are you a rebellious woman? Then a new project coming soon to Dorchester’s Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum needs to hear from you!
The Rebellious Sounds Archive is a Heritage Lottery Funded project created and undertaken by Dreadnought South West, designed to tell the inspiring stories of activism from women across the South West. From big protests to small acts of rebellion, the archive aims to document the accounts of women changing their communities and the world currently.
The project will be at Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum from Monday, September 17, to Friday, September 28, and features a listening booth where visitors can hear three-minute interviews with the different rebel women.
The booth is travelling around the South West collecting stories as it goes, and curator Carmen Talbot is keen to hear from rebel women in Dorset when the exhibit arrives. She said: “Anything you have done that challenges the status quo in a big or a small way- if you changed the way you live and that then changed the world around you – that’s still activism. Don’t think it’s just the big things like taking part in a protest – that’s good too, but we want to hear the small acts of rebellion as well.”
So far there are 20 interviews visitors can hear including the story of Janet Haley, a coordinator for WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality). She talks about the fight for women born in the 1950s to get transitional pension payments after the state pension age was suddenly changed from 63 to 67. Also featured is environmental campaigner Linda Thomas who created a dress from recycled body boards to make a point about thousands of similar items being dumped on the beaches of the South Coast each year.
Events Manager at Shire Hall, Harriet Still said: “The 1918 women’s suffrage centenary this year has brought about such a national focus on women’s rights and how we gained our freedoms. It is wonderful to hear these local stories of how we got to this point and how women continue to be active beyond the sphere of suffrage and into other areas needing change.”
Carmen will be holding sessions to collect more stories from the Dorchester area, whilst the Listening Booth is at Shire Hall. Please check the Shire Hall websitewww.shirehalldorset.org for more details on how to contribute.
The Listening Booth will be in Shire Hall Café. Visitors to the museum will also get free access to the listening booth. An adult ticket to Shire Hall is £8.50 and includes a free pass for a year so that visitors can return again and again. To tell your story of being a rebellious Dorset woman, contact Carmen Talbot via email to arrange an interview:firstname.lastname@example.org.