The Rebellious Sounds Archive is a Heritage Lottery Funded project, created and undertaken by Dreadnought South West, to build the first community archive collection of oral histories about the activism of women in the South West.
In the centenary year of the very first votes by women (2018), we hope that the contemporary archive of stories will illuminate and inspire people to find out about their heritage and possible connections to the women’s suffrage campaign from 100 years ago. Stories include the setting up of a local Rape Crisis service, campaigning for greater recognition of Tourette’s Syndrome in adults, volunteering on a migrant relief ship in the Mediterranean, setting up a theatre company that promotes the visibility of BAME talent in the South West, to name a few examples.
As part of the project, Dreadnought South West have commissioned the design and build of a very special mobile exhibition space. Known as the Listening Booth, it is deliberately designed to look like a voting booth to remind users of the centenary of the right to vote for some women. This change would not have been possible without the female suffrage activists, militant suffragettes and law-abiding suffragists who campaigned for women’s democratic rights over one hundred years ago. This project looks back into this rich heritage of women’s activism, whilst representing the diversity of women’s activism in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Excerpts from the oral histories collected for the Rebellious Sounds Archive have been loaded on to interactive voting cards. Listeners put on a pair of headphones and choose a voting card to place in the slot; this will play their chosen story of women’s activism.