Last week was an exciting and busy time for the Remembering Resistance team, as we organised two pop-up events on Thursday and Saturday, and a workshop on Friday. We are so grateful to everyone who took the time to share their inspiring stories with us and are incredibly excited about the next phase of the project.
Thursday saw the team in Lancaster city centre as part of Lancaster University’s Campus in the City event. This brings people from across the university to the city centre to share their work and research. Remembering Resistance set up in a shop along with the Documenting Dissent project. We had a terrific day talking to people about activism, ran some of our activities, and showed our timeline of protest in the North of England over the past 100 years. We also heard some amazing stories from women about their activism.
We were inspired by one woman who stopped to tell us about her lifetime of campaigning. Starting at the age of five, she marched for the National Health Service with her Dad, going on to set up a shelter for victims of domestic violence in Lancaster, and has been an active campaigner for a range of causes ever since. Now 85, she emphasised how important it is to let young people know about how women have fought for change. She left a real impression on us and gave us even more energy to capture and celebrate women’s stories of activism.
On Friday, we held a workshop at Lancaster University with our volunteers to collaboratively explore what we wanted to show in the final project exhibition. Over the past few months, the volunteers and Richardson Institute interns have been busy collecting loads of data on protest events as well as conducting oral histories with women. Together, we looked at this data to get a sense of what stories we might highlight in the exhibition. We also did a fun exercise to design what the exhibition might look like. We came away feeling energised and really positive about what we have collected, what we have yet to do, and the amazing things that women have done in the past century in the North of England.
Finally, the team went to Durham on Saturday to take part in the Women’s Banner Group Hustings. Held in the 113 year-old Durham Miners Hall at Redhills, the event brought people together to celebrate women’s achievements in the North East. It started with a great discussion on the strong history of women’s activism in Durham. The hustings was really enjoyable, as people stepped forward to nominate women for a blue plaque. If successful, this would be only the second blue plaque in the city about a woman! The stories we heard of resilient, independent women were incredibly powerful and so very clearly demonstrated that Durham women are, indeed, fighters!
The week that was gave us much to think about and definitely much to celebrate so thanks again to everyone who took part!