Rebellious Sounds Archive - Women's Activism

To celebrate & share women's stories of activism through the very first community oral archive collection from across the South West.

We did it!

On 12th Mar 2018 we successfully raised £2,826 with 44 supporters in 35 days


Celebrating women's voices

Welcome to the Rebellious Sounds Archive (RSA), the first community archive collection of oral histories about the inspiring activism of women in the South West region. This unique collection will reveal and present an exciting new heritage strand to inspire and educate. 

Focusing on diversity and inclusivity, this insightful campaign aims to collect more than 40 women's stories in 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the very first voting rights for some women in the UK. The stories we collect with your help, will be a gift to society for generations to come.  Accessible online and via a touring listening booth, this project has longevity.

We hope this project will empower women and girls to speak their truth and tell their story.

Join us for this journey

Rebellious Sounds Archive aims to expose the deep impressions women's achievements and experience have left on the historic environment and fill in the gaps left by previous generations' recording of history. We will do this by revealing a host of fascinating and inspirational women’s stories and we invite you to be part of this important journey.

This campaign is about you.

The project is an acknowledgement and honouring of women today and those whose shoulder's we all stand upon. Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, teachers, friends - each of us, no matter who you are or where you're from, has met a woman who made an impact. This project is about you and her. This project is about community, inclusion and connection. 

We are aiming particularly to gather stories relating to BAME, LGBTQ+, disability equality, gender equality, racial equality, legislation, democracy, employment rights, discrimination at work, eco, Greenham Common and older women.

May Hands - artist & activist and Rebellious Sounds Archive supporter. (Photo taken by Freya Rose)

Sharing our project via the touring listening booth

The team, in collaboration with Stand & Stare, have had built a uniquely designed, accessible mobile listening booth which resembles a voting booth. This booth is going on tour across the South West and will be part of the public centenary commemorations of first votes for some women in Parliament at Westminster Hall in the summer of 2018. 

For the very first time, this booth with share original recorded contemporary stories of women’s activism from across the South West. It will also take the opportunity to look back to the women's suffrage movement to see if we can discover a new history of stories in the region about this campaign. We will be asking the public to bring forward local stories in each place that the listening booth tours.

Touring across the South West, the Rebellious Sounds Archive will work with museums, community groups, community organisations and public venues to deliver events, talks and workshops for people to get really involved in.  

So far, we have confirmed tour dates in Exeter, Bath, Bodmin, Plymouth, Bristol, Torquay, Chippenham and London. Tour dates can be found on our website. Do come and see us!

Creating a touring mobile community archive to people is a new way of thinking about archives.  We want it to reach people and to inspire them to take the time to stop and listen to the amazing women's voices we will have the privilege of hearing and recording.

It is an exciting opportunity to see a joining-up of how women in the South West were and are involved in political campaigning and democratic processes over the last 100 years.  

Knowing where we've come from

This project captures a significant moment in our history and our heritage as 2018 commemorates the centenary of the very first votes for some women in 1918.  Change would not have been possible without the suffrage activists; militant suffragettes and law-abiding suffragists, who campaigned for women’s democratic rights over one hundred years ago.

We know that activism comes in many forms, it may be public protest or campaigning, signing a petition, it may be in opposition to a controversial issue, or it may support a particular individual, group or organisation in need.  Sometime it is small actions that make waves.

We also know that women are often at the forefront of movements to change our society for the better,  some of them are well known and others less so.  We want to celebrate these voices.  

Who are Dreadnought South West?

Dreadnought South West is an arts and heritage organisation based in Exeter in the South West.  

We celebrate and tell imaginative, previously unheard stories about women and girls. We create projects that celebrate the stories of women and girls by making theatre, community radio broadcasts, collaborations with communities, artists, workshops for women who are harder to reach, arts, craft, storytelling events and talks.

Our first major project; Oxygen told the story of the women who walked from Land's End to Hyde Park in 1913 as part of the Great Women's Suffrage Pilgrimage.  Touring a play called Oxygen we visited all the places on the route that the women walked to share the story with communities. The story of these women who walked captured people's imaginations and encouraged them to tell their communities part in the story. There were over 45 attached arts and heritage projects inspired by this project and the legacy of it continues today.

Why  £9,950?

Our first major heritage project is an ambitious one and we need your help for it to reach it's fullest potential, capture the imagination of people from all walks of life and to create a lifelong gift to future generations.

Your support will enable us to give a voice to a greater number of women across the region.

  • Help research women who come forward with activism stories. Travelling to meet these women, record their stories and edit them so that they can be accessed for generations to come. 
  • Help us develop and deliver engagement events and workshops in the cities and towns we visit.
  • Support us in spreading the word of this important campaign to educate and inspire through creative communications.
  • Help us create ‘voting cards’ that will house the audio recordings in the listening booth. 
  • Support the campaign management which includes photography and videos to keep the campaign message relevant and vibrant throughout the year. 

The life of one story includes:

  • Building a relationship with the woman who has an story to share.
  • Travelling to and from the recording location.
  • Recording her story.
  • Listening back to her story and editing it.
  • Uploading the story in to a 'voting card'.
  • Bringing it to the voting booth location whilst on tour.


We have exciting rewards for your support including an exclusive pin badge to wear with pride, an invitation to the booth launch in various cities and towns and a chance for your name and message to be memorialised on a voting card and taken on tour with us. Not to mention bespoke artwork by Freya Rose. 

Thank you to everyone has contributed to our rewards. 

A gift and legacy 

The listening booth will become a central aspect of Dreadnought's future work and development of ideas into the future.  The archive is a community archive it will be one of only a handful of resources fore-fronting women's voices in the UK.  There will also be a digital legacy of the archive to enable even wider access through the recordings being put on our website.  

We hope it will inspire more heritage projects that illuminate the stories of women and girls and their contributions to society.  

We hope it will empower more women and girls to speak their truth and tell their story.

Be a Rebellious Friend and support our project today.

Thank you so much for your support. 

We hope to meet you as the Rebellious Sounds Archive tours!

Dreadnought south West is a registered charity in the UK. Charity number:  1170038

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