Rebellious Sounds Archive

Rebellious Sounds Archive Logo

The Rebellious Sounds Archive is a Heritage Lottery Funded project created and undertaken by Dreadnought South West between 2017 – 2019 creating the first community archive collection of oral histories about the activism of women in the South West. 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 over 100 years ago. This project presents an opportunity to commemorate, consider, share the heritage of women from that time, before it is lost forever, and the Representation of the People Act of 1918, to recognise how women’s suffrage has acted as inspiration for contemporary women’s activism. Forty-eight oral histories were collected, covering themes including 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.

A touring exhibition space, known as the Listening Booth was built in February 2018 to house extracts from each of the stories collected, so that they could be shared far and wide. Over the course of 18 months until July 2019 it toured to 18 locations. Click here to find where it went.

Listening Booth

Above: experiencing the Rebellious Sounds Archive Listening Booth, February 2018.  Photography by Theo Moye.

Why have we built an archive?  For us at Dreadnought, part of our ongoing work and commitment is to sharing and shaping a vision that presents new stories about women.  Inspired by some of the amazing community archives around the region such as the St.Ives Community Archive, Hypatia Trusts ongoing archival work, and Plymouth’s award winning LGBT Archive.

We are always looking for women’s stories here at Dreadnought not heard before.

Carmen Talbot was the Rebellious Sounds Archive Coordinator for Dreadnought South West’s Heritage Lottery Funded Rebellious Sounds Archive project. Carmen gathered oral histories of women’s activism from the South West and exhibiting them via a touring listening booth that travelled across the region in 2018 – 2019.  After graduating with an MA in Heritage Management from the University of Kent/Athens University of Economics and Business (double award) in 2014, Carmen became an independent heritage consultant. Carmen worked as Assistant Curator for the South West Police Heritage Trust between 2014 and 2017, overseeing the transition of the archive and collection into an independent charity and managing documentation and outreach. Carmen pairs heritage management skills with digital and communications experience, having worked as Communications Officer for the Heritage Management Organization and Communications Administrator for the South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries (SWFed).


Funded by:

With additional funding and support from:

Our Rebellious Friends; the wonderful supporters of our crowdfunding campaign in February and March 2018 (and to those that wished to remain anonymous, sincerest thanks):

Anne Barnes
Carolyn Purslow
Barbara Farquharson
Billy and Rosabel McGrath
Liz Wells
Julia Neville
Catherine Cartwright
Paula Crutchlow
Sue Kay
Emma Stroud
Melissa McGrath
May Hands
Tehmina Goskar