Thinking about our values and how to write about these. Here is a start:
We have learnt about how activism stories can be a gentle and imaginative way to gather a new heritage about women from the South West region. It has inspired us to make the shift from not just looking back to the past, but looking around us now, to find new stories that could be captured to inspire future generations. The result is the Rebellious Sounds Archive; the UK’s only mobile touring listening booth and digital archive of women, trans and non-binary stories of activism, creating social change in communities.
The archive is important to us because it represents a broad range of women’s, trans and non-binary stories, making them visible to share with others. It is about celebration, honouring and a recognition of stories and voices who are not always heard. It creates communities around it as the stories are relatable stories of everyday courage, diligence and determination making a difference in communities at a grassroots level. Our mobile archive travels to places and communities to ignite dialogue and to foster creative connections.
It tells a different set of stories that haven’t been told before. Together.
There is pride in being part of this collection.
It has generated confidence, a sense of collectivity and community for some, demanding that more voices be added. Confidence leads to wellbeing. This has had a wider positive impact on individuals within their own communities, acting as a catalyst for conversation.
All of these are central to our values in all the work that we have been lucky enough to be the guardians of, whether this is our annual radio broadcasting marathon on community radio; Occupy the Airwaves, or how we began with touring a new play; Oxygen which generated 45 additional way marker projects, as we engaged with communities from Land’s End to Hyde Park. Following a pilgrimage route taken over 100 years ago.
‘It gave me confidence to speak out in other situations in a way which I hope is supportive and heartening for other women. I felt very proud to be part of something like this.’
‘I think it has made people understand something of the breadth of issues and interests that women’s voices have represented, and been heard and ignored, both historically and today.’
‘It's made me feel like I'm less powerless and insignificant – that I don't have to have done something ground breaking to have made a difference.’
This diverse, intersectional, intergenerational collection speaks to a broad range of people in our society sharing joy, wisdom, struggle and solidarity.
As storytellers we are interested in this, in the heart and the light that they bring during dark times.
As theatre makers we have stood in the dark and welcomed audiences into a eclectic mix of venues from St Just Town Hall in 2013, where we had our world premier of Oxygen, to the cricket Pavilion at Stawley, to Yelde Hall in Chippenham (the first new play in 500 years in this space), to more traditional theatre spaces with The Cause.
Meeting people in person, listening in to how they envision our work could be meaningful for their communities has been central to our ethos from the outset. After performances, as we develop new work and ask questions about our rights, voting and citizenship. Our experience of working sensitively and gently with community groups, community builders and leaders has inspired us during the past 10 years. We have grown things in this way, attentive to how these become shared experiences. These are our foundations.
Learning from a diverse set of women leaders has been central to our work to date; Sue Kay and Mary Schwarz, Tehmina Goskar and the late great Melissa Hardie at Hypatia Trust, Neomi Alam, faith leader at Exeter Mosque and Cultural Champion alongside Sandhya Dave, Jeanie Lynch at CoLab Women, Sharifa Milford-Al Hashemy EDI Lead at the RDE,
We are working towards reducing our negative environmental impacts to a place where all of our work addresses this, creating a model of positive environmental impact through action and looking towards a better future locally and globally as part of our next 10 years.