Happy New Year from the Women’s Liberation Music Archive!

A very happy new year to all friends of the Women’s Liberation Music Archive and thanks to everyone who supported us in 2013, sent us items to be archived and helped to spread the word on feminist music and political activism! A warm welcome to all our new followers.

The WLMA team has been busy over the past months. We’ve run stalls at events such as October’s Feminism in London conference, taken our presentation slideshow on the road to places like the Older Women and Friends festival in London organised by Opening Doors, Age UK’s older LGBT project, where a lively discussion took place amongst women who had been involved in Spare Rib and Drastic Measures magazines, Rock Against Sexism, Spare Tyre theatre group and various WLM groups. We distributed hundreds of our flyers to noticeboards and audiences far and wide, including those at the Musicport World Music Festival in Whitby; the Anti-capitalist Roadshow; Lewes Folk Festival; the London Feminist Film Festival; Trouble and Strife’s 30th anniversary celebration as the newly-digitised groundbreaking magazine marked its online availability; the London Jazz Festival’s Guest Stars’ reunion gig and more. Thanks to all our volunteers! If you know of a group who might be interested in hosting our presentation, or if you’d like to distribute some of our leaflets, please let us know.

A group of women enjoying a workshop discussion; display board of  WLMA items in background.

Older Women’s Festival workshop photo (c) Mel Johnson

During 2013 we added and expanded the entries on our website with new items including a documentary on 1990’s Chard Festival of Women in Music, new films and recordings of the band Meet Your Feet, tributes to the late great Lindsay Cooper, songs from the Pre-Madonnas, oral history interviews, and more – please see ‘What’s New in the Archive?’ for page links and more info on these and other developments made since our May Day 2011 online launch. In the coming year we have promises of more interesting newly-digitised material from various musicians including the feminist duo Ova and others.

Presentation of slideshow and talk being given at workshop.

WLMA presentation at Older Women’s Festival photo (c) Mel Johnson

We will be adding new donations of material to the Feminist Archive South collection at the University of Bristol, liaising with other women’s history archiving/digitising projects and expanding our geographical reach. We’re keen to hear from you – do let us have your feedback! And please get in touch with us if you know of anything that should be included in the archive – we welcome information on women musicians whose work preceded the WLMA, and are pleased to be developing links both internationally and with the current burgeoning feminist campaigns in the UK.

Three women smiling behind a stall displaying CDs, WLMA leaflets and posters, smiling and raising glass.

Some of the WLMA team celebrating at Trouble and Strife’s anniversary event. Photo (c) Terry Hunt

Best wishes for the year ahead from the WLMA team to all of you – and for everyone working for women’s liberation everywhere.

One of the three women from Russian punk feminist group Pussy Riot jailed by Putin  emergs from  prison giving victory signs.

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