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Rebel Dykes History Project Launch Event (online)

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DVD cover to Preaching to the Perverted

On May 28th 2020 we are officially launching the Rebel Dykes History Project CiC. We’re holding an online event where the project partners will be introducing themselves, and we will tell you our plans for the exhibition and how you can get involved with the archive including sharing any archive items you may have and volunteering on our project. The event will run from 5pm to 6pm.

We’d love you to come along to this online event. Please Book here.

As part of our launch event we are running a very special Rebel Dykes Film Club Event. Preaching to the Perverted is a 1997 British sex comedy drama film written and directed by Stuart Urban.[ The film stars Guinevere Turner as Tanya Cheex, a New York dominatrix. Tom Bell plays Henry Harding MP and Christien Anholt plays Peter Emery. In addition, several well-known BDSM performance artists appear, including Chaos Clowns, Luci the Axle Grinder, also known as "Lucifire", Miss Kimberly, The Fetisnonn, Suzi Woodroffe, and Tutu.

Many of women originally involved in the Rebel Dykes scene got involved in the film as extras or characters.

On May 28th we are showing the film at our film club, with a Special Guest visitor, Stuart Urban, the director and writer. We are inviting other special guests along too, so keep your eye our on our social media!

This event will run from 7pm - 10pm (ish) BST. Book your ticket here.

Since we were last in touch, we have created the Rebel Dykes History Project, which is a Community Interest Company. To create this company we had to run a petition, because Company House originally wouldn't let us set up a company with the word DYKE in it's name. Thank you to everyone who signed the petition. We were successful, and we are now the first UK company with DYKE in the name!

REBEL DYKES HISTORY PROJECT is an ARCHIVE + ART + FILM project preserves, explores and shares the archive of a bunch of kick ass post punk dykes who shook up London, UK in the 1980s.

We're using this archive to:

* Inspire lesbian and bisexual women (cis/trans/enby)

* Work with academics to ensure the Rebel Dykes are included in history

* Work with artists, musicians, filmmakers and performers to create artworks

* Reignite original Rebel Dykes community to tackle isolation amongst older women

* Stimulate intergenerational debate and connections

We have continued working on our film, REBEL DYKES, and we will have more news to share about that in the future.

In December last year, we were successful in our bid for National Heritage Lottery Funding. These funds were for sharing the archive that we have built up over the years. We have made strong partnerships with a number of organisations, including On The Record and Bishopsgate Institute. We’ll be introducing you to our partners over the coming months.

We have started holding online events to support our audience during the COVID-19 social restrictions. We carried out a survey of our followers and this revealed that ⅓ of you are isolating alone, and that many of you are feeling isolated, and some of you are suffering mental health problems due to this isolation. Because of this, we have resolved to run online events during lockdown, and beyond. It’s a great way for us all to stay in touch.

On April 11th we held an international Rebel Dykes Gathering (online). We had a host of wonderful performers getting involved. Over 100 Rebel Dykes supporters came along to the event, from all parts of the UK, from USA, Belgium, France, Argentina and New Zealand. Thank you for coming along, it was lovely to meet you all.

We are now running regular Rebel Dykes Film Club events. We'll share cult lesbian/queer/feminist fetish, punk and new wave films from the 80s and 90s (or set in the 80s or 90s) with a friendly Zoom meetup before and after. Where possible, we'll invite filmmakers, cast and crew along to join us before or after the film. We'll use breakout rooms if lots of you come along, so the events will be really sociable! Follow us on our website to book tickets and to find out more information.

We are in the planning stages for an interactive exhibition of the archive. The exhibition will be held in March - June 2021 at SpaceStation Sixty Five Gallery, Kennington, London, UK (subject of course to the COVID-19 restrictions).

Now, we’d like to introduce you to Rosa Schling, who is one of fabulous women from one of our wonderful partners, On The Record.

Here she is in her own words!

Photo of woman Rosa Schling oral history event

I am an oral historian, creative producer and part of On the Record. I'm thrilled to be helping produce the Rebel Dykes History Project exhibition in 2021.

I have been struck by how creative, radical and interesting the Rebel Dykes are, and by how strong and warm the bonds created in the community seem to remain after all these years. The testimonies collected by Siobhan and her team are fantastic, and I'm hoping we will be using print, sound and image to share more of them with you in the gallery.

I'm an oral historian who since 2012 has been part of On the Record, a collective that records memories and shares them to inspire and inform social change. We've recorded the history of Speakers' Corner, Centerprise (a Hackney-based community centre and more), the fight against the racist Sus law to name a few. We work closely with Bishopsgate Institute, home of the Rebel Dykes archive. We share the stories we gather through creative, high quality productions: podcasts, artworks, books, exhibitions, websites and audio walks. Apart from oral history, I've been involved in grassroots solidarity and mutual aid work around housing and other issues, and lived in London squats for a fair few years.

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