A fascinating exhibition into a female-led protest at Greenham Common more than 40 years ago which created the world’s most famous anti-nuclear campaign has been unveiled in Halifax.
The Our Greenham is celebrating four decades since women first arrived at Greenham Common and feature objects made at and for the peace camp’s protest activities.
It was August 26, 1981, when 36 women, with four men and several children in tow, walked the 120 miles from Cardiff to Berkshire to protest Margaret Thatcher’s government’s decision to store nuclear weapons at the airbase.
It was only ever meant to be a march, but when their journey failed to make the impact they had hoped for, the women set up camp at the airbase.
Those first days of protest stretched into years and the Greenham Common Peace Camp became an enduring symbol for the anti-nuclear campaign.
At its height, there were more than 70,000 women there in the biggest female-led protest since women’s suffrage.
The camp created endless stories for the media with some sections of the tabloid press portraying the women as lesbian separatists who could do with a good bath.
Right-wing vigilante groups threatened violence too.
The women had a good insight into how to powerfully exploit their cause and realised the sight of daughters, mothers and grandmothers protesting made for arresting images.
Men were allowed into the camp during the day later but it was a largely female protest and many women found themselves intoxicated by the feminist atmosphere which it spawned.
The camp remained there until it was disbanded in the year 2000, long outlasting the missiles themselves which were removed in 1991.
The Our Greenham exhibition is on display at Artworks, an art school, gallery space, and artist studios based at Shaw Lane.
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Curated by Calder Valley CND and featuring objects from The Peace Museum’s collection, the exhibition contains artefacts and memorabilia from the people of the Calder Valley who spent time at the camp.
Catherine Bann of Calder Valley CND, said: “Our Greenham was originally brought together to curate the memories of the many local women and supporters who were involved in Greenham Common Peace Camp.
“The beautiful 1830 Gallery at Artworks has enabled us to expand the exhibition to put the women’s peace camp into the context of the wider struggle against nuclear weapons taking place at the time and add more context to the artefacts on show.
“It’s the perfect backdrop to show this important exhibition in its entirety.”
Guests are strongly advised to phone 01422 346900 first and the exhibition runs until Friday, December 17.
Further details can be found at: https://www.theartworks.org.uk/our-greenham
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