Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Open Archive: Building Community Across Collectives

30th September, 2021 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Smash the Backlash Demonstration 1987

How have grassroots collectives worked together to sustain and care for each other? This Open Archive explores the traces of feminist, queer, anti-racist, and community organising in the GWL archives, spotlighting material from groups that have built intersecting support networks across political struggles.

Open Archive: Building Community Across Collectives, Thursday 30th September, 6pm to 7.30pm, Free, Online


Smash the Backlash Demonstration 1987, credit: GWL Archive

Lucy Brownson, a PhD candidate and researcher for Life Support, guides us through the stories she’s been uncovering about feminist collectives working outside of institutions – often in the face of active hostility and repression – in the 1970s and 1980s. Drawing on the Camden Lesbian Centre & Black Lesbian Group Archive, Lucy will explore how these collectives sustained themselves through mutual support and organising around issues including housing, health and work.

This event will conclude with a conversation about how best to map the connections between feminist collectives, often fragile and increasingly at risk of loss – and we want to hear from you! We’ll explore how we might join the dots between groups who have worked together to build vital alternatives.

Lucy Brownson is a PhD researcher working collaboratively between the University of Sheffield and Chatsworth House, where she explores Chatsworth’s archival practices through a feminist lens. She is also an organiser for Sheffield Feminist Archive, a community archive documenting local grassroots feminism. Since July 2021, Lucy has been researching the collections and cataloguing the Camden Lesbian Centre & Black Lesbian Group Archive at GWL.

‘Survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.’ Audre Lorde, ‘The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House’ (1979)

Event Outline

18:00 – Welcome and introduction

18:05 – Lucy maps grassroots care in the GWL archives, exploring the material traces of different collectives and support networks organising outside of – and against – the institution.

19:00 – 5-minute comfort break.

19:05 – Audience questions & discussion.

19:30 – End of event.


Booking for this event has now closed

This event is open to all and is free to attend. Please book below (you will be taken through the shopping cart but no charge will be made) If you would like to make a donation to Glasgow Women’s Library, you can do so here. Please note that booking will close on 29th of September and you will receive your email invitation a few days before the event takes place.


This session takes place via an online video call link. If you would like to attend, please book below and we will share an email invitation along with simple and straight forward instructions on how this will work. If you have any concerns about how this will work for you, please do get in touchand we’ll do all we can to support you in joining the session. An automated live transcript using Otter.ai is available during this event. See here for upcoming events where live captioning with Stagetext is arranged.

Find more information on Accessibility at GWL or contact us and we will be very happy to offer assistance.



The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available


30th September, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Categories:
, , , , ,
Event Tags:
, , ,


Glasgow Women’s Library
0141 550 2267
View Organizer Website