School Engagement Proposal for Sistershow Revisited

As part of the exhibition programme for Sistershow Revisited we will be offering educational activities aimed at schools in the Bristol area. Please repost this proposal widely!

Sistershow Revisited: School Engagement Proposal

Sistershow Revisited is an exhibition taking place at Centrespace gallery, 6 Leonard Lane, Bristol from 5th-26th May 2011. The exhibition, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, uses the activities of Sistershow, an amateur theatre troupe, to bring alive the history of the Bristol Women’s Liberation Movement in 1973-1974. Sistershow used dramatic humour to explore the social and political issues that were affecting women in the 1970s. The exhibition will contain photographs, oral histories, material objects and ephemera.
Schools in the Bristol area are invited to participate in educational activities based on the themes in the exhibition.

It is envisioned that a visit would be a beneficial enrichment exercise for pupils at Key Stage 3 (year 9) and Key Stage 4 (year 10).

Educational activities will complement curriculum objectives in PSE, Citizenship and History.

Pupils will be asked to respond to key themes in the exhibition using methods such as structured role play and discussion.

Activities will be organised around three core themes:

1. Gendered work and the politics of domesticity.
At a time when the phrase ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ was an unquestioned social norm, many Sistershow sketches spoke about the everyday reality of women’s lives. Examining this theme will allow pupils to understand the ways in which work was gendered in the 1970s and the social pressures which kept women in the home.

2. Contraception and birth control. The women involved in Sistershow were part of the first generation to gain control over their fertility thanks to the contraceptive pill. Examining this theme will allow pupils to understand the significant impact the pill had on women’s social and political independence in the early 1970s.

3. The politics of appearance. In the early 1970s, as today, women were forced to adhere to narrow beauty ideals. The Sistershow women subverted the social pressure on women to be gentle, sweet and beautiful by holding fake beauty contests. Examining this theme will invite pupils to consider the social pressures placed on girls and boys, women and men to look a certain way, both in the past and the present.

The sessions will take place over a half-day session (morning or afternoon) and will be facilitated project co-ordinator, Dr. Deborah Withers.

If you are interested in bringing your class to the exhibition, or would like Deborah to visit your school to discuss this opportunity further, please email sistershow@hammeronpress.net or call 07940 320 113

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