File 8 - Photos and press cuttings, c.1970s-1980s

Identity area

Reference code

GB 1534 CLCBLG/8/8

Title

Photos and press cuttings, c.1970s-1980s

Date(s)

  • 1970-1989 (Creation)

Level of description

File

Extent and medium

1 file of photographs, prints and press cuttings.

Context area

Name of creator

(1982-1996)

Administrative history

The Camden Lesbian Centre Project (CLCP) was founded in 1982, when several women from a loose social collective known as Kentish Town Lesbian Group (based at the nearby Kentish Town Women’s Workshop) recognised the need for a space expressly for lesbians. The group - all of whom were white lesbians - successfully applied for grant funding from Camden Council Women's Committee, and they began organising regular meetings and events with a view to establishing a centre for lesbians. In 1984, the Black Lesbian Group was founded as a support group for Black lesbians and lesbians of colour, who faced the tripartite barriers of homophobia, racism, and misogyny; the group used the term 'Black' in the broader political sense.

Having worked closely together, Camden Lesbian Centre Project and the Black Lesbian Group merged to form the Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group (CLCBLG) in 1985. Despite their differences and the fact that CLCP had originally excluded Black lesbians from its initial stages, BLG members felt the merger presented an opportunity to improve things for their community. The merger agreement stipulated that at least 50% of CLCBLG's staff and its Management Committee would comprise Black lesbians and that around half of the Centre's events and workshops would be for Black lesbians only.

From 1985-86, CLCBLG sought out premises across Camden. Although initially unsure of how the site would work for them, the group eventually applied for a change of use for a former retail space at 54-56 Phoenix Road, which they were granted amidst vocal resistance and homophobia from some local residents. The group signed the lease in September 1986. CLCBLG worked with Matrix Feminist Design Co-operative, Support Community Building and Common Ownership Design and Construct (CODAC) to renovate and alter the Centre before opening its doors to the public on Saturday 31 October 1987. From this point onward, the Centre was a social and political hub for many strands of London's lesbian community, becoming home to workshops, socials, seminars, discussion groups and other events. It became the base of groups like the Older Lesbian Network, Zamimass Black lesbian group, and GEMMA, the friendship network for disabled and non-disabled lesbians.

With successive and ever more severe cuts to grant funding from Camden Council, CLCBLG was forced to scale down its paid staff members and operations from c.1990 onwards. The Centre eventually wrapped up its operations in 1996, when the group was informed that they'd receive no grant funding in that year's budget.

Name of creator

(1982-1988)

Administrative history

Outwrite newspaper, produced by a collective of women throughout the 1980s, was dedicated to offering news by women, for women. Self-defined as an ‘internationalist feminist’ publication, the paper focused on ‘the development of feminism worldwide’ and an examination of women’s oppressions ‘in the context of imperialism, racism and class divisions.’

Liberation struggles across Latin America, southern Africa, Palestine, Bangladesh and India, as well as local campaigns including those of Southall Black Sisters, the Sari Squad and the King’s Cross Women’s Centre were regularly featured in Outwrite’s monthly reports. The transnational community Outwrite envisioned and embodied resonates powerfully with the social justice struggles of today.

Repository

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Photographs and press cuttings, many of which have been commissioned by and/or featured in Outwrite Women’s Newspaper.

These images document a wide range of women’s events and protests in the UK and internationally. Includes images relating to International Women’s Day events, Mauritius Cultural Festival, the Troubles (e.g. Armagh Prison protest), apartheid struggles (e.g. African National Congress postcard), Les Amazones de Guinée, Bangladeshi women’s political activism and struggles, Grenadian and Puerto Rican independence demos, anti-nuclear protests in Japan and elsewhere, communities and workers in Ghana and Eritrea, Aboriginal women’s activism, Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, Pakistani Women’s Action Forum, Salvadoran refugees in Honduras, women in South Africa (including Cape Town and Johannesburg), SWAPO members in Namibia, ‘The Dinner Party’ by Judy Chicago, Indian demos [against killing of Nandita Gandhi], the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, and much more.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Some material may be closed to public consultation; please consult the Archivist.

Conditions governing reproduction

Please consult the Archivist.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

No technical requirements.

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Note

Content note: References to violence (including partial images of injuries), domestic abuse, racism, misogyny.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

CLCBLG 8/8

Institution identifier

GB 1534

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Draft

Level of detail

Partial

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created Summer 2021

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area