A Fairly Belated Five Things

Well, I had the very best of intentions when I wrote the first ‘Five Things’ Friday… in mid-July. Let’s disregard the fact that I intended for this to be a weekly blog feature, and we are already well into the month of October.  Let’s also disregard the fact that it’s Saturday, not Friday!

1. Equal Pay Songs
A special thanks goes to our amazing volunteer, Helen, who discovered these equal pay songs in the NUWT collection.  With the ‘Clever Campaigners’ workshop on offer for primary schools, students investigate the visual, written, and verbal campaign strategies of the NUWT; these songs are a perfect example of how campaigners can use their voices to spread their message.

I can’t wait for students to come up with lyrics for their own campaign songs… however, I have a sneaking suspicion their songs will more likely be to the tune of a One Direction hit than to ‘There’s a Tavern in the Town’… but you never know.

Equal Pay Songs (document reference UWT/D/1/23)

Equal Pay Songs… we’ve come to a bit of a consensus, and I think the archive office’s favourite is No. 4.
(document reference UWT/D/1/23)

2. Speaking of song adaptations… ‘Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage’
‘Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage’ is a parody music video to the tune of Lady Gaga.  It celebrates the successful fight to pass the 19th Amendment in the United States, which gave women the right to vote in 1920.  The video, more information and teaching resources can be found here.

3. This badge machine.

For mini-campaigners (and perhaps adult archivists, librarians, and educators?) to design their own badges.

For mini-campaigners (and perhaps adult archivists, librarians, and educators?) to design their own badges.

4. Siobhan Davies’ film All This Can Happen
A few weeks ago, I attended a conference at Goldsmiths, Past is Prologue: Making Art from a Living Archive, and heard Davies speak about her work with archives and art forms including dance and video.  Davies’ film, All This Can Happen, follows text from author Robert Walser’s The Walk and features solid archive material (primarily from the BFI’s archive) for 50 minutes.   A five-minute clip of the film can be found here, and below is a description from the site:

‘The writer’s examination of each small event on the walk leads him into a state of reverie, taking him beyond his immediate circumstances into a deeper pondering on the comedy, sadness and ceaseless variety of life. The film, like Robert Walser’s The Walk (1917), aims to delve into one individual’s consciousness, and show how he observes, experiences and thinks about the world around him.’

5. Tim Etchells’ text-based projects
Ethchell’s also spoke at Past is Prologue.  He is part of the ‘Forced Entertainment’ theatre company, a Sheffield based experimental theatre troupe.  You can head over here to browse his works, which incorporate a variety of media (often text-based), galleries, organisations, etc.

I was particularly intrigued by his project, Unsound Method (after Conrad), which responds to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and is comprised of several works (which really goes to show the potential for creating multi-media art projects through text-based documents).  The various works included…

  • One where Etchells blanked out all words except those to do with darkness (black, night, etc)
  • One where he blanked out all words except those to do with lightness (day, sun, light, etc)
  • Then created a musical score for violin and trumpet (based on the above projects… creating a musical score based on text and the gaps in the page as a result of the blanked out text, as the artists involved experimented with taking lines and pattern and turning it into something else)
  • Finally, they created a video of a live performance of the musical piece

Have you stumbled upon any interesting archive or equal rights finds lately?  Please feel free to share in the comments!


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