A pop-up exhibition showcasing photographs, soundscapes, and testimonies from the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp members was held at Nottingham Women’s Centre on Tuesday October 15.
The Greenham Women Everywhere project is touring the country from August to December delivering the exhibition to give an insight into how the women’s group succeeded and why it is still relevant today.
In September 1981, Welsh campaign group “Women for Life on Earth” marched from Cardiff to Berkshire, arriving at RAF Greenham Common, to oppose the decision to place 96 American nuclear missiles at the base, and soon were joined by thousands from local CND groups and women’s campaign groups.
Nottingham-born Cas Heron, who was at Greenham from its first year, called this “a pivotal moment.”
“There was such solidarity, I’d never seen it before. More than 50 women in each camp, talking about anything and everything. Every woman’s voice was heard, no one felt stupid. At one point, when the police came in and tried to arrest us, we all linked arms around the perimeter to say ‘You can’t stop us’.”
The exhibition itself had original photographs taken by the women who campaigned at Greenham, as well as news coverage of the cause, signs and posters made by the women and children at the camps, and a replica of the tents the women stayed in.
The peaceful protest lasted just over 10 years before the US decided to not go ahead with keeping missiles at the RAF base and instead flew them back overseas, and the Greenham women feel that their plight is still as important as it was in 1981, if not more so.
“It was so important back then, for women to have their voices heard, without need of violence, and for the Life on Earth mission to be taken seriously.” Angie Moore, an American woman who took part in the Greenham protests, said.
“There are such serious matters today, like climate change and conflicts in the Middle East, that people need to know that they can make a difference to the world. We started off as just a handful of women who didn’t want nuclear weapons in our country, and we did it, so hopefully us telling our story inspires the younger generation to fight the issues facing the world today.”
Climate-change group Extinction Rebellion visited the exhibition and wrote in the visitor’s book: “We hope the history is maintained, we need it now more than ever.”
For a full list of exhibition dates and locations, visit their website.