My COMMON PEOPLE photography exhibition will be showing at the Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff from next Friday 28th April until Saturday 13th May.
The Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp was just over three years old when I took this picture. I was a photography student working on my final year project, and arrived and stayed at the camp for a few short weeks during a particularly harsh winter. The conditions the women were living in were tough. The ground was frozen, the milk froze, we slept in makeshift tents under piles of donated blankets, experienced daily evictions by police and bailiffs, and I witnessed at first hand the enormity of a nuclear Cruise Missile convey. Meanwhile these resilient women continued with their protest. Fueled by camaraderie and endless cups of tea, the pictures show how domestic life focused around the campfire.
The exhibition run will coincide with performances of Es & Flo, a new play by award winning playwright Jennifer Lunn, about two women who meet at Greenham Common. My sincere thanks to Jennifer for her kind invitation to show COMMON PEOPLE, and to Gemma Hicks, Sophie Williams and the team at the Wales Millenium Centre for their warm welcome and generosity. The exhibition is FREE to view. If you are in the area why not come take a look
The 1980s were a time of great social disquiet in Britain. Miners were striking against the closure of Coal pits, and the Cold War with Russia had played into people’s fears, precipitating an international growth in nuclear weapons. There was public outcry when in 1981 the British government gave permission for US nuclear missiles to be installed at RAF Greenham. In response, a group of [mainly] women led a peaceful protest by walking all the way from Cardiff to the Common. The 120 mile march took them ten days, and on arrival many decided to stay. They were joined by others, and the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp was born.
If you want to learn more about the Greenham Women’s Peace movement do take a look at the work by activist group Greenham Women Everywhere.