Girls are Powerful: the feminist posters of See Red Women’s Workshop

Date
5 October 2016
Reading Time
2 minute read

East London publisher Four Corners Books has released a paperback of posters by radical feminist art collective See Red Women’s Workshop. See Red Women’s Workshop Feminist Posters 1974-1990 is written by former See Red members, with a foreword by socialist feminist theorist Sheila Rowbotham.

See Red Women’s Workshop was set up in 1973 by three former art students who wanted to fight sexism in advertising and the media, domestic violence and sexual inequality in the UK and across the world.

The underground collective worked together from a string of squats in Camden Road, South Lambert Road and finally Camberwell to produce bold, powerful silk-screened posters which questioned the role of women in an oppressive world which sought to cage them in domesticity.

Around 45 women joined See Red during the 27 years it ran, with the collective numbering six women on average. Together, they made posters, illustrations, postcards and calendars. Funding and equipment came from poster sales and community donations until support came from Southwark Council and the GLC. Over the years, See Red also attracted negative attention from the National Front, who smashed windows and doors, made threatening phone calls, stole, poured ink on machinery and severed phone lines.

The workshop closed in 1990: the printing industry had changed, and screen printing has become expensive. The posters were no longer generating enough of an income to maintain the project. As the posters are seen by many for the first time in this new publication, the messages shouted by the members of See Red continue to be relevant.

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About the Author

Bryony Stone

Bryony joined It's Nice That as Deputy Editor in August 2016, following roles at Mother, Secret Cinema, LAW, Rollacoaster and Wonderland. She later became Acting Editor at It's Nice That, before leaving in late 2018.

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