Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research

Rachael House's Feminist Disco

Friday 10th November 2017
6 – 9pm
Room 76, Falmer Bar
University of Sussex, BN1 9RH

Step free access across the whole venue; all facilities readily accessible by lift.

Rachael House’s Feminist Disco - putting the ‘disco’ into ‘discourse’ 

Welcome to the feminist art project you can dance to, in a perfect venue, a place of learning with a radical history of protest and disruption. 

Rachael House's Feminist DiscoPhotograph: Rachael House, 2011

This is an art project calling itself a disco. Rachael House plays records on two dansette record players and calls it DJing.The records are by bands featuring women Rachael decides are feminist, made between approximately 1976-1983. 

These were turbulent years. During the so-called second wave of feminism, punk and post punk, The Grunwick Strike, Thatcher Government, Spare Rib, Rock Against Racism and The National Front. Rachael House’s Feminist Disco does not wallow in nostalgia. It looks at this time as one might peek under a plaster- is it healed yet? Is there shiny new skin? Pressing tender spots to check if they still hurt. Do we still have the same problems, or has someone smashed the glass ceiling? Are the arguments that made schisms between so called second wave feminists any closer to being resolved?

The disco/discourse includes the academic, the historic and up to the minute. Providing discourse on this occasion Rachael is pleased to welcome Dr. Nicola Streeten and Professor Lucy Robinson for our edification and delight.

Lucy’s powerpoint presentation will cover what fan girls have taught her about feminism. This will touch on One Direction, Taylor Swift and a bit of Kathleen Hanna.

Always contentious, comic artist/writer Nicola will wrestle with how and why as a feminist she laughs at things that shouldn’t be funny and doesn’t laugh at things that should. She will refer to the ‘gross out decade’ of the 1990s and illustrate her talk with references to the work of zinester Lucy Sweet and the Viz cartoon The Fat Slags.

You will have an opportunity to play traditional feminist party games such as Pin the tie on Patti Smith, and to contribute a drawing to Typical Girls- A feminist gallery. You may even suck on a feminist boiled sweet. No one need leave empty handed.

To bring the feminist politics bang up to date a raffle will be held in aid of a local grassroots feminist organisation, Sisters Uncut. Fittingly feminist raffle prizes will be made by Rachael House.


Rachael House's Feminist DiscoPhoto: Agata Urbaniak

Rachael House's Feminist DiscoPhoto: Agata Urbaniak

Rachael House's Feminist Disco by Rachael House. Commissioned by A Woman's Place, supported using public funding by The National Lottery through Arts Council England.  

Click here for further info.

A Woman's Place Project

A catalyst and umbrella for cultural projects and advocacy where female equality provides the contextual backbone.