Sunday, March 22, 2015

UPDATE: HeRSToRy HaPPeNiNG! May 8-10, 2015

ViDeoFeST, aRTiFaCT eXHiBiTioN 
& MuLTiMeDia STReaMiNG GaLLeRy
to officially launch this here archive and celebrate its inclusion in the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice archives at the Schlesinger Library for the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard.

Free. Open to the public. 

(subject to change, updated regularly)

3-5:30 pm
Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard

6-9 pm
Harvard Location TBD


10 am-10 pm
Fires of Freedom aRTiFaCT eXHiBiT & MuLTiMeDia STReaMiNG GaLLeRy
Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston St.

Disarming the World--Pulling its Leg BRoaDCaST PeRFoRMaNCe
A broadcast performance of Sorrel Hays' original peace camp play in Copley Square.

5 pm
Like a Mountain ReMeMBeRiNG CeReMoNy
We will walk/shuttle to the Boston Women's Memorial on Commonwealth Avenue Mall for a ritual to acknowledge peace camp women who have died.

SUNDAY, May 10
8-11 am
19th Annual Boston Mother's Day Walk for Peace
We are excited to participate in the longtime Boston social justice tradition: Mother's Day Walk for Peace to benefit the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.
Town Field Park, Dorchester 

1-7 pm
Rebel Wimmin ViDeoFeST
Regent Underground Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington (Alewife Station, Red Line to #350 Bus - MTBA)

Stronger Than Before
, Romulus, NY, 1983; 27 minutes.
A video documentary by the Boston Women’s Media Collective of the Seneca Women's Peace Encampment. The video aired on 150 PBS stations throughout the U.S. and Canada and received two national awards.

Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice Slide/Tape Presentation, Romulus, NY, 1983; 17 minutes.
Women’s Peace Encampment Media Project
The show consists of 160 slides - 1/2 from Boston Women’s Video Collective still photographer Nancy Clover, 1/4 from various Women’s Video Collective members, and 1/4 from Catherine Allport; with audio narration by Dorothy Emerson.

C.D., The Ritual of Civil Disobedience at Seneca Army Depot, Tallapoosa Music, NY, 1987; 24 minutes.
A documentary of several Seneca Women’s Peace Camp actions in 1985 produced by Sorrel Hays, Sara Halprin, & Marilyn Ries.

Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice: Excerpts from a Summer of Non-Violent Protest, Romulus, NY, 1983; 30 minutes.
A vérité video documentary by Marilyn Rivchin and Laurie Bronstein, Ithaca, NY members of the Women’s Video Collective of the Seneca Peace encampment.  Without narration, the video highlights many of the important moments of the first summer’s events, meetings and civil disobedience actions.

Look to the Women for Courage: Stories From the Seneca Encampment for Peace and Justice, Romulus, NY, 1983; 42 minutes.
A slideshow of still images with narration depicting the first summer of nonviolent direct actions in upstate New York in 1983 to protest the deployment of first-strike nuclear weapons. The show consists of 140 slides with audio narration by Joan E. Biren (JEB).

Every Woman Here: Remnants of Seneca 1982-2006, Kingston, NY, 2007; 32 minutes.
A nonlinear narrative documentary produced by the Peace Encampment Herstory Project of The Women’s Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice and its later incarnation, Women’s Peace Land. The video consists of excerpts from nine oral herstories and 18 songs and more than 300 images from dozens of photographers.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

WHo We aRe

  The PeaCe eCaMPMeNT HeRSToRy PRoJeCT is a non-profit, fully volunteer effort to record the oral herstories of women who visited, lived at, or helped organize the Women’s Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice; to collect, preserve and transfer to digital format, artifacts from WEFPJ; and to create and maintain an online archive of the same.
Estelle & Hershe on the road, summer 2005.
   In the wake of the unexpected death of a dear peace camp sister, former WEFPJ residents, Estelle Crone and hershe Michele (with input from robin earth and Andrea Doremus) created the Peace Encampment Herstory Project (PeHP) in 2005.  

    They realized that, as a singularly important phenomenon in the history of feminist and anti-nuclear activism in the United States, the peace encampment story could not be left to a handful of “experts” or traditional history in which the contributions of women in general, and lesbians in particular, were distorted, diminished or nonexistent.
    And just as WEFPJ’s consensus decision-making process valued every woman’s voice, they knew it would take as many women’s stories as possible to paint the picture of all that took place on that 52-acre farm in Seneca County, NY.
    With a few names of original organizers, a borrowed camcorder,
and invaluable advice from Act-up Oral Herstory Project founders Sarah Schulman and Jim Hubbard, the two set off to record the project's first stories. 
Laura, Sita, Sera, Estelle, Hershe & Alice in Alpine, NY at Chris & Louise's. We all were in town for the PeHP GatherSing in Ithaca to record peace camp songs, Sept. 2008. 

Within a year, they were joined by fellow peace campers Alice O’Malley and Laura Boswell Thornton and had met Judi Kelemen and Nancy Clover of the Women's Video Collective - caretakers of the WVC collection of more than 40 hours of footage and hundreds of photographs and slides of the encampment. In early 2008, documentary filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal generously donated their Brooklyn studio and equipment so that Estelle and Hershe could digitize the goods.

Estelle, Nancy & Judi looking over a Women's Video Collective scrapbook, winter 2015.

    About this time, Estelle, Hershe and Judi met with curators at the Schlesinger Library for the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard and determined that once digitized, the entire PeHP collection would be added to the WEFPJ archive housed there.
    By now, peace campers Kim aka Samoa, Sita, and Billijo, and young herstory-minded feminist, Sera Brown, were working at various levels with the project. In five years, 12 states and 32 cities, PeHP completed 112 interviews - astounding in and of itself but especially so given that the effort is funded almost entirely by the women themselves, most of whom live below poverty level.
    While grateful for all the support and wonderful women (and two men) who have shared their stories for the project, the group knows there are many more stories to be told.

Selfie! Andrea, Estelle, Hershe, Dorothy & Alice (via iPad) meet in early March, 2015 to discuss Mother's Day events.
    If you've got a peace camp story to tell or artifacts for the archives, please contact
    Together we’re making herstory!

Monday, March 16, 2015

HeRSTORy 090 Evelyn Bailey

Evelyn lived in Rochester, NY.

CLIP 1: We needed to make a difference

CLIP 2: It was such a radical time 


Interview: Evelyn Bailey
August 17, 2008
Rochester, NY
Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer


HeRSToRy 087 Twilight aka Laurie Jetter

Twilight was living in Almond, NY.

CLIP 1: She pulled out a shoebox

CLIP 2: I never saw how powerful women were until then


Interview: Twilight
Date: August 16, 2008
Location: Seneca Falls, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer

Twilight, right, walking with Sita Lang in the 25th Anniversary of the Seneca Women's Peace Encampment walk from Seneca Falls to Waterloo. August 2008.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

HeRSToRy 067 Karen Kerney

   Karen was a worker/owner at On the Rise baked goods cooperative in Syracuse, NY, a shop that regularly donated bread to the peace camp. In her spare time, she ran a small organic farm and worked at both Syracuse Cultural Workers and the Syracuse Peace Council.

CLIP 1: He was petrified!

CLIP 2: Omnipresent yet invisible


Interview: Karen Kerney
May 30, 2008
Syracuse, NY
Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer 

A 1983 advertisement from Karen's baked goods cooperative published in the Syracuse Peace Council newsletter, July/August 1983.

Karen created the cover artwork for this October 1983 Syracuse Peace Council newsletter featuring information about the 5000-strong civil disobedience action at the Seneca Army Depot planned for October 22 & 24.

The Women's Peace Camp quilt poster advertized in the July/August 1983 Syracuse Peace Council newsletter.


HeRSToRy 046 Mary Loehr

   Mary was a recent graduate of Cornell University and living in Ithaca, NY when she became a member of an affinity group and participated in civil disobedience at the Seneca Army Depot.

CLIP 1: We should've had a big party!

CLIP 2: I've never looked back


Interview: Mary Loehr
Date: April 4, 2008
Location: Ithaca, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer

Mary arriving at the encampment in the summer of 1984 bearing gifts.

Record of Mary's arrest at the Seneca Army Depot, Aug. 9, 1984.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

HeRSToRy 086 Lucille Povero

    Lucille was born and raised in Seneca Falls, NY and in the years just before the peace camp opened, had successfully lobbied to have Elizabeth Cady Stanton's house made a National Historic Park. Lucille became involved with the encampment after the incident at the Waterloo bridge on July 30, 1983 and spent many weekends there that fall. She continued to keep tabs on both the camp and depot through the 90s.

CLIP 1: Everybody knew it

CLIP 2: You have the hawk and you have the dove


Interview: Lucille Povero
Date: August 17, 2008
Location: Seneca Falls, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer


ViDeo: Peace Camp Land 2013

    "Behind the barn at the Camp, October 2013 - walking there, trespassing illegally, I heard the astounding bird life and stopped to record a video on my phone because hearing them took me back and made me cry."   ~ Elliott BatTzedek


HeRSToRy 089 Lynn Varricchio

    As a member of the Rochester group, Catholics Against Nuclear Arms, Lynn had been leafleting at Seneca Army Depot for several years before the women's encampment existed. In the course of her travels to and from Romulus, she had noticed a run-down farm for sale and brought it to the attention of peace camp organizers. She, along with other women from Rochester, were instrumental in raising funds to buy the land and securing the necessary permits for its operation.

CLIP 1: The Holy Spirit's working here
CLIP 2: Rochester did a pretty good job

Interview: Lynn Varricchio
Date: August 17, 2008
Location: Rochester, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer

Lynn, left holding the CANA banner, on the Opening Day march from the encampment to the depot, July 4, 1983. Photo by Ruth Putter.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

HeRSToRy 081 Renee-Noelle Felice

    Renee-Noelle traveled up from New York City to spend a long weekend at the peace camp in the summer of 1984. She took beautiful photographs, all of which are linked under her name in the PHoToGRaPHeRS section.
Clip 1: And they will make peace
Interview: Renee-Noelle Felice
June 1, 2008
Syracuse, NY
Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer 


Monday, February 16, 2015

HeRSToRY 039 & 040 Quinn Dilkes & Rosalie Regal

    Quinn and Rosalie are longtime friends who were among those arrested at the bridge in Waterloo, NY in the summer of 1983. Both women were members of the New York City Women's Pentagon Action and had spent months planning a festive 15-mile walk from Seneca Falls to the peace camp but ended up spending five days in jail instead. Quinn arrived at the encampment a day before the incident via a 270-mile peace walk from NYC.

CLIP 1: I can't believe what I'm seeing
CLIP 2: What are these women doing?!?
Interview: Quinn Dilkes & Rosalie Regal
March 1, 2008
New York, NY
Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer & Alice O'Malley

Photo by Deb Mandel.

Photo by Deb Mandel.

Photo by Catherine Allport.

Photo by Deb Mandel.

Photo by Catherine Allport.

Photo by Deb Mandel.

Photo by Deb Mandel.

Photo by Nancy Clover.


HeRSToRy 082 Sally Roesch Wagner

    Sally is a longtime feminist and women's studies professor, and since 2001, the founding director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation. In the summer of 1984, after a performance as part of history events in Seneca Falls, she visited the peace camp in character and costume as Matilda Joslyn Gage, the 19th-century radical feminist (look her up!). Sally, as Matilda, committed civil disobedience at the Seneca Army Depot in honor of her newly born grandson.

CLIP 1: What would Matilda Joslyn Gage do? 
CLIP 2: This isn't real fear
Interview: Sally Roesch Wagner
June 1, 2008
Syracuse, NY
Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer

 Photographs by Nancy Clover
Encampment women gather in support of Matilda as she prepares to approach the Seneca Army Depot main gate, July 22, 1984.

Crossing Route 96.

Finding the gate open, Matilda walks through and greets the guard. "I would like to know if there are nuclear weapons stored here," she asks. The guard ushers her out.

She ushers herself back in.

"I would like an answer," she says.

He radios for back-up.

The two guards escort her back out...

...and shut and lock the gate. "That's enough of that," they say.

Not quite.

"I need some back-up!" yells the guard.

Sisters and daughters sing their support.

"For my grandson," Sally thinks... Matilda is handcuffed...
...and led to the waiting police van.
Sally aka Matilda's official letter from the Department of Defense. "...predicated upon your misconduct, you are barred from this installation for an indefinite period of time."


Friday, February 06, 2015

HeRSToRy 043 Helène Aylon

    Helène Aylon is a visual, conceptual, installation performance artist and eco-feminist who brought her Pillowcase Project to Seneca, July 1983. She participated in several actions at the Seneca Army Depot through the fall of that year and the pillowcases written and painted on by women at Seneca have been included in various art installations she has constructed over the years. She will be honored with a Women's Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award, February 2016.

CLIP 1: Why pillowcases?
CLIP 2: It's just dropping
Interview: Helène Aylon
Date: March 22, 2008
Location: New York City, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer & Alice O'Malley

Women's Video Collective. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 1983.
Helène speaking about the Pillowcase Project in an interview outside the pavillion at the Seneca women's peace camp in mid-July, 1983.

  Helène being interviewed in front of some of the pillowcases displayed along the fence at the Seneca Army Depot, August 1983. Photo by Nancy Clover.
  Helène's autobiography, published in 2012.


Wednesday, February 04, 2015

ViDeo: Every Woman Here: Remnants of Seneca

 Produced by the Peace Encampment Herstory Project, 2007.

*This video is currently being processed for its screening at the Peace Camp/Herstory Happening ViDeoFeST in May. Join us in Boston, or see it when comes back online in June!


HeRSToRy 061 & 062 Sorrel Hays & Marilyn Ries

   A prolific composer and occasional video filmmaker, Sorrel recorded actions, stories and songs at Seneca and other peace camps in the U.S. and England throughout the 1980s. She and her partner, Marilyn, a sound engineer, have collaborated on a variety of feminist art - plays, operas, theater pieces, and the invaluable video, CD: The Ritual of Civil Disobedience (1987) and cassette, Peace Camps Sing (1987).

CLIP 1: Those were powerfully active years

CLIP 2: It was a marvelous time


Interview: Sorrel Hays & Marilyn Ries
May 17, 2008
New York City, NY
Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer

One of Sorrel & Marilyn's many peace camp-inspired collaborations, Peace Camps Sing, 1987. The back side of the cover reads, Proceeds from the sale of this cassette will go to the Seneca Women's Peace Camp and other peace camps in the U.S. and England.

 Case liner for Peace Camps Sing.

The Hays/Ries collaboration, Disarming the World -- Pulling its Leg, is an hour-long play set at the peace camp and performed by Caroline Kava and Susan Stevens.

Sorrel & Marilyn's 3/4" master of the experimental film, C.D., The Ritual of Civil Disobedience was produced  from footage shot at the Seneca Women's Peace Camp in 1986.


Monday, February 02, 2015