Women of the Rhondda
Esther Ronay, Mary Kelly, Mary Capps, Humphrey Trevelyan, Margaret Dickinson, Brigid Segrave, Susan Shapiro
19/07 - 30/07/2023
Three women from the Welsh Rhondda Valley mining community talk of their lives during the grueling miners’ strikes of the 1920s and 1930s. Women of the Rhondda (22 min., 1972) draws on oral history methods to present a radically new representation of labor from the perspective of working-class women.
Women of the Rhondda is shown in the context of The Work We Share, a film program of ten newly digitized films from the Cinenova collection. Produced between 1972 and 1994, the films address oppositional histories and questions of difference through the lenses of gender, race, sexuality, health, and community.
The Work We Share gathers a number of films that previously existed in precarious conditions, in some cases, with negatives being lost or distribution film prints being the only copy. This program intends to acknowledge Cinenova’s interdependency: from organization to filmmakers, cultural workers, communities, and individuals. How can we acknowledge our interdependent relationships? How can we recognize our place in a network of communications, relationships, and resources, particularly as an un-funded volunteer organization? What different strains of labor does our work rely on? How do we sustain this work mutually?
Cinenova is a volunteer-run charity preserving and distributing the work of feminist film and video makers. It was founded in 1991 following the merger of two feminist film and video distributors, Circles and Cinema of Women, each formed in 1979. Cinenova currently distributes over 300 titles that include artists’ moving image, experimental film, narrative feature films, documentary, and educational videos made from the 1910s to the early 2000s.
Esther Ronay, Mary Kelly, Mary Capps, Humphrey Trevelyan, Margaret Dickinson, Brigid Segrave and Susan Shapiro came together to make Women of the Rhondda in 1972. What started as research for an oral history book about the General Strike of 1926 turned into a film that captures the experience of four women from the Rhondda Valley mining community in South Wales.