WHY HOLLOWAY? Holloway prison, since its inception has been a site for both political protest and resistance and women’s movement. There have been several campaigns, led by notable groups and charitable organisations as well as by prominent individuals that have centred upon issues surrounding the legal, social and health rights of women in Holloway. In addressing conditions within Holloway, these issues often transcended the prison walls and reinforced and invigorated wider debates surrounding women’s rights, health and social status outside the prison. The historic importance of Holloway as a site upon which these debates were centred, but also as a place where the need for change was identified and sometimes successfully enacted, provides strong justification of the need for a women’s building on the site. It demonstrates the importance of Holloway as a physical space for protest, debate, enquiry and change but also as a symbolic site of the fight for women’s rights. It would speak to the site’s heritage whilst also providing a contextual past to some the enduring themes within the history of women’s rights, both inside and outside of the prison.
We will be outlining through regular posts, with support provided by prison health historians, authors and organisations and women connected with the prison a brief history of campaigns, campaigners and organisations at Holloway prison.