‘The Canary Girls’was the name given to the British female munition factory workers during the World Wars. The name derives from the toxic effects of handling chemicals that caused yellowing of the skin and hair. Despite being in the Government Sector, working environments were dangerous. Explosions and fatalities were commonplace, with the factory heads often directing the blame at the workers. Throughout this, the Canary Girls were crucial in advocating equal working rights for women and securing equal pay for equal work.Tothis day, the Canary Girls have not received any formal or official recognition for their sacrifices.
Cause of Explosion; Larking About examines the Pembrey Munitions Factory archive highlighting the roleof the canary girls and more widely explores the impacton collective memory. Combining appropriated archival materials, reconstructed pieces, and present-day location photographs from the former Pembrey Factory site, this work questions narrative and its eventual influence on Heritage and the Country’s Conscience.