Artichoke, the UK’s leading creator of large-scale public art events, and 14-18 NOW is inviting ALL women across the UK (including those who identify as women and non-binary) to join PROCESSIONS, a mass participation artwork to celebrate the centenary of women’s suffrage. 2018 really is a landmark year for women’s rights and gender equality so this is a great way to pay homage to the past and also to unite all women in the present. It is important that we never forget the sacrifices of our sisters or to give up fighting for greater rights and equality today. We must continue pushing forwards to make our ancestors proud. Recent campaigns such as ‘Time’s Up’ have highlighted the contemporary relevance of women making a stand. So will you join them and help contribute to the progress already made?
PROCESSIONS will take place on Sunday the 10th of June; it will involve women and girls in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London walking together dressed in the suffragette colours (green, white and violet) and choreographed to appear as if they are a flowing river of colour running through the city streets. Handmade contemporary banners portraying a living portrait of women in the twenty-first century will form the centre of these processions. These banners will be the work of 100 organisations in collaboration with artists and community groups- a sign of the collective spirit at the heart of this mass participation- and will mimic those carried by former suffrage campaigners. Helen Marriage, a member of Artichoke, has described the power of banners as being derived from the fact: ‘they’re a way of saying publicly what you feel on the inside.’ The suffragettes had an incredible feel for the visual and utilised their own banners throughout their campaign for women’s equality to have their voices heard. This is why PROCESSIONS is focusing so heavily on the visual having taken inspiration from the past.
Registration is now open for this worthwhile and meaningful event at: http://www.processions.co.uk/ There is the option to sign up as an individual or as part of a group. Do not feel intimidated if you do not sign up as part of a group, there will be plenty of other women there to make you feel comfortable and all will unite in the name women’s equality and suffrage.
In the months leading up to PROCESSIONS, participants are encouraged to take part in a nationwide creative programme of banner-making workshops, or to create their own banners at home with a toolkit specially designed by contemporary banner-maker Clare Hunter. Some of the London-based organisations creating banners include theatre company Cardboard Citizens who will be creating a banner with the help of homeless, ex-homeless and at risk women in London, many of whom are not registered to vote. As well as Southall Black Sisters who will be running banner-making workshops for members of their support group for BME Survivors of Domestic Violence, channeling craft as a therapeutic tool. Artist Angela Maddock has also been commissioned by Crafts Council UK to work with staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, with women from all positions including receptionists, nurses, cleaners, and surgeons.
Click on the following link to see a short video about the project, this will communicate to you the poignancy of the event more so than the words in this article can: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4coQi-jZw8