Wednesday 21 March 2018

PROCESSIONS - Week 1 - Discussions, Questions, Research

The Eloquent Fold - artists Carole Miles and Phiona Richards are delighted to be one of the 100 Artists / Groups selected to create a Processions Banner for Corby. Our sessions are taking place at Swan Gardens - part of mass artwork to mark the centenary of the women's vote. 

PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke, the UK’s largest producer of art in the public realm, as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary
PROCESSIONS will invite women* and girls across the UK to come together on the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London on Sunday 10 June 2018 to mark this historic moment in a living, moving portrait of women in the 21st century.

Made in Corby / The Eloquent Fold is one of 100 organisations working with women artists up and down the country in the lead-up to the event, as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops to create 100 centenary banners which will form part of this vast artwork.

*those who identify as women or non-binary

Phiona showed the group a series of video clips and I shared photographs and historical information about the campaign for the vote by both the Suffragettes and the suffragists. I shared some old textiles I had made to give people some ideas about materials and possibilities.

We also discussed some of the following questions.

Topics of discussion:
What do you know about the Suffrage movement?
What is the difference between the Suffragettesand Suffragists4
What is the Representation of thePeople Act and why was it made? 
Which participants in your group areregistered to vote? What does this mean to them? Do you feel your vote counts?
Which women in the UK still don’t have the vote? How could they be supported?
Consider the history of textiles and how they have been used throughout history.
What is the suffrage / textile history of your local area?

Women in the group shared their stories and insights about the importance of the vote; the strong women in their families who encouraged and inspired them to use their voices for change and progress in Corby and the wider world. To start the process of deciding what they wanted the banner to say I asked a series of questions. The answers were shared amongst the group and can be read below.

Processions - Week One Answers from the Group 

How I see myself as a women in the present 

I see myself as a person, not a stereotype. 
I am a human being and that is important not my gender. 
Use your voice be heard. No one can tell you what to do, as only you own you. 
I believe now that being a woman you are still a 2nd class citizen. 
We're going to change the world. Continue the fight. 
We have rights use what you have, claim what you need and don't have yet. 
I am free to make my own decisions but not everyone is. 
We should work together. 
Our bodies are still a battleground. 
Deeds not Words. 
Take every opportunity to learn and to use your learning. 
Follow up with actions, use your voice and vote! 

How I see women changing in the future 

Women are strong. 
To live in harmony with mutual respect. 
Be the continuation of the Suffragist/Suffragette legacy. 
Fight your corner as no-one else will do it for you. 
We are strong creatures, don't lessen your worth. 
All ways be strong and be yourself and what you believe in follow it. 
Your voice is valid. You have a voice – you can use it. 
Don't give up. You will be free to make your own decisions. 
Speak up act up. 
Women is not a stereotype, it is our sex. 
Be positive, forthright, be strong and stand up for your right. 
Be you. Achieve a balanced society where everyone regardless of race, creed, colour or gender are sharing humanity. Stay strong, have fun. 

What I dream the women will achieve in the future.

Women can be whoever they want to be. 
Be seen and be heard. 
Use your voice and your votes. 
Be able to pass on my wisdom to my son. 
Staying Alive. 
Seeing the Northern Lights. 
Knowing that the females in my family can be self sufficient and strong. 
Labels don't define you. 
Free education for all girls in the world. 
Every person regardless of all labels has freedom. 
For women's natural bodies to be accepted. 
We are human beings. We have human rights. Be joyous with ourselves. 
We all have a part in life. It is our birth right. 
A proper summing up. To be a mother of generations. 
You can put your mind and body to anything. 
 Express yourself, use your vote!

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