getting attention

Current media coverage, active campaigns, public involvement and creative interventions, in the debate that has been running since at least 1952.

Inspiration

If you are thinking of starting a campaign for a statue or memorial honouring women and would like to find some wonderful inspiration for ways of getting attention just check the tactics used in campaigns like those for Mary Wollstonecraft and Emmeline Pankhurst.

What a brainwave to project Mary Wollstonecraft's image on to the Houses of Parliament, a great way to get her in the public eye.

And imagine the power of organising a public vote like the one in Manchester to start the conversation and get a real sense from the wider public about who they truly value.

The energetic, effective campaign, led by engineer Jane Priston, to celebrate the astonishing achievements of pioneering aviator Amy Johnson resulted in not one but two beautiful, lively statues.

Amy Johnson

So that’s a thought to bear in mind; is there more than one place that is significant in the life of the person or group that you are campaigning for? Once the sculptor’s work is done, more than one cast can be made. We have such a lot of ground to make up in terms of the recognition of women that this is a strategy worth considering. Amy was important both to the people of Hull where she was born and in Herne Bay where she died.

Amy Johnson statue text

Another clever feature of these statues is that even without a sound component they still allow Amy’s inspiring words to reach us through engravings of her words on the surface of the statue.

Amy Johnson statue text - Believe nothing to be impossible

Changing Attitudes

And for some food for thought from the USA take a look at the Moving On page for the Millie Dresselhaus video. Attitudes are changing everywhere.

The Pankhursts

The clever "Wifies" - www.wifie.org.uk - in Edinburgh made life size portraits (above) of the women they wanted to see honoured, then set them around the city: a real call to action.

Sheffield City Council used the “Just Giving” site as part of their fundraising efforts. They attracted 295 supporters and exceeded their goal of raising £150,000 and actually got £163,166. The campaign reached a highly motivated group of givers. One of the very many supporters who donated said she had made her donation:

“In memory of our lovely brave Mother, Mary Gilbert (Nee Broomhead) who worked in Munitions at Stocksbridge Steel Works during the Second World War. Remembering too, all these ladies, from both wars.”

With the extra money raised Sheffield City Council were able to strike commemorative medals to be presented to the surviving steel factory workers.

Stopping the Traffic in New York

April 21, 2018

The Times today ( 21.4.18 ) tells us that Fearless Girl is going to have to be moved from her defiant pose in front of the Raging Bull on Wall Street "because city planners fear that her many admirers are creating a traffic hazard..."

Maybe they could consider changing the traffic flow and keeping Fearless Girl where she is since she is so obviously striking a chord with uch a lot of people? Or perhaps it is the very fact of the strong resonance of this small statue that has lead to the decision to move her on? 

 

The stated aim of the work was to ecncourage the hiring of more women on corporate boards and one source says that over 150 women have been appointed since the arrival of Fearless Girl - whilst other commentators deride the idea that the artwork could have had any influence. 

The artist who created Raging Bull is said to be planning to sue over the placing of Fearless Girl opposite the bull because it makes it look " adversarial " .. but the casual observer may conclude that the raging bull ( the clue is in the name ) seems pretty adversarial all by itself.

The power of the civic statue - never to be underestimated.

https://www.timeout.com/newyork/news/the-fearless-girl-statue-will-be-moved-to-a-new-location-041918

Millicent joins the "Gentlemen's Club"

April 21, 2018

The statue of the suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett is to be unveiled 100 years after MPs passed a bill that gave some women the vote.

The unveiling in Parliament Square will take place on the 24th April, the first monument of a woman to stand in the central London location. The installation by Gillian Wearing, the Turner prize winner,  will also feature 52 photographic etchings on tiles around the statue depicting 59 key women – and a few men – who were central in the push for women’s suffrage.

“I wanted the monument to be as inclusive as possible and to reflect that many women were involved in progressing the rights of equality, some of whom have never been publicly recognised,” Wearing said. “It is important to realise the battle for equality didn’t come easily. It was a long, hard, arduous struggle...”

The government committed £5m to fund celebrations for the centenary year last March. Around £1m is funding new statues of women including that of Fawcett and one of Emmeline Pankhurst in Manchester,  the city’s first new monument to a woman in more than 100 years.

The Government Equalities Office announced in December that seven areas across England would receive a share of £1.2m to fund projects. But women’s groups have complained that applying for a £1.5m Women's Vote Centenary Fund for grassroots projects has been "unneccessarily difficult".

https://www.womensvotecentenaryfund.co.uk

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan  has launched a #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign to “champion the fact that it is the achievements and contributions of women, from all walks of life, which make cities like London great”. The year-long programme of events includes a display of works by female artists on the Underground.“We want to mark the progress we’ve made in the last 100 years, but as importantly to use it as a springboard to go forward to fight gender inequality.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/06/statue-of-suffragist-millicent-fawcett-to-be-unveiled-in-april

The Cracker Packers unveiled

March 20, 2018

Hazel Reeves' Cracker Packers are unveiled this month in Carlisle. The bronze statue celebrates the long history of women workers at the biscuit factory with two  women workers - one from past times and one from the modern day - dressed in their respective factory uniforms. 

It is all too easy to imagine that there is no funding for statues to women but this, and others recently erected, belies that idea.  This statue is privately funded, including a contribution from Pladis, the global biscuit and confectionery company plus £65,000 from Sainsbury’s (as part of their development of a Carlisle superstore) and £5,000 from author Hunter Davies, who has a keen interest ( he wrote a book about workers at the factory ) in the history of the McVitie’s site.

 

 

 

 

http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/Countdown-on-to-unveiling-of-Carlisle-cracker-packers-statue-74756a90-b914-425d-8d21-006958c7fbd0-dshttps://twitter.com/HazelReeves

Sarah Chapman and the Matchgirl's Strike

March 13, 2018

There is a campaign for a memorial to Sarah Chapman, one of the leaders of the matchgirls strike at the Bryant and May match factory in Bow, East London.

Sarah is ringed in red in this photo.

The strike came about because of the "white slavery " practised by the factory owners. Bryant & May took 20% dividends and yet paid their workers ‘starvation wages’.

In 2000 their ground breaking action was memorialised by Lemn Sissay in a permanent poetry installation on the Olympic Park, 'Spark Catchers', celebrating the pioneering industrial action of the women and girls who, in 1888,  went on the first un-unionised strike against poor working conditions, which helped spark a social revolution changing working conditions across Britain.

Hear the inspirational Lemn Sissay talking about 'Spark Catchers':  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vi_a0Xkddk

There will be a memorial walk in London in July, to celebrate 130 years since the strike victory.

  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ matchgirls-130th-anniversary- memorial-walk-tickets- 43128736211

For info about the campaign;   samdearman0411@gmail.com

Petition:          Sarah Chapman

For the full story see -  Matchgirl’s Strike of 1888_05032018.pdf

WOW

March 6, 2018

Looking forward to seeing you at WOW - Women of the World - on the Southbank, London this Friday 9th, Saturday10th and Sunday 11th

WOW – Women of the World | Southbank Centre

www.southbankcentre.co.uk/.../women-of-the-world

On Saturday, Mary on the Green will be with inVISIBLEwomen at WOW so do come by and say hello and add your support by signing their petition to Mayor Khan ( on the website https://www.change.org/p/sadiq-khan-a-statue-for-feminist-icon-mary-wollstonecraft-whereswolly-vindicationformary) or at WOW. 

Mary on the Green

www.maryonthegreen.org

 

A Statue for Elsie in Edinburgh

March 4, 2018

 

Here are some of the team from Mercat Tours who are campaigning for a statue to Elsie Inglis, a renowned suffragette and Founder of the Scottish Women's Hospitals. Go to http://ow.ly/NufH30iviyK and follow the links to see a short video describing her impressive achievements, made despite the patronising patriarchal attitiude that told her  " My good lady, go home and sit down" when she offered her services as a qualified doctor to the forces in Edinburgh. Needless to say, this did not stop her.

The Power of the Sculpted Image

March 2, 2018

image BBC website

Kaethe Kollwitz's most famous sculpture, Mother and Her Dead Son, sits in the middle of the Neue Wache (The New Guardhouse) on the Unter Den Linden in Berlin. Statues that glorify brave young warriors abound, but there are few such truthful and painful memorials to the real human cost of war.

Kollowitz's work was suppressed by the Nazis and this prominent statue represents Germany's new position after the war. It is visited each year by thousands of people. In the radio 4 programme "The World in 3D'  ( link below until Thurs 29th March ) Lucy Lunt interviewed some of the visitors and what they said revealed the power of the sculpted image. 

They talked to her about the emotions it evoked, the nature of motherhood, the tragedy of war and the desire to do better for future generations. For one young man, it inspired him to call his mother, over six hundred miles away, to say ' thank you' and ' I'm sorry'.

image BBC website

"It makes people respectful...''    and    "breeds concern for their fellow man..."  and  "copies should be made... to be distributed around the world.."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09sqk02

This is What the Patriarchy Looks Like

Feb. 21, 2018

On the anniversary of the first great victory for women in the sugffrage movement it's interesting to see where the struggle for equlaity lies today.  The zeitgeist is with us as women, gradually shining a real light on the hidden depravities that have been excused and covered up for decades. Finally we are together calling the perpetrators out.

We still live in a male dominated society but now we are changing the rules by which we all play. It is important to leave a lasting testament to the better values that we choose to replace the nasty, underhand, dangerous and damaging behaviour of men, sanctioned by the patriarchy.

Civic statues have long been the quiet, persitent and influential image of male power, surrounding us in our cities, squares and town centres, silently reminding us just who it is that we should be "looking up" to. It's time for images of the other 50% of the population, representing positive values, to join this old guard, to echo the cry of our suffragettes sisters, it's time for more  PLINTHS FOR WOMEN!

Alice Unveiled

Feb. 5, 2018

Success after a long campaign. Alice Hawkins, a shoe factory machinist and leader of the suffrage movement in her city was honoured for having stood up for what she believed in.

from the i newspaper. Spotted by Roving Reporter Anne French

Alice Hawkins Honoured in Leicester

Feb. 2, 2018

How fitting that the statue of Alice Hawkins is to be erected in this centenary year of women's suffrage. The plinth for the statue is already in place in Leicester's new market square, behind the Corn Exchange and this Sunday - 4th February - the unveliing  will take place at an event starting at 2pm. 

Alice was an ardent suffragist and was sent to Holloway prison with 28 other women – including the sisters, Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst.“It seems that Alice’s resolve hardened during her imprisonment because two months after leaving prison, she set up the first meeting of the Leicester branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union." says Dan Martin in the Leicester Mercury.

It's easy to foget the risks taken and the courage of the suffragists. They were as brave then as today's Iranian women ( see last post http://www.invisiblewomen.org.uk/gettingattention/post/59 ) who stand up in the streets and take off their headscarves as a protest.They too risk not only social disaprobation but time in prison, just like their suffragette sisters.

Details of all the events taking place across the UK to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage will be available at www.parliament.uk/vote100

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/suffragette-leaders-great-granddaughter-attend-1125144

 

 

 

 

Standing up for Change

Jan. 30, 2018

 A woman to look up to.

In Iran wearing the veil is still the only way to be a safe and respectable woman. In fact, women can be arrested for publicly flouting the Islamic requirement that they cover their hair. This woman has in effect, created her own "plinth", to gain respect for her right to dress as she pleases.

According to an article in the New York Times yesterday by THOMAS ERDBRINK this brave young woman was the first of several such demonstrations of dissatisfaction at being forced to wear clothing dictated by the state religion.

' The first protest in December took place on a Wednesday and seemed connected to the White Wednesday campaign, an initiative by Masih Alinejad, an exiled Iranian journalist and activist living in the United States. Ms. Alinejad has reached out to Iranian women on Persian-language satellite television and through social media, and via a website she runs called My Stealthy Freedom. On the website, women post images of themselves without head scarves, demanding an end to the compulsory head scarf law.'

Mojtaba Nariman‏ @mojtaba_nariman

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/world/middleeast/head-scarf-protests-iran-women.html?emc=edit_th_180130&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=63020213

Statue Saturation?

Jan. 19, 2018

Statue Saturation?

Odd isn't it? Now that it comes to a second woman being proposed for a statue in Parliament Square the notion of  "statue saturation" arises. Surley no one is so very antiquated as to think that because we will have one woman; the safely historical suffragist, Millicent Fawcett, that the balance is achieved? 

article from the i spotted by inVISIBLEwomen's 'Roving Reporter' Anne French

Love her or loathe her, Maggie Thatcher was a true political force, as deserving of commemoration as the male inhabitants of the decades old 'Gentlemen's Club' in Parliament Square.  

image from the i

We will no longer be fobbed off with the 'token woman'. 

https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/margaret-thatcher-statue-will-not-erected-parliament-square-due-monument-saturation/