This Sunday, June 10, marks the 100 year anniversary of the first British women gaining the right to vote, and over 27,000 women are expected to take part in a uniquely artistic march through London to celebrate.
The march has been entitled Processions, and the women participating will start on Park Lane and make their way into Westminster, using their voices to fight for women of the modern age while also representing the women who have fought before them. The march will be a form of living artwork as women flood the streets in groups, wearing wraps of white, green, and violet, colours chosen in homage to the suffragettes.
Additionally, hundreds of homemade banners will hang within the procession, following the footsteps of the suffragettes in their campaign for women’s votes. Many different organisations have volunteered to create some of these banners, including organisations that help empower and gives voices to women of all backgrounds.
The idea for Processions is based on an idea from creative director, Darrell Vydelingum, and it is commissioned by a UK arts programme called 14-18 NOW. A complete list for the organisations and artists who helped create the 100 banners, 100 banners for 100 years, can be found on the march’s website.
One organisation that helped design banners is a theatre company called Clean Break. Clean Break deals with women impacted by the criminal justice system, giving these women a creative outlet in making banners for the procession.
One of the six crucial designers initiating the creation of these banners, Anya Hindmarch, said:
“I am surrounded by and inspired by strong women all the time both at work and socially and believe together we can achieve anything. I love the idea of women uniting across the UK as a living artwork…”
The march in London will not be alone, as women in Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Belfast will be engaging in similar marches at the same time, while BBC TV will be covering all four. All of the marches will begin at approximately 14:00 and each one will cover a different distance, though most are around two miles long. Registration is open and free, and participation is expected to grow as the day draws closer.
For more information, including starting locations of each march, and to register, visit https://www.processions.co.uk/. You can also follow the march on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/artichoketrust/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/processions2018), or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PROCESSIONS2018/).
By Laura Dudones