PROCESSIONS Edinburgh receives major funding awards

Image: Photographic postcard of women with Edinburgh banner from Mary Lowndes Album, 1908. Credit: The Women's Library @ LSE

PROCESSIONS Edinburgh is delighted to announce that the Scottish Government’s Centenary Fund, Event Scotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and the City of Edinburgh Council have now joined Creative Scotland as major funders of PROCESSIONS Edinburgh on 10th June.

PROCESSIONS Edinburgh is one of four nationwide events taking place across the UK produced by leading arts charity Artichoke and commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.

PROCESSIONS will take place on Sunday 10th June in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and London and is a mass participatory artwork celebrating 100 years since the first British women got the vote.

Women and girls are invited to sign-up to take part at processions.co.uk. Participants will be given scarves to wear in either green, white or violet - the colours of the suffragettes – and will be choreographed so that together they appear as a vast river of colour flowing through the city centre. Many will carry artistic banners made in the lead-up to the event echoing the banners carried by the suffrage campaigners and representing what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.

All four funding bodies in Scotland are producing their own banners to carry with them on the day. Using the toolkit downloadable from the website https://www.processions.co.uk/workshops/toolkits/ they are joining thousands of groups and individuals up-and-down the country who are creating a banner or pennant for the event. The toolkit has suggestions for making all kinds of banners that will take just 30 minutes or up to ten hours to make. It is simple to use and was designed by contemporary banner-maker Clare Hunter and inspired by a 1909 pamphlet written by suffragette artists Mary Lowndes. 

Helen Marriage, Artistic Director and CEO or Artichoke said: “We are delighted that the four key statutory bodies in Scotland have chosen to fund this artwork and mark this historic anniversary when the first British women got the vote. We hope it will be the largest mass participation artwork made up of women ever seen in the UK. It will be a moment to celebrate what has been achieved for women as well as to recognise how far there is still to go.” 

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said:“The Scottish Government is delighted to support Processions which will raise awareness of the on-going issues of inequality experienced by women and girls today.

“This is part of the celebrations to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage and while we have come a long way since 1918, much still needs to be done if we are to eradicate gender inequality and create a fairer and more prosperous country.

“By supporting Processions we are making an important step towards securing that future.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is proud to be supporting the mass participatory artwork as it takes to the streets of Edinburgh to celebrate this important anniversary. British women’s right to vote was a significant moment in our civic history and Processions will be a wonderful opportunity for the women and girls of Scotland to come together to celebrate the occasion and all the change that proceeded from it.”

Councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan, Vice Culture and Communities Convener at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “On 10 June, thousands of women and girls will unite in Edinburgh to process, carry banners and fly the flag for women’s rights.

“Together, we will commemorate the incredible perseverance and bravery of those women who fought for the right to vote and marched through the city’s streets 100 years ago. It will be a chance for us to reflect on how far we’ve come and what’s still left to fight for, and I hope to see people of all ages from all walks of life and nationalities take part. The Council is so pleased to support such an inspiring event and I hope a key take away will be a renewed interest in registering to vote.

“You can just imagine how incredible it will be to see a flowing river of people in green, white and violet processing through Edinburgh and what an amazing atmosphere it will create. This is the type of event people will look back on with pride in the future and say, ‘I was there’.”

Claire Byers, Interim Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland said: “We are delighted to support the Scottish programme of PROCESSIONS, a project of great historic significance and social impact. In echoing the practices of the women’s suffrage campaign, the collective banner-making workshops and procession have the power to serve as a live portrait of modern women, and a visual expression of equality, diversity, and inclusion in contemporary Scotland. The programme will also provide a long-lasting creative legacy for the participating women, girls and communities.”

HOW TO TAKE PART:

  • Register at www.processions.co..uk to join one of the PROCESSIONS in Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London on Sunday 10 June 2018
  • Set up or join a public banner-making workshop
  • Create your own banner at home using the PROCESSIONS toolkit
  • Spread the word #PROCESSIONS2018
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