The Pankhurst Centre and Manchester City Council are set to create a living legacy for the women of Manchester that gathers their words, memories and experiences for all to share.
The Women's Words project will be inviting women with any link to the city - whether through birth, work or home - to submit their written stories about living and working in Manchester, of up to 1,000 words.
The project launches on Thursday 24 August, and submissions can be sent until Friday 24 November. Stories, poems, memories, thoughts will then be archived at Manchester Central Library. All contributions from women of all ages and backgrounds – whether stories, poems, memories, lists, or reflections – are welcome, as long as they are in the author’s own words.
Women’s Words will be artist-led, with participants given the chance to explore traditional ‘making’ practices such as textiles, letterpress and cyanotype. There will also be oral and collaborative storytelling sessions and an opportunity for those who feel they cannot write well in English to have their stories retold and written down by someone else.
A selection of the pieces submitted will feature in a reimagination of the original The Suffragette magazine, produced by the Women’s Social and Political Union to support their campaign. This will be a beautiful, handcrafted limited edition art piece that will be edited and curated by artist Lucy May Schofield. Copies will be available to buy from Central Library and local Manchester Libraries and the Pankhurst Centre Museum, with an e-book version made available through Manchester Libraries’ BorrowBox service.
Supported by Arts Council England, the project will commemorate the 2018 Centenary of the Vote for Women by asking Manchester’s women to make their voices heard and for their stories to become a 21st century narrative of those connected to the city.
Women’s Words 2018 will embrace the powerful force that saw Manchester’s most radical daughters turn their home into suffragette city and use this to inspire and encourage women of today.
Although they marched to the call of Deeds not Words, the legacy of the suffragettes' campaign is one full of inspiring and emotive words that drew people to their vision for equality then and now.
The project will culminate with two public events, an exhibition and a gala event on 5 February at Manchester’s Central Library.
Women’s Words will be shared online at www.womenswordsmcr.com and through social media via Facebook - www.facebook.com/Womens-Words-Mcr Twitter - @WomensWordsMcr Instrgram - www.instagram.com/womenswordsmcr/?hl=en