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Represent! Voices 100 Years On

FANTHOME, Lynne, Safety4Sisters Migrant Women's Group, NRPF and People's History Museum, PHM (2018) Represent! Voices 100 Years On. [Show/Exhibition]

Image (Editorial Panel for “Represent! Voices 100 Years On” (2018) –exhibition wall label People’s History Museum, Manchester.)
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Image (Community Partners for “Represent! Voices 100 Years On” (2018) exhibition wall label People’s History Museum, Manchester.)
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Abstract or description

On 6 February 1918, the Representation of the People Act was passed, giving most men and some women in Britain the vote. This would change the lives of many working men and women, who finally had a say over who represented them in parliament. Represent! Voices 100 Years On reflects on those who campaigned for better representation; most famously the suffragists and the militant suffragettes. The recently acquired Manchester suffragette banner will be displayed for the first time alongside sashes, brooches, photographs and cartoons, helping to paint a picture of what representation meant in 1918.
This exhibition also questions how far we have really come in 100 years? It gives a platform to individuals and communities, including LGBT+ youth charity The Proud Trust and Safety4Sisters, who are still fighting to make their voices heard today. Crowdsourced items, including placards from the 2017 Women’s Marches and a jumpsuit from the Sisters Uncut 2018 BAFTA protest, tell the very personal stories of today’s movements and campaigns. Represent! Voices 100 Years On takes its inspiration from feminist zines and has been designed in collaboration with Riposte magazine.

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Additional Information: Responding to a call from the People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester in 2017, for community groups to form the editorial panel of “Represent! Voices 100 Years On”, Fanthome partnered with PHM and Safety4Sisters with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) women’s group, with the objective that participants author contributions to the exhibition. The research aimed to discover what an inclusive and representative community arts and heritage practice requires as a commitment from community groups, museum, and researcher. The methodology combines activist, feminist principles and critical attention to participatory, co-production principles: questioning whether participation was possible, or would benefit the group in their situation of emergency and crisis, additionally; what might the partners learn from this research activity? The researcher held several roles: PHM editorial panel member for the larger exhibition project; contributing to the presentation of artefacts; facilitating women with NRPF in deciding the form of their contribution; working with Safety4Sisters and PHM to ensure the confidentiality and security of the group. Consideration of these roles form a significant aspect of this research. Critical attention was given to the impact and effects of power and inequality on the NRPF group, where the priorities of the museum and researcher claimed authority, or precedence. Knowledge production was important throughout this process: PHM suggested changes to exhibition content, which Safety4Sisters and researcher successfully argued against; the white plinth, however, was retained by the museum despite objection, raising questions regarding co-curation that are ongoing (SITZIA 2018). The NRPF women’s group could not have taken part without material support from the Safety4Sisters’ organisation, who agreed the partnership with the museum, but question whether their limited resources could support future activity. Directors at PHM have discussed additional funding to secure future participation, inviting the group to contribute to their next exhibition, Migrant Identities for 2020.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: Represent! Voices 100 Years On
Event Location: People's History Museum Manchester
Event Dates: Saturday 2 June 2018 to Sunday 3 February 2019
Depositing User: Lynne FANTHOME
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2019 11:17
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2019 11:18

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