In Oldham, Tandem Theatre partnered with Oldham Youth Zone, Mahdlo and their Girls Group.
Mahdlo is a registered charity and state of the art Youth Zone for young people in Oldham aged 8 – 19 years old (up to 25 for young people with a disability). With a range of facilities on offer, Mahdlo provides activities such as sports, climbing, gym, general fitness, dance, performing arts, music and multi-media. The Game Changers project was able to compliment the Girls Group drop in sessions by providing the suffragists focused activities. The project engaged many of the participants that attended the Girls Group and built up a core group of eight. These young women were very committed and even performed some of their own poetry at the Bazaar event. The youth workers were very impressed with their progress:
“I was really surprised how much the young women engaged in the project especially doing activities out of their comfort zone such as recreating the procession and hosting an exhibition but they did really well.” Kelsey Urey, Mahdlo Youth Worker.
RECREATING THE PAST
The group received guided tours at Archives +, Manchester Central Library, where they handled the women’s suffrage collection and The People’s History Museum to see the wider context of women’s suffrage. They also received a guided tour of Gallery Oldham to familiarise themselves with the space where they would show case their exhibition.
RECREATING THE PAST
In the arts and crafts workshops the group recreated suffragist materials such as a protest banner, rosettes, sashes, leaflets, booklets and badges. For more information on how suffragists used these materials click here.
The group researched local suffragist figures Dame Sarah Lees and her daughter Marjory Lees. They decorated a giant jigsaw piece in the shape of the Oldham borough with pictures of them and images associated with the suffragist movement.
For more information about Dame Sarah Lees and Marjory Lees click here.
The group recreated the 1908 Manchester Women’s Suffrage Demonstration 1908 by marching down Lark Hill Place (a replica Victorian street at Salford Museum and Art Gallery) in costume wearing their sashes and displaying their banner.
For International Women’s Day the group displayed all their fantastic work at Gallery Oldham and their lead artist ran suffragist themed making activities throughout the day.
APPLYING THE PAST TO TODAY
The group then applied what they had learnt about the suffragist campaign methods and applied it to today. Focusing on current issues the group felt most impacted them; they developed their own campaign through taking part in a series of workshops such as debating, marketing, music, spoken word, corporate sponsorship and T-shirt printing.
For more information about these methods of campaigning click here.
These set of sessions also provided content for the groups to share at the recreation of the 1912 Women’s Suffrage Bazaar.
ASSOCIATE LEAD ARTIST - Claire Hignett
Claire Hignett is a visual artist with an extensive knowledge of textile processes. She subverts and explores the familiarity of domestic textiles, childhood games and toys and familiar objects to explore themes of safety, insecurity, protection, separation, transience and permanence.