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Processions 2018 - preparing to march

PROCESSIONS 2018 is a UK-wide, mass participatory artwork celebrating 100 years since the first British women got the vote.

With one month until the event, we popped along to the Edinburgh College of Art to meet the students preparing their banner for the big day. We heard about the impact the project has had on the students and staff, as well as the group of female prisoners who have also contributed to the banner-making workshops.

For the students this was an opportunity to think about how their art and design practice can have a much broader impact - it's not just about making things beautiful.- Lindy Richardson, Edinburgh College of Art

PROCESSIONS Edinburgh will leave from The Meadows at 2pm on Sunday 10 June. Wearing the suffragette colours, women and girls will be choreographed to walk in stripes in a flowing river of colour through the city streets, creating a living portrait of women and girls in the 21st century. Many will carry textile banners made in the lead-up to the event and echoing the banners carried by the suffrage campaigners.

On 10 May 2018, female MSPs gathered on the steps of the Garden Lobby inside the Scottish Parliament wearing scarves in the colours of the suffragettes Green, White and Violet to mark ‘one month to go’.

Processions MSPs

The First Minister said: “As we mark the 100 year anniversary since some women secured the right to vote in the UK, this is an occasion for us all to reflect on the progress made to date, look at the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and to celebrate and commemorate the suffrage movement. PROCESSIONS Edinburgh is a great opportunity to take an active role in celebrating this centenary year.”

Helen Marriage, Director of Artichoke said: “It is wonderful to see the momentum for PROCESSIONS building as we get closer to the 10 June. Processions is a once in a lifetime opportunity for women and girls across the UK, to come together to celebrate what has been achieved for women, but also to recognise how far there is still to go. I hope everyone participating in this event will look back with pride on this day 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.”

Find out more about Processions 2018.

This article was published on 11 May 2018