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One month until PROCESSIONS celebrates 100 years of women voting

Published: 10 May 2018

Processions MSPs

Female MSPs gathered today 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’ until PROCESSIONS takes place in Edinburgh, London, Cardiff and Belfast.

These scarves will be worn by thousands of women and girls taking part in PROCESSIONS on Sunday 10 June – a UK-wide, mass participatory artwork celebrating 100 years since the first British women got the vote.

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.

Processions banner

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.”

Meet the students preparing to march

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.


  • Starting Point: Middle Meadow Walk, The Meadows EH3 9GE
  • Finishing Point: Queen’s Drive, Holyrood Park, EH8 8AZ
  • Distance of route: 2.5miles / 4km
  • Assembly at the start point from 12:15 – 13:30
  • Start Time 14:00

Women and girls are invited to sign-up to take part. Registration to take part in this free event is open now at www.processions.co.uk/register

Edinburgh processions


For more information please contact Emma Henderson at Public Image Events and Communications emma@pi-communications.co.uk 07977134614 or Alice Clifford at Flint alice.clifford@flint-pr.com / 0203 463 2087

PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke and commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and will mark one hundred years since the first British women won the right to vote. This UK-wide project has also received support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

PROCESSIONS EDINBURGH has been made possible with support from Creative Scotland supported by a Scottish Government Grant, EventScotland, the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council.

14-18 NOW

14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists across all art forms; the programme has included over 200 artists from 35 countries, with commissions taking place in 160 locations across the UK. Over 30 million people have experienced a project so far, including 7.5 million children and young people. 16.7million people took part in LIGHTS OUT in 2014, and 63% of the population were aware of Jeremy Deller’s 2016 work ‘We’re here because we’re here’.

The UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper have been seen by over 3.5 million people to date. 14-18 NOW has won many awards for its work, including the National Lottery Heritage Award 2017, a Museums Heritage Award and the Chairman’s Award at The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2016. It is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising. www.1418now.org.uk


Producers of extraordinary live events, Artichoke is one of the country’s leading creative companies and is a registered charity, funded by Arts Council England. At Artichoke, we use art to undermine the mundane and disrupt the everyday, and create a new kind of world that we’d all like to live in.

Our previous projects include Royal de Luxe’s The Sultan’s Elephant, which brought an estimated one million people onto the streets of London in 2006; La Machine’s 50-foot high mechanical spider for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008; Antony Gormley’s One & Other 100-day-long invasion of the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London in 2009; and Deborah Warner’s commission for the London 2012 Festival with Fiona Shaw, Peace Camp, a nationwide celebration of landscape and poetry, which took place across eight separate sites around the UK; Temple by David Best in Derry~Londonderry, attended by more than 75,000 people; and London’s Burning, a festival to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London in September 2016. Artichoke creates and produces Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, which has been staged in Durham every two years since 2009; in Derry~Londonderry in Northern Ireland as part of the celebrations for City of Culture 2013, and in London in January 2016 and January 2018. www.artichoke.uk.com


EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest events news visit www.EventScotland.org Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.