“What draws men and women together is stronger than the brutality and tyranny which drive them apart.” – Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett
Since February I’ve been working with Google Arts & Culture (GA&C), in partnership with the Mayor of London, on Road to Equality, a project celebrating 100 years since the first women in the UK got the right to vote.
GA&C is a non-profit branch of Google that works with thousands of cultural institutions around the world, using digital collections and storytelling to democratise access to the world’s cultural archives.
On 24 April 2018, London celebrated the historic unveiling of a statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett – the first statue in Parliament Square to commemorate, and to be created by, a woman. We worked with the Mayor of London, and Turner prize winning artist Gillian Wearing, to celebrate the occasion.
Launched to coincide with the statue’s unveiling, Road to Equality is a digital project that tells the story behind Gillian Wearing’s creation. But it also explores Millicent Fawcett’s significance in the much wider context of the last 100+ years of the women’s movement – from the groundwork that was laid in the decades before (some) women got the vote in 1918, to the century of progress that has followed.
The Mayor of London’s content, together with launch film Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere, forms phase one of the project. It is divided into eight themed exhibits, and two editorial features, which:
- Give a behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the statue
- Tell the inspirational life story of Millicent Fawcett herself
- Shine a light on 59 other women and men of the suffrage movement, who are also memorialised on the statue’s plinth
- Explore the current state of feminism and women’s rights in 2018
- Explain how the Mayor of London’s #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign is driving gender equality in the capital
You can read these pieces here:
- Making Millicent: Gillian Wearing on the creative process
- Who was Millicent Garrett Fawcett?
- Making the Fawcett statue
- Votes for Women around the UK
- Working class heroes of the suffrage movement
- Pioneering women
- The seat of power
- Men and the suffrage movement
- The missing portraits
- #BehindEveryGreatCity: Feminism in 2018
Road to Equality phase one was officially launched after the statue unveiling, at a reception in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and can be found at g.co/roadtoequality.
Phase two of the project will launch in June, and provides a broader look at the past, present and future of the women’s movement. I’ve been busy pulling together content from more than 20 cultural partners – including LSE Library and the Museum of London – as well as editorial features from some really impressive and inspiring women, and I’m looking forward to sharing all that with you soon.
Work-wise, my role as freelance content editor on the project has consisted of a bit of everything. There’s been writing, researching, commissioning, editing, project managing, and meeting some really fascinating people along the way. It’s been such an inspiring project to work on, and it couldn’t have come at a more serendipitous time.
I’m VERY excited about some of the content we’re going to be launching in June, so watch this space!