To mark 100 years since the suffrage movement, the '209 Women' book celebrates the centenary of women’s suffrage and seeks to champion the visibility of women: particularly in areas that are still largely male dominated such as politics and the arts. A collective of women photographers from across the UK formed to make and mark history by creating photographic portraits of the current female Members of Parliament.
Women form 51% of the population, but only 32% of our MPs are women.
The exhibition launched on 14 December at the Palace of Westminster, 100 years to the day that the first women walked into polling stations to cast their votes. This book is the lasting legacy of this historical project, it is an opportunity to reflect on how much progress has been made towards gender parity, whilst also highlighting how much more needs to be done, across all spheres of society, each and every day.
Photography is a tremendously powerful medium of communication, yet all too often we see images in which women have had their agency denied. All the women in this project – both MPs and photographers – worked together to create images that communicated their identities on their terms: their own sense of justice, their own vision for a better world.
From emerging to established photographers from across the UK, this is the first time all these 207 photographers have been shown together - making the project and book a milestone in photography history.
Speaking about the project, Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline, said:
“To represent and be presented for what we are - as women, by women - is a very special thing. This is what 209 women is all about.”
209 Women was founded and directed by Hilary Wood. It is delivered in partnership with Open Eye Gallery, The Sorority, Royal Photographic Society and Liverpool City Council.
Curatorial team: Hilary Wood, Tracy Marshall (Open Eye Gallery), Cheryl Newman, Lisa Tse (The Sorority) and Ambassador Rosemary Reed (Power of Women).
Risks and challenges
The project is run by a professional team with previous success of crowdfunding, it has supporting partners (see above) and is run in collaboration with Blue Coat Press. Bluecoat Press has successfully completed many Kickstarter projects and has built up a large following who appreciate the quality and content of its books.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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