Tens of thousands of women have already signed up to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime mass participation artwork, celebrating one hundred years since the first British women won the right to vote. This celebration, named PROCESSIONS takes place across all four capital cities of the UK: Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London this Sunday 10th June.
In 1909 the Suffragettes marched along Princes Street led by female bagpipers and on Sunday this tradition will be honoured.
Produced by Artichoke and commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary, PROCESSIONS will unite women* and girls across the UK to form a living artwork, and a snapshot of life for women in the UK today. (*including those who identify as women and non-binary.)
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said, “PROCESSIONS is a great opportunity to celebrate the centenary of some women getting the vote, an important milestone in our country’s history. As we mark this anniversary and while we have come a long way since 1918, this event also offers an occasion for us all to reflect on the challenges and opportunities that still lie ahead .. “Our goal for all women and girls – in Scotland and around the world – is that they have a fair chance to succeed in life, no matter their gender.”
Over the last few months, women’s groups across the UK have been paired with female and female-identifying artists for a series of creative workshops to create these extraordinary artworks. In addition, all participants and ambassadors were invited to make their own banners at home using a bespoke toolkit inspired by a 1909 guide created by suffragette artist Mary Lowndes.
PROCESSIONS Edinburgh will be broadcast live across BBC News and on BBC One in a national two-hour programme from 2-4pm Sunday 10th June that will span all four cities, presented by Kirsty Young from a London studio and will be broadcast live across BBC News and on BBC One in a national two-hour programme from 2-4pm Sunday 10th June that will span all four cities, presented by Kirsty Young from a London studio and Edinburgh: Participants are invited to gather at Middle Meadow Walk, The Meadows (EH3 8GE) from 12.15pm. The procession will start at approximately 2pm, the route is approximately 2.5 miles long and will finish at Queens Drive, Holyrood Park (EH8 8AZ) in about 2 hours. Each participant will be given a scarf to wear in one of the three suffragette colours - green, white and violet –(Give, Women, Votes) and will then be choreographed to walk in bands of colour, so as to appear as a long unfurling striped suffragette banner.
Enhancing the event atmosphere further will be bands and music along the route including Edinburgh Samba School, the Edinburgh women’s samba band Commotion and leading the Procession will be the Lord Provost’s official piper Louise Marshall.
There is no need to register in advance – women and girls can simply meet at the designated assembly point and take part on Sunday 10 June.
* NB timings are subject to change and will depend on the number of people taking part
PROCESSIONS will be broadcast live across BBC News and on BBC One in a national two-hour programme from 2-4pm Sunday 10th June that will span all four cities, presented by Kirsty Young from a London studio and correspondents on-the-ground in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh while TV presenter and author Lauren Laverne has curated a playlist which will be broadcast on the PA systems along the route and near the assembly points of all four cities.