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Spirited


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Oct 19, 2018 - Nov 24, 2018

Spirited tells the stories of some of the young women and girls who fought for the vote 100 years ago, centring on Manchester as the birthplace of the suffrage movement. It brings to life their incredible acts of courage, creativity and cunning in order to inspire today’s young people into taking their own first steps into social action.

Some of the young women featured, who fought with such courage for the right to vote, did not qualify to do so when the Representation of the People Act was finally passed in 1918.

Either they were too young – the Act had an age qualification of 30 for women – or else they didn’t meet the property ownership qualification. One, cruelly, died the year after the Act was passed – but three years before she would have been old enough to cast a vote.

Their stories, and the stories of all the brave and bold women and men who demanded their right to be counted, are told here as a provocation to today’s young activists to embrace the opportunities on offer, and to be the change they want to see.

Alongside the exhibition there is a timetable of speaker events featuring Helen Pankhurst, Nimco Ali and other contemporary feminist campaigners who will talk about their work fighting for women's equality.

Spirited is funded by Spirit of 2012, established by the Big Lottery Fund with a £47m endowment from the National Lottery. One of Spirit’s goals for 2018 is to empower, inspire and engage young women and girls – it is funding a range of projects that provide opportunities for making change through social activism.

Spirited features items from the collections of the BBC archives, the BFI, Bishopsgate Institute, British Library, Museum of London and the Women’s Library at LSE, which together offer an exciting new perspective on the suffrage story in a positive, youth-focused celebration of gender equality.