A series of feminist murals have been unveiled across London to mark the 100th anniversary of the first election in which a significant number of women were able to vote.
The 1918 United Kingdom general election, which took place on 14th December of that year, was the first to be held after the Representation of the People Act 1918 had granted suffrage to women over 30.
The murals depict 50 inspiring women from history who have fought for equal rights, including Queen Elizabeth I, writer and activist Audre Lorde, suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and writer and activist bell hooks.
The murals also depict Ms. magazine co-founders Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes, philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, abolitionist and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth, nurse and suffragette Sophia Duleep Singh, and writer Virginia Woolf.
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🙌 Pic by @scarcurtis: 'WE PAINTED THE TOWN FEMINIST! On the anniversary of 100 years since (some) women ACTUALLY VOTED for the first time in the UK our amazing #feministsdontwearpink team stuck 50 incredible women from Herstory around London. Thank you to our incredible contributor @alice_wroe for creating @herstory_uk and guiding us on this amazing adventure. Check out my story for more peaks and PLEASE send me a picture if you spot one of our ladies before they get covered in graffiti!' . Want to see more? Check out our Insta stories. 👌 . #feministsdontwearpink #vote100 #herstory #fdwpxherstory
"For me, practising women’s history is a political act," Wroe tells Refinery29. "My project is guided by the maxim: 'If you can’t see it, how can you be it?' I believe there's a profound link between looking back and seeing the women who have come before and looking forward into our own feminist futures."
"So I was over the moon when Scarlett and Penguin wanted to collaborate on this action," Wroe continues. "There's a strong feminist history of changing public spaces to cause rupture, so this felt like an empowering and exciting way to continue it."
In total, the project comprises more than 50 images posted across London, in locations ranging from Clapton, Clapham and Camden to Portobello Road, Elephant and Castle and Finsbury Park.
Curtis explains that the project is intended to celebrate pioneering women who paved the way for today's feminist movement, saying: "We are placing these incredible women across London to remind our amazing city that feminists have always existed and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon!"
"I hope that people of all genders will see these artworks and feel surrounded by the incredible women who created the lives we can lead today," Wroe adds.
"To have these women’s names and faces in such public places means they can slip into or consciousness, that their lives will be talked about, that their stories will permeate the city and inspire us all. I hope people will see them and educate themselves, look up their lives and feel as enriched as I do knowing they came before [us]."