Suffragette City: Portraits of Women in Manchester Music – exhibition

sufferagette city exhibition

Louder Than War are thrilled to share with you an exciting photography exhibition, celebrating the achievements of women in Manchester music, curated by Alison Surtees co founder of the online Manchester Digital Archive. Featuring portraits of creative woman involved in music, who work in and around Manchester, which will be displayed in the Refuge at the Principal Hotel on Oxford Road, Manchester from the launch night Feb 23rd through to a closing party on March 9th.

In the year we celebrate 100 years of Suffrage in the UK, we want to pause and highlight the roles women have played, bringing their voices to the fore. We set out to show just how vibrant, brilliant and influential women in music have been and continue to be.

Suffragette City is the culmination of a period of activity aimed at recognising and celebrating women’s achievements in the music industry. The journey of discovery started 14 months ago and in November 2016 we kick started ideas on social media with our followers who produced names of creative women.

Some 270 women were named, in 5 key areas: Performers, Sound (tech, engineers, FOH, producers, live), Image (photographers, PR, Promoters), Writers (lyrics, critics, reviewers, bloggers), Managers (Artist, Venue, Label). This was whittled to 25 names, 5 for each category, and then put to public vote in summer 2017.  The resultant 5 women being Yvonne Ellis (Tech/Sound –Simply Red FOH), Elspeth Moore (Image/Photography), Melanie Williams (Lyricist/Writer – Temper Temper, Sub Sub, Butterfly Jam), Kate Mountain (Venue Manager, The Roadhouse) and Denise Johnson (Vocalist/Performer – ACR, Primal Scream and many more). To date 3 short videos are online, sharing stories of personal journeys through three key items.

Twenty Five women in the exhibition are photographed holding an object or an artefact that sums up their journey in music. Spanning 4 decades of influence, 12 have already been captured, through the eyes of other photographers, such as Elspeth Moore, Louder Than War photographer Melanie Smith, Karen McBride, Shari Denson and MDMArchive Co-Founder Alison Surtees, who also curated the shorts. Claud Cunningham (DJ, Promoter, Black Angel), Francois Le Moignan (Sound Engineer), Paulette Constable (DJ), Yvonne Shelton (Vocalist), Mandy Wigby (engineer, producer, educator) to name a few.

This month they will be launching #WiMSelfie to get as many women uploading a selfie of themselves onto our Facebook page holding an item that relates to Greater Manchester Music that has special significance.

The photography exhibition, will run at The Refuge, Principal Hotel on Oxford Road, Manchester, from the 23rd February until 9rd March, including International Women’s Day. Music comes from DJs Abigail Ward, Kath McDermott and Paulette, 5pm-1am. Tickets are free on Event Brite.

You can follow the project on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo: DJ Paulette by Elspeth Moore.

Manchester Digital Music Archive (www.mdmarchive.co.uk) has dedicated 15 years to charting the history of Greater Manchester through its music. MDMA are challenging you to dig out your ticket stubs, your fliers, your photos, and other ephemera, of the best times of your life, the things that changed your life, or the passions you have, and share them, and help us to tell the bigger story of the music heritage of Greater Manchester.

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