It may have come to your attention that 2018 marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act, which gave a select group of women in the UK (those over 30, who owned property or were graduates voting in a university constituency) the right to vote for the first time. In light of this momentous anniversary, a lot has been made of what it means to be a young feminist and activist today but sometimes it feels like the loudest voices belong to white women of a certain socioeconomic standing.
A new exhibition from We Are Here UK: British BME Women, a platform for discussion around what it means to be a British BME woman, is going some way towards redressing this imbalance. 100 Years, Today's Woman explores what suffrage really looks like in 2018 by giving 22 female BME artists, a diverse group who aren't always afforded the attention they deserve, a space to express themselves.
Cofounders Jess Nash, an illustrator and workshop facilitator, and illustrator Erin Aniker told Refinery29 that following the success of their first exhibition in Shoreditch last summer, a member of staff at the London School of Economics suggested they curate a second exhibition, this time about women's suffrage. "It's been really interesting to see how the artists have all responded to the brief – the term 'the new suffragettes' – and also to explore what intersectional feminism and women's activism and suffrage looks like today," Aniker told us. "It felt important to have a real mix of BME women artists, to represent on a small scale the diverse female society and world we live in today."