The theme for International Women’s Day 2018 is #pressforprogress, progress for equality for all, progress for ending violence against women, girls and other vulnerable people. Newcastle has been at the forefront of women’s radical action, from the Suffragettes plotting to break windows as they drank tea in Fenwick’s café in the 1900s, to the first Women’s Liberation conference held outside London in the 1970s, to being one of only four British cities to host a Slutwalk in 2011.
Knicker Revolution celebrates the wonderful diversity of women’s shapes and sizes, using craftivism to create ‘knicker-bunting’(1) using donated undies to produce an artwork which challenges ideas about what is deemed acceptable behaviour and (un)dress for women and appropriates the sexist catcall by literally ‘showing you our knickers’. The knicker-bunting will be used to decorate a Newcastle landmark on IWD 2018 and may also ‘travel’ to other venues after its first public outing.
If you would like to participate by donating undies, it would be great if you could include a short message with your donation. You will find small knicker-shaped blanks attached to the collection box for you to write your message, either using one of the prompts which we have printed on cards, or writing your own unique message. Please also include your first name or indeed any name you like (!) on the message blank. We are also collecting for SmallsforAll, a charity which redistributes new knickers and ‘gently-worn’ bras to women and children in Africa, so if you would like to donate a new or pre-loved bra or a new pair of knickers as well, that would be brilliant.
We have set up collection boxes in the (1) Student Union (SABBS Officer’s Foyer), (2) Senior Common Room in Lipman Building, and (3) Media Subject Foyer, 3rd Floor of Squires Building (outside Dr Sarah Ralph’s office). The collection will run from 18 January to 5 February: pre-loved knickers and bras and new undies will all be collected in the same box. For further information on the project, please contact Sarah Ralph.
(1) the original idea for knicker-bunting came from local textile artist Julia Triston who will be creating this artwork.