The Rooms Of Our Own Summer School!

This summer we delivered a series of summer schools for young people aged 16-18 years old from Greater Manchester. The workshops were part of the Rooms of Our Own project, to explore and uncover the Pankhurst Trust’s organisational archive. 

In July we invited young people from RECLAIM, a Manchester based youth leadership and social change organisation. We then repeated the same week-long workshop in August but opened it up to anyone aged 16-18 years old to book on for free. 

The workshops were devised to increase skills and gain a better understanding of women’s rights and history. 

The creative activities in the workshops were planned by the Rooms Of Our Own Young Creatives. Four early career artists who have been hired to creatively respond to the Pankhurst Trust’s archive. Watch this space for news of an exhibition of their work opening in October 2022. 

It was also a brilliant opportunity to work collaboratively with external artists to help teach skills that reflect the activities. The Young Creatives chose activities and skills that were once taught at the Pankhurst Centre in the 1990s. 

We kicked off the week on Monday with Hot Bed Press, the North West’s largest open access print workshop, delivering a screenprinting session. It was a great experience printing directly on to second hand t-shirts and wearable fabrics using designs created by the Young Creatives.

Screen printing skills with Hot bed press

The illustrations and designs were inspired by items found in the Pankhurst Trust archive. In particular printed newsletters made by the Pankhurst Press. Getting messy with acrylic paints was a great way to start the week. Using the traditional Suffragette colours of purple, white and green to get into the spirit! 

Stop motion animation

The second day we were joined by Triple Dot Makers, a moving image and sound studio in Manchester. Delving into the world of stop motion animation to create simple, yet powerful moving animations exploring Women’s rights and equality in the 21st Century. It was such a fun and empowering day, learning lots about animation and how this can be achieved with a little patience and determination!             

Upcycling with stitched up                                       

The final day was hosted by Stitched Up, an organisation passionate about making change through textile upcycling and sustainability in fashion. Some of the participants had never even touched a sewing machine before and the staff at Stitched up were amazing at helping to guide and engage. A hard skill to try and grasp in just a couple of hours but incredibly rewarding. The participants used the second hand items they had already printed on to from day one to achieve some amazing upcycled pieces of clothing. 

Overall the weeks flowed with creativity, empowerment and fun. It was great to see brand new visitors to the Pankhurst Centre engaging with its history. 

The Room’s Of Our Own project will culminate in a final exhibition in October 2022 in which the Young Creatives work over the past summer months will be displayed for all to see at Manchester Central Library – exciting! 

If this sounds like the kind of activity you would also be interested in taking part in. Why not check out our Heritage Open Day on Thursday 15th September. 

Book a ticket to the museum and get involved by making your very own protest badge inspired by the Rooms of Our Own project. 

Booking is free but essential, you can do so here >>

See you then!