Wonder Women is Manchester’s creative countdown to the 100 year anniversary in 2018 of when women first won the (partial) right to vote. Taking place 2-12 March in 2017 it is a radical, feminist festival of talks, exhibitions, theatre, music, workshops and tours across the city, led by cultural institutions, independent artists, women’s groups and networks. The 2017 programme is the artistic response of the birth city of the suffragette movement, celebrating those who won the fight for votes for women nearly a century ago, and the activism that continues to underpin the feminist issues of our time.
Led by the People’s History Museum and Creative Tourist, Wonder Women 2017 asks how far we’ve come in 100 years – and how far we have yet to go. Organisations across the city are taking part, with all-female DJ line-ups, queer punk documentary screenings, speed mate-ing, an exploding women comedy night, a special launch at Manchester Art Gallery and more.
Here are our top 5 picks
The official launch of Wonder Women 2017 sees experimental and unsung artists, musicians and performers create bold, live art events in response to the images in Strange and Familiar, an exhibition of photographs curated by Martin Parr at Manchester Art Gallery. Expect the unexpected.
An immersive screening of 2011 comedy classic Bridesmaids from producers of sold-out events Girl Gang Manchester – featuring pop-up performances, Prosecco and (best of all) party bags. Enjoy workshops ranging from sisterhood and self worth to bouquet making and cake sampling, an academic film introduction and participatory dance routines. The evening includes charity hair and nail bars, dress up photo booth, table tennis tournaments, a chocolate fountains, cartoonist and themed cuisine- all within the extravagantly decorated venue. Move between Lillian’s Parisian-themed Bridal shower, the wedding reception and a wedding disco to round off the night. Fancy dress encouraged…
Especially curated for Wonder Women 2017 is this night of leftfield techno from some top female DJs at warehouse-cum-bar Texture, which has one of the best high-tech light projection systems in the city.
HOME screens the work-in-progress cut of Rebel Dykes, a queer-punk documentary that tells the story of a bunch of kick-ass women from London in the post-punk 1980s; a premiere followed by a showcase of incendiary poetry and performance.
Also part of SICK Festival, On Record is uncompromising, moving and personal – Sophie guides us through her unconventional childhood and adolescence through the real records and opinion of the numerous experts who assessed her, revealing the key incidents in her life.