New acquisition: Blackburn Youth Service girls’ group, International Women’s Day banner

International Women's Day banner 2 copyWe are delighted have been donated a beautiful new banner for our collection. The International Women’s Day banner was created in 1988 by Blackburn Youth Service girls’ group. Paula Kaniuk, who kindly donated the banner, explained that the unusual shape of the banner was inspired by the idea of the globe, with two women’s hands joining across the globe.

Banner maker Sarah Jay, from Action Factory Community Arts worked with a group of young women including young mothers, women excluded from school and sex workers to create the banner. It was made at the Trades’ Club in Blackburn, where Jack Straw’s office was. It was created as part of a political education programme to inspire the young women to be politicised and give them self confidence. The programme included other art and theatre projects and a trip to the Free Nelson Mandela concert.

The banner was taken out on the streets, with willows around it and a brass band playing. International Women's Day bannerIt then went on display in a youth club called the Fuse Box, which was an old electricity station. It was displayed until 2011 when the building was pulled down and came back to Paula.

Paula also donated a set of Target London photomontage posters by Peter Kennard, and a number of CND exhibition posters.

Paula donated the objects in response to our contemporary collecting campaign, and we are thrilled to have them in our collection.

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