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Join us for our Remembrance programme this November. This year the main focus of our commemoration will be the role and contribution of women during the First World War.  This will tie into our programme of activity this year marking the centenary of Women’s Suffrage.

Events

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Remembrance Lecture 2018 - ‘Welsh Women’s response to the First World War’ 

Location: Neuadd, Senedd, Cardiff Bay  

Date: Tuesday 6 November  

Time: 18.00 – 20.00  

Please register for tickets here. 


This year Elin Jones, AM, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales will be welcoming Dr Dinah Evans to deliver our Remembrance Lecture on the topic of ‘Welsh Women’s response to the First World War’. This will be followed by a Q&A chaired by Dr Elin Royles and a short reception where there’ll be an opportunity to view exhibitions in the Oriel (details below).  

Dr Dinah Evans
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Dr Dinah Evans taught Modern and Contemporary History at Bangor University until 2016. Until this summer she also organised the University's School of History Research Seminar Series programme and remains an Honorary Research Associate of the University. She is also a member of the committee of Women's Archive Wales. Her particular field of interest is the impact of the two world wars on Wales and Welsh society. Her research into the impact of the First World War on Welsh women was published in a chapter in Creithiau in 2016  and at present she is preparing for the publication, early in 2019, of her research into the post-war reconstruction of Swansea.   

Dr Elin Royles  
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Dr Elin Royles is Senior Lecturer at Aberystwyth University’s Department of International Politics which will be celebrating its centenary in 1919 after being founded shortly after Armistice day as a response to the extreme violence of the First World War.  

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate getting in touch either by email (contact@assembly.wales) or on the phone on 0300 200 6565. 


Wales for Peace Conference  

On Tuesday 6 November Wales for Peace will be delivering, ‘Shaping the Future We Wish to See – Young people’s role in building a more peaceful Wales and the world’,  the 5th annual conference, in partnership with the National Assembly for Wales. The aim of the conference, is to promote the voice of young people. Young people attending will have an opportunity to discuss three peace related themes and put their questions to a panel of AMs in Siambr Hywel before visiting the Temple of Peace when the first six schools who have become Peace Schools will be awarded. 

Exhibitions

 

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An organised women's suffrage movement operated continuously in Britain for more than sixty years, with partial enfranchisement won in 1918 and equal voting rights with men finally achieved ten years later. This exhibition aims to provide a snapshot of Wales's part in this lengthy and multifaceted campaign, the photographs, images and artefacts seeking to illustrate some of its principal elements. 

The Women's Suffrage Movement in Wales in the early 1900s  

Members of Emmeline Pankhurst's Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU, founded in 1903) – the notorious 'suffragettes' – pursued a militant strategy, involving escalating attacks on public and private property, which often brought the arrest and imprisonment of activists. Their policy of heckling politicians (and most especially in Wales, David Lloyd George) led to disruption and disorder at the National Eisteddfod on two occasions and to some of the most serious physical attacks upon campaigners. 

The Women's Freedom League (WFL) broke away from the WSPU in 1907 and established a distinct identity of 'militant but non-violent' civil resistance, such as the refusal to pay taxes and boycott of the 1911 census. 

By far the largest number of the campaigners – 'suffragists' – supported the non-militant and strictly law-abiding National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), which was formed from existing organisations in 1897 and led by Millicent Fawcett. 

All three societies, and many other smaller organisations including the (Forward) Cymric Suffrage Union, undertook an enormous amount of propaganda work, holding thousands of public meetings in all corners of the country, disseminating their newspapers and other literature (including some in the Welsh language), holding huge rallies in London, electioneering and lobbying MPs. 

It should not be forgotten too that powerful and determined opposition to women's suffrage –from the 'Antis' – was evident as the campaign escalated.

The Women's Suffrage Movement in Wales in the 1920s 

With the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 the women's suffrage campaign was side-lined though far from eclipsed as most suffragists and suffragettes turned their attention to supporting the war effort. While Emmeline Pankhurst and the leadership of the WSPU replaced militancy with militarism, splinter groups and other organisations played an important role in 'keeping the suffrage flag flying' and ten months before the end of the conflict (in February 1918) women were granted the parliamentary vote for the first time. It was however a partial victory only, for the legislation confined the vote to women over thirty who met certain property qualifications (while all men over twenty-one, or even nineteen if they had served in the armed forces) became eligible. The struggle thus continued for another decade until equal enfranchisement on the same terms as men – at the age 21 and without any property qualifications – was achieved in July 1928. 

The final section of the exhibition gives some attention to women as MPs at Westminster, since they became eligible to take their seats in October 1918, and in the National Assembly in Cardiff, since its creation in 1999. 

Ryland Wallace (Author of The Women's Suffrage Movement in Wales, 1866-1928)


 

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Artists Scarlett Raven and Marc Marot call themselves “The Augmentists”.  

They combine their skillsets to create art which reveals the poignant story of the Great War through poems, animation and music.  

 ‘The Soldier’s Own Diary’ features the tale of Welsh Private Robert Phillips, who escaped a POW camp and trekked his way home to the valleys.  

Castle Fine Art Cardiff, which represent the artists, have kindly loaned the piece to us in time for Remembrance to be experienced by the people of Wales, many of whom can relate to the story of Private Philips.  

Scarlett is passionate about colour, her dynamic approach often sees her use her hands rather than a brush to apply oil paint. Her sweeping arm gestures create movement and direction, with the artist being likened to Anselm Kiefer and Jackson Pollock. 

Scarlett says: “The paint is thrown on, splattered and flicked. When it lands, it captures the flowers blowing in the wind. The movement must be in every layer, so when you step back you feel like the landscape is alive. It creates a whole world of magic.” 

Marc Marot, who enjoyed a successful career as a record executive before joining forces with oil painter Scarlett, says: “Our work is highly emotionally-charged, and its power lies in allowing our audience to immerse themselves in very powerful feelings. It takes them out of the here and now. We don’t hold an exhibition, we hold a visual experience.” 

 




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