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International Women’s Day

Anonymous was a woman: where is Derby’s HERstory?

Whilst famous men from the city’s past such as Joseph Wright, Izaak Walton and Erasmus Darwin are well recognised and Arkwright, Strutt, Curzon, Royce and Clough are celebrated in the city’s naming of streets, buildings and exhibitions, what is known of the women history makers?

Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s famous quote: “…for most of history, anonymous was a woman”, this panel will discuss the local women unknown and overlooked by the history books and will explore exciting local projects to uncover Derby and Derbyshire’s hidden HERstory so that we can tell the stories of the diverse local women who went before us.

The panelists:

Vanessa Boon, Chair of International Women’s Day (IWD) Derby, will share the discoveries from the Derby HERstory project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Culture Train. This involved recruiting HERstory detectives, and training local women and children to conduct research in the local studies library, which revealed previously unknown hidden gems. The team has plotted a timeline of how IWD has been celebrated locally going back over 100 years with links to the Suffragettes and a legacy of radical women raising voices which had a strong impact on the women who organise the celebrations today.

Sonya Robotham, Director at Vox Feminarum, will share the findings of the Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation project, backed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which aims to research, record, preserve and raise awareness of women’s social and political activism in Derbyshire. The project has uncovered many local trailblazers and change makers with a growing exhibition of inspiring stories and artefacts.

Laura Phillips, Head of Interpretation and Display at Derby Museums, will talk about the development of an exhibition celebrating Derbyshire’s Women History Makers. This exhibition, scheduled for spring 2022, is being co-produced by volunteers and draws on the research of existing heritage projects led by International Women’s Day and Vox Feminarum. Find out how you can get involved and help shape the exhibition.

Follow @WomensDayDerby on social media for more details.

Suitable for adults and young people.

Booking essential. Financial hardship? Need free tickets? If you can’t donate the minimum £1 and want to take part, Women’s Day want to help – contact them by e-mail [email protected]

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