Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A., the London-based direct-action feminist performance group, that challenges anti-choice laws in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, will take you for a wander through elements of the history of Irish women in the East End of London. Fleeing starvation and homelessness of 1845-9 Famine, they joined the lowest ranks of the economic ladder as domestics, hawkers or prostitutes. Highlights of the trials of these women, of their struggles and the contributions they to the rich history of the East End include:
– Leading the Bryant and May Match Girls Strike of 1888.
– Being the last and most mutilated of Jack the Ripper’s victims, some say because of her ethnicity and religion.
– Playing a significant role in the anti-fascist defence of Jewish areas in the Battle of Cable Street in 1936 against Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists.
– There was a radical Irish Women’s Centre in Stoke Newington from the mid 1980s till 2013.
– Since the 1980s, Liverpool Station has been one of the key points of entry to the city for at least 5,000 Irish women arriving each year from Stansted Airport for termination of their pregnancy denied them on their own turf.
A two-hour workshop led by Ann Rossiter and Marian Larragy will playfully involve the participants in following the path of these brave Irish women from XIX century until today.
Part of From East to the BARBICAN, curated by Something Human http://fromeastothebarbican.london/activities/workshops/