Waterford Women’s Centre is going online with their annual International Women’s Day Festival 2021 due to Covid restrictions.Preparations for the festival have been underway since September 2020. This Festival usually takes place over four days but this year Waterford Women's Centre have recorded some of the events and have scheduled a live webinar on 13 April from 11 – 1 pm. You can find the link to the event below.
The Women’s Centre Bonnet Project
This project combines community education processes and local history to enable participants be part of a live international art project Roses from the Heart, remembering 25,566 women who were sentenced to transportation as convicts from Ireland and UK to Australia and Tasmania (formerly called Van Diemen’s Land) between 1788 and 1853. Approximately 300 of these women were from Waterford and many left families behind and never returned.
Roses from the Heart founder, Christina Henri chose a cloth bonnet, taken from an original 1860s servant’s bonnet, to name and remember each of the women who were forgotten. The Women’s Centre Bonnet Project supports each member of the group to choose a woman to make a bonnet for and to be part of this annual international exhibition. The bonnets will be exhibited in the ground floor windows of the Women’s Centre 74-76 Manor Street from the 1 to the 15 March, and will be illuminated up to 10pm each night.
A Memorial to Waterford women who were transported to Van Diemen’s Land will be unveiled, virtually, by Dr Christina Henri, Roses from the Heart Project, from Australia. This will be followed by a documentary by filmmaker John Loftus on the Bonnet Project featuring interviews with some of the bonnet makers and researchers.
The women’s centre
The Women’s Centre is delighted to collaborate with photographer Tanya Keane who will show a short film to launch her photobook ‘She Is Crossing The Sea’, a photographic project which depicts the personal accounts of five women in crisis pregnancy who travelled to the UK for abortion care.
An online exhibition dedicated to the convict women will be launched at the webinar. This exhibition presents the context in which these convictions took place along with individual stories, highlighting the gendered injustice in place at the time. It shines a light on a forgotten aspect of Waterford’s past. The exhibition represents the work of Women’s Centre’s History Group Chairwoman, Ann Fitzgerald, researchers, Eleanor Murphy and Laura Scanlon.
An introduction to a virtual women’s history tour of Waterford City will also be shown. This tour will take in Teresa Deevy, the Cockle Women, The Daly Family and many more notable women who contributed to Waterford society. WIT academic Dr Kate McCarthy and Dr Úna Kealy present their thoughts on how Teresa Deevy chose to challenge gender norms and contemprorary social mores of the 1930s and how Deevy's work remains relevant for young women and men of contemporary Irish society.
Visit www.//waterfordwomenscentre.com for the link to the event.
Waterford Women's Centre wish to thank all who supported this project including John Loftus, Jane O’Brien- Moran, Liz Heffernan, Andy Kelly, Brendan Dunne along with our funders WWETB, Waterford Council Festivals, and Creative Ireland (Waterford).