Hi everyone! I’m Katie, and I’ve been interning at GWL with the Edinburgh International Book Festival project. This blog post will be about our Revolting Women Takeover tent, which took place in the bookshop on George Street on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of August.
The three days we spent in the takeover tent were full of different workshops, talks, and interesting conversation. From a Story Café to screen-printing, we had activities open to everyone. We had visitors from all over – some who’d come specifically to our Revolting Women events, people who’d had acts at the Fringe, authors from the festival – all happy to talk about the work GWL do and take part in our activities. We’d made hundreds of sparkly red paper crowns, each with the name of a different Scottish Suffragette, and handed them out to all of our visitors as a memento from the day they’d spent with us.
I also got to take part in both of our workshops, screen-printing tote bags and t-shirts with Helen de Main and song writing with Heir of the Cursed as well as badge-making and creating spine poems with some of the books we’d brought with us from the GWL lending library, and chatted to so many different people about all of the great things the library does and promoting our work to people who never would’ve found us otherwise. It was fascinating to hear about not just how people felt about the Revolting Women we’d chosen to highlight through the pin-making and spine poetry workshops, but also the women that were most important to them and how they’d been revolutionary in their own lives, whether it was their mothers and grandmothers, all the way to New Zealand’s Prime Minister and some of the first women who’d been to space. It was also good to talk to the visitors about what the revolutionary women in the future would be like, and the kind of advice we’d give to them in light of 2018 being the centenary year of the Representation of the People Act which allowed some women in the UK to vote for the first time.
Having experienced the festival before as a visitor, I thought it was really exciting to be able to actually get involved in helping out at an event for the first time (and not just because it gave me access to the tea and cakes in the Author’s Yurt). It was really interesting to see how much hard work goes in to organizing something so big, and to be able to promote GWL as part of that was ideal.