I have had the idea of spoofing man-heavy Northern Powerhouse photos rattling round in my head for a while now.
Then with a ping and a click, it became clear the the time to do it was outside the Northern Powerhouse Conference in Manchester. Helen Pidd of the Guardian pointed out they’d sent out a press release highlighting 15 main speakers. All men. Now was the time to hold up a mirror to them. I’ve explained more about it here on my Campaign for Northern Voices site. Lass War Blog I set this up before Brexit. Then worried it didn’t quite fully address the issues facing the North of England which are now even more urgently structural as well as cultural.
I asked for women to come join me with hi-vis, hard hats and man suits. It looks like a good few will be coming, despite the short notice and early hour (8am-8.30 am as delegates register and then at 1-2pm as they lunch on Tuesday 21st February). Another piece I wrote about it here for Standard Issue: (This piece is basically chapter 3 of my PhD condensed). Article Link
“Can something humorous have a serious point?” asks a journalist. Yes. Yes, yes, and yes.
Another thing that made me want to go for it is that Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer took place on February 21st and some commentators had said that was no coincidence. They do carnivalesque protest and that day is mardi gras- “Fat Tuesday”. A day of carnival.
(I though this was Pancake day but that’s actually next Tuesday 28th February though- a good day for tossers as I used to say in every Pancake Day news bulletin I read- aah, happy days).