The Spirit of Liverpool festival – celebrating women’s stories past, present and future

Posted on 9 May 2019
By Summer Gedall
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An ambitious new festival celebrating the incredible female pioneers who helped shape Liverpool’s history will launch this weekend.

The festival, which is supported by the BFI (British Film Institute), consists of 13 unique events which explore Liverpool’s past, present and future through the stories of women.

The Spirit of Liverpool will run between 11th – 19th May and will feature archive film and footage screenings, live music, cultural walks, workshops and discussions across multiple venues in the city – all with the aim of reclaiming women’s history.

Festival curator Monika Rodriguez said that during research for the events, she discovered that lots of the archive footage being shown is in danger of being lost and the festival is a call to action to protect these stories for future generations.

She said: “We’re celebrating the role women have played in transforming society by using archive, music, workshops and film.

“We want to pay tribute to all the women in this great city, because there are so many stories that have been buried in the sands of time and without them, Liverpool would not be the amazing place it is today.

“We especially want to reach out to the younger generations, who will be the torch bearers of the future, when it comes to telling the story of today.

“Liverpool has a rich history of social activism and a great flare for community work. We owe women like Mary Seacole, Kitty Wilkinson and Dorothy Kuya a debt of gratitude and should remember them by telling their stories and commemorating how they paved the way for the voices that are shaping Liverpool’s present.

The events are designed not only evoke the powerful voices of women but to also leave audiences with a sense of discovery and curiosity to find out more. Here’s what Purple Revolver think you shouldn’t miss!

Granby Stories: a Sunday stroll and screening
12th May, 12pm – 4pm
St Brides Church, Catherine Street
Stroll through the area many inspirational women called home. Hear their incredible stories and enjoy a screening of some uplifting and thought provoking film and archive.
Tickets: FREE (Donations welcome)

The Punk Singer [15]
12th May, 6pm – 10pm
Metal Liverpool, Edge Hill Station
A glance into the life of 90’s ‘riot grrrl’ pioneer Kathleen Hanna, with performances from Queer/Feminist group Venus Collective, a showing of archive film ‘Vote 100: Born a Rebel’, and a live performance from mega queen, Beija Flo.
Tickets: £3.50 – £6 (Limited number of FREE tickets available)
Business As Usual [15]
15th May, 7pm – 11pm
Static Gallery, 23 Roscoe Lane
Come and watch a theatre production based on real life events starring Glenda Jackson as a shop manager whose strike against her employer changes legal history. There will also be a showing of An Epic Poem, the first film by its writer and director Lezli-Ann Barrett.
Tickets: £3.50 – £6 (Limited number of FREE tickets available)

The Watermelon Woman [15]
16th May, 7pm – 10pm
VideOdyssey, Toxteth TV
Alongside screenings of films from Black WITCH, a rare screening of The Watermelon Woman – a story where video shop worker and filmmaker Cheryl discovers a rare VHS featuring a 1930’s black actress known only as “The Watermelon Woman”, inspiring a quest for discovery, love and heritage, will be shown at VideOdyssey. As well as this, there will be a discussion with Root – ED zine, Ami Yesufu (The Youth Base) and Judy Mazonowicz (WITCH).
Tickets: £3.50 – £6 (Limited number of FREE tickets available)

18th May, 6pm – 11pm
VideOdyssey, Toxteth TV
As an alternative to the annual Eurovision binge, come and enjoy performances from an empowered group of female, trans*, genderqueer and non-binary musicians from across Europe and beyond, and champion solidarity across borders.
Tickets: £5/£7.50/£10 (Limited number of FREE tickets available)
For a full schedule and to book tickets visit: or follow them on social media:

Instagram: @thespiritofliverpool

Facebook: @thesprititofliverpool

Twitter: @thespiritofliv

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