Another World: Celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage

By Lauren Palmer

…when I was asked to curate the art on the walls [by Deutsche Bank]… my only reason I said I’ll do it, is if it could really change things for women. And by choosing the 5 charities that we have, I’m hoping that it’s actually going to really make a lot of difference to very vulnerable women’s lives.
Tracey Emin

December 1918 saw the first election in Britain in which women could vote, thanks, in large part, to efforts from groups such as the suffragette movement.  Whilst that reform was far from perfect, excluding women under 30 and any who did not own either property or a degree, it was still an enormous step in the right direction. In 2018, as we celebrate the centenary of this important change in legislation, we see different women’s groups still fighting on the front lines to protect and support some of the most disadvantaged women in our society.

Last week Tracey Emin and Deutsche Bank threw their support behind some of these groups by raising over £140,000 through a charity art sale held at Frieze London. To celebrate 100 years of woman’s suffrage, Tracey Emin curated an exhibition of works by female artists held in the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management Lounge, called ‘Another World’. As part of the exhibition, Tracey invited female artists to submit up to four post card sized works of art to be sold at the event for £200 each. The identity of the artist was only revealed once the postcard had been purchased.

100% of the funds raised through this sale have been put into the Tracey Emin Deutsche Bank Centenary Fund which is a fund to support some of the most vulnerable women and girls in our society. In collaboration with Tracey and the team at Deutsche Bank, five charities were chosen to receive the funds for their vital, frontline support to women. The organisations chosen vary from women’s refuges to counselling and support for women involved in street-based prostitution, but all are characterised by their commitment to the vulnerable women in their communities.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a thank you event hosted by Tracey Emin and Deutsche Bank which brought together the artists and the charities in a celebration of the fund. Representatives from the charities had the chance to speak to the artists about the amazing services they provide to vulnerable women, services which, thanks to the generosity of the 220 contributing artists, can be supported through this sale. The day had a wonderful feel of solidarity and collaboration as everyone there had come together to support these women, to say to them that we hear them, we recognise them and that they are not alone.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work on this fund with Deutsche Bank as their passion about the topic and excitement around the impact of this funding has been clear throughout. Being able to meet some of the benefitting charities at the event last Saturday and hear first-hand about the amazing work they are doing has been the highlight for me and I am looking forward to following their journey over the next year. 

The charities supported through this fund are:

  • Bromley & Croydon Women’s Aid support women and children escaping from domestic violence. They aim to empower people to make informed choices about their future through their confidential, non-judgemental services, which include refuge accommodation, advice & support, children’s services, school programmes and awareness talks.
  • Havering Women's Aid offer refuge accommodation, drop-in sessions and support groups across the borough for victims of domestic abuse. They also support men who have experienced, or are experiencing, domestic violence, and run two helplines (one for men, one for women).  
  • Oasis support people who are living with, or affected by, domestic abuse. Their women and children’s refuges in Kent offer emotional and practical support through therapy groups and community programmes. Their goal is to increase safety for victims, helping them rebuild their lives and create lasting change.
  • Street Talk is a counselling service for women trapped in street based prostitution, and for women who have been the victims of trafficking. They provide professional, specialist care to some of the most vulnerable and marginalised women on our streets.
  • The Maya Centre offer counselling to women who have experienced mental health issues stemming from trauma, including domestic violence, physical abuse or sexual abuse. The centre is a safe space run by women, for women taking them on a therapeutic journey leading to empowerment, emotional awareness and healing.