February 6, 2108 marks the centennial anniversary of (limited) women’s suffrage in the UK. As numerous cultural and media organisations mark the anniversary, here are some current and upcoming projects that focus particularly on “suffrajitsu” – the use of jiujitsu by radical suffagette Bodyguards, circa 1913-14.
The Good Fight
Chicago’s Babes With Blades Theatre Company is currently staging Anne Bertram’s play The Good Fight, which details the history and missions of the suffragette Bodyguard team. Women’s jiujitsu pioneer and Bodyguard trainer Edith Garrud appears as a character in the play.
Suffrajitsu by Horse + Bamboo Theatre
England’s Horse + Bamboo Theatre Company is currently developing Suffrajitsu, an original play celebrating the suffragette Bodyguard through puppetry, music and film. Aimed at young audiences, the play will begin touring the UK in Autumn 2018; you can learn more about, and support the project via this Crowdfunder site.
“The Awesome Art of Suffrajitsu”
The UK fashion and lifestyle magazine Stylist has featured suffrajitsu, including some great original illustrations, in its suffragette centennial issue.
No Man Shall Protect Us
Currently in production, the documentary No Man Shall Protect Us: The Hidden History of the Suffragette Bodyguards will make use of narration, rare archival media and dramatic re-enactments. Successfully crowdfunded in late 2017 and co-produced by Tony Wolf, author of the Suffrajitsu graphic novel trilogy, the completed documentary will be made freely available online later this year.
Suffrajitsu at the Royal Armouries
The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, England will be showcasing Edith Garrud’s suffrajitsu as part of the Warrior Women exhibition during mid-late February.
Kitty Marshall: Suffragette Bodyguard at the Museum of London
The Museum of London’s year-long Votes for Women exhibition includes a showcase for Katherine “Kitty” Marshall, who was an active member of Emmeline Pankhurst’s Bodyguard team. Marshall also wrote the memoir Suffragette Escapes and Adventures, which currently exists in manuscript form as part of the Museum’s suffragette collection.
Kitty and the Cats: Mrs. Pankhurst’s Suffragette Bodyguard and the London Police
Author Emelyne Godfrey’s book on Kitty Marshall and the Bodyguard will be released later in 2018.
Suffrajitsu martial arts lessons will be part of the UK National Trust’s Suffragette City, an immersive, interactive experience that will recreate the headquarters of the Women’s Social and Political Union circa 1913.