Idle Women

Idle women and the 6th July, and more!

Idle Women, the art, environment and social justice collaboration, in partnership with the Canal & River Trust and UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Host City partners are delighted to announce Stadium for the Future (If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution), a new commission which is part of the arts and heritage programme taking place alongside this summer’s football tournament in the UK from 6 July. Stadium for the Futurewill be a living stadium imagined, engineered and hand built by and for women, a self-sustaining ecosystem of creating, training and playing, to manifest a different world.

Idle Women

Conceived as a provocation and call to action, Stadium for the Future will be danced into existence at raves in a nature reserve, an underpass, a park and football pitch. Organised by, and for women with community groups, activists, musicians, DJs and older women, the raves will culminate in a continuous soundwork, broadcast online from 31 July until the stadium is built. Stadium for the Future is supported with funding from Arts Council England thanks to National Lottery players.

Stadium for the Future celebrates and makes place for all women along the canal and river waterways connecting four of the urban locations hosting the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.  Idle Women seek to honour the women who worked in the mills and factories along the waterways and formed the first women’s football teams during World War I, before a ban was introduced in 1921, which lasted almost fifty years.

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Amid the wild post-industrial beauty of Pennington Flash Nature Reserve in Wigan and Leigh, women will be invited to celebrate our rightful place on land. They can simply dance and enjoy, or bring their own drums to an acoustic rave with percussionist Sophie Fishwick, Afro-Latin percussion and brass duet Ladies of the Midnight Blue (Hannabiell Sanders and Yilis del Carmen Suriel), saxophonist Deb Mawby, Dhol drummers Eternal Taaland other women performers.

In a small park by the River Thames, in the former manufacturing centre of Hounslow, older women are invited to take up space and their place to celebrate all those who danced before us. London’s finest revival reggae DJ Texas Ranger, who grew up immersed in jazz, soul, r&b, calypso, mento, ska, rocksteady and reggae, will play vinyl favourites throughout the afternoon joined by grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.

In Milton Keynes along the Grand Union Canal, in a concrete underpass in Campbell Park, LGBTQIA+ women are invited to dance to celebrate our rightful belonging. Crafted by drum and bass artist Ayebaitari of Queer Rave Soundsystem, the dance will feature DJ Sheba Q, hip hop music artist MC Icykal, dance music DJ CybernovaMissy P and Cheza.

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Brent hosts a round table event with special guests including DJ Texas Ranger playing all genres of vintage Black music from the 50s, 60s, 70s & beyond in a dance to celebrate that we are here and always have been.

The final soundwork will be produced by writer and journalist Nadia Gilani, musician and sound engineer Naomi Jackson and theatremaker Cis O’Boyle, and broadcast twenty-four hours a day on a dedicated digital platform.

Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyleco-founders of Idle Women, said, “It seems incredible that there isn’t a dedicated space for women’s football given that it’s over 50 years since the ban on women playing football at grounds used by FA member clubs was lifted. It’s also unacceptable that women still have to navigate male violence to enjoy parks and other green spaces. Stadium for the Future is about recognising and celebrating that women have solutions, ambitions, foresight and expertise that are essential for the turbulent times in which we live. It’s time once again for us to take our place and dance the future we want into existence.”

Mark Riviere, Wellbeing Participant Delivery Manager, Canal & River Trust, said, “Stadium for the Future is a powerful piece reclaiming spaces for women and conjuring an exciting future through dance and community. The canals and rivers, once industrial and often derelict places, have transformed over the years and today provide access to precious green and blue space in towns and cities, tackling health inequalities and improving wellbeing. They must be welcoming to all. We’re excited to be working with Idle Women to host these events on our waterways and celebrate inclusion in the run-up to UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.”

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Caterina LoriggioArts and Heritage Lead, UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, said, “We are delighted to be working with Idle Women and an extraordinary group of artists, historians, players, collaborators and institutions across the country to realise a significant arts and heritage programme that will pay tribute to women who have dedicated their lives to the game of football. We are thrilled to be sharing these stories and hope that it will nurture the next generation of fans and women football players.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said, “The UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 will be a huge event this summer – attracting the world’s attention – and I am very proud that arts, culture and creativity will play such a vital role in the tournament, all thanks to National Lottery players. I hope that everyone takes the opportunity to experience the cultural programme, which has been created by leading female artists, and that it creates a lasting and inspiring legacy.”

Idle Women is an art, environment and social justice collaboration run by Rachel Anderson, Charmian Griffin and Cis O’Boyle, founded in 2015, and based in North West England, where some of the first women’s football teams were formed. Their collaborative work combines site-specificity with cross-sector partnerships, research and digital innovation. Recent projects include the Physic Garden Network, and Power Tools, a multi-faceted site-specific project with women living in domestic violence refuges in St Helens. Idle Women have an ongoing collaboration with Humraaz, a specialist refuge and support service led by and for Black and Minoritised Ethnic Women in Lancashire with whom they are currently developing the UK’s first medicinal herb garden for women and girls.

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We are delighted to invite women to join a special event in Milton Keynes as part of the artistic cultural programme celebrating the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 football championship.

Alongside the Grand Union Canal, in a concrete underpass in Campbell Park, all women are invited to dance to celebrate our rightful belonging.

Sunday 17 July from 3-9pm

Created in collaboration with Queer Rave Soundsystem, crafted by drum and bass artist Ayebaitari the rave will feature DJ Sheba Q, hip hop music artist MC Icykal, dance music DJ CybernovaMissy P and Cheza

With wonderful food by Namji, non-alcoholic cocktails, joyful music and a free shuttle bus to and from Milton Keynes Central Station, women are invited to come together and enjoy the pleasures of having the canal side to ourselves and to dance (or sit!) in the places we so often pass through.

This event is being lovingly organised to charge our batteries and lift our spirits at a time when being together is more important than ever, led by, for and to celebrate LGBTQIA+ QTIBPOC womxn – all women from all backgrounds are extremely welcome.

Spaces are free – booking is essential

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