Bringing the British Library's Unfinished Business exhibition to life in Newcastle

Image credit: British Library. Artwork: Erin Aniker

The fight for women’s rights is unfinished business

Unfinished Business, the upcoming exhibition at the British Library, focuses on the fight for women's rights: from bodily autonomy and the right to education, to self-expression and protest, this new exhibition explores how feminist activism in the UK has its roots in the complex history of women’s rights.

We are delighted to be working closely with Newcastle based poets: Sky Hawkins, Ellen Moran and Degna Stone. Sky is considering the impact, particularly on young people how female bodies are represented in the media. Ellen is exploring protest and the intersection between feminism and class. Degna is exploring the concept of 7th generation, how thinking about the future generation might change our current decision making. Degna is also looking at portraiture and adornment: how we see ourselves and each other in the fight for equality.

These local poets have been commissioned to engage with communities surrounding the branch libraries of East End, West End and Fenham. While here, they'll be capturing voices and stories that will inspire new poetry, to be performed at the finale events. This research may include workshops, round-table discussions or poetry journalism, interacting directly with the community. The work takes place between now and April 2020, and will inspire three branch events and an immersive finale: a building takeover of the city library in June.

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The Poets

Degna will explore family histories through the line of female relatives and ancestors.


Sky will be basing her research on looking at how the media (in particular magazines) affects how
women feel about their bodies.


Ellen wants to know how and why women make their protests, and offer solidarity to those who continue it in the face of misogynist and classist oppression.


Events - coming soon...