Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A.

Talk: Taking to the Streets: Live Art and Activism

Members of the London-based direct-action feminist performance collective, Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A. (Ireland Making England the Legal Destination for Abortion) will discuss the public actions and interventions they have carried out throughout 2014 to challenge anti-choice laws in the Irish region.

The group will highlight their deployment of public performance to raise awareness of the everyday ritual of travel that women resident in the Republic Ireland and Northern Ireland undertake to access safe and legal abortions in England. They will further outline how the group has highlighted the discrimination experienced by women who cannot afford or are not permitted to travel, as outlined by the horrific treatment of MigrantX in 2014. In detailing the responses their public actions have received in the live moment and across social media Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A. will demonstrate how they play with and trouble patriarchal norms in an Irish context. In particular, the collective will emphasize the links between live art and activism informing their interventions.

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Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A. is a direct action feminist performance group that challenges the ongoing problem of Ireland Making England the Legal Destination for Abortion. We operate against the shaming and silencing of women who have abortions. Imelda was the secret code name for abortion used by the Irish Women’s Abortion Support Group, a group of London-based activists based who supported women traveling from Ireland to England for abortions between 1980 and 2000. In reclaiming the name IMELDA we act in solidarity with those who have sought to counteract the inhumanity of state legislation in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.


photo by  Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A.: performing ‘Silenced Screams’ on the steps of the Irish Embassy, August 2014 in protest of the treatment of MigrantX’


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