Pushed is incredibly proud to present “The Forgotten Suffragettes,” which tells the story of three women who were integral in securing the vote for women. Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, Annie Kenney and May (Rosa) Billinghurst all fought bravely for women’s suffrage against incredible odds and obstacles. However, their names have too often disappeared into the intervening history. “The Forgotten Suffragettes” was designed to amplify the voices and impacts made by these courageous women so long ago. Their fearless efforts paved the way for women’s rights, and we have sought to honor their sacrifices and bravery by ensuring that they do not remain the forgotten suffragettes any longer.
The making of “The Forgotten Suffragettes”
The team at Pushed is honored to have been commissioned by BBC Teach to tell the stories of the forgotten suffragettes. This five-minute video was designed to be informative and digestible for secondary students, and great thought went into the design and animation process to ensure that we honoured the stories of these three women in a way that was accurate and meaningful while also holding the attention of the target audience. Produced using After Effects, Illustrator, and Premier, our artists employed a 2D, digitally hand-drawn graphic novel style with an old film effect accompanied by an inspiring, rock-based soundtrack. The predominantly sepia tone with spot colour to highlight main aspects creates a gritty edge that lends itself well to the courage and tenacity of these women in the face of challenges and even outright violence. The result is an engaging, highly digestible account of the forgotten suffragettes told in an innovative artistic style that highlights their sacrifices and struggles without minimisation.
Pushed has always sought to use our unique method of storytelling to make complex situations and theories accessible, and we knew that this was the perfect format to present the important subject of the forgotten suffragettes. Although geared towards children through our partnership with BBC Teach, the artistic choices made in the production of “The Forgotten Suffragettes” emphasises the courageous example set by these brave women and stresses that the gender equality of today is due in large part to their untiring work.
Who were The Forgotten Suffragettes?
Princess Sophia Duleep Singh: The daughter of Duleep Singh and favored by Queen Victoria, Princess Sophia used her elevated role in society to publicly and prominently fight for women’s right to vote.
Annie Kenney: Born into a working-class family and forced to work long hours to support her family, Annie devoted herself to furthering her cause, even disrupting Winston Churchill to demand the vote.
May (Rosa) Billinghurst: Paralysed from the waist down as a result of a childhood polio infection, May did not back down from the extra challenges presented to her, even if it meant her own imprisonment.
All three of the women featured in this animation were present at the march at Westminster on 18 November 1910, which later became known as Black Friday. The forgotten suffragettes underwent incredible challenges, including many shocking examples of abuse and violence at the hands of those who sought to keep the vote from women. Although the suffragette movement was a battle fought by thousands of individuals, highlighting the stories of three of the lesser-known leaders helps to emphasise that victor is hard-won and due to the work of a diverse number of women.
Pushed is proud of our ability to present innovative, thoroughly researched concepts that touch viewers through powerful storytelling. It is time that the voices of the forgotten suffragettes be heard again, which is why we focused on intentionally creating an artistic animation that honours and amplifies these three amazing women and their stories. Please enjoy our take on "The Forgotten Suffragettes" who stood up for what was right even if it meant their own imprisonment and abuse. May their voices never be silenced again.