Podcast: Melanie Manchot X Oral HistoryPosted on 06.07.2023
Commissioned for Sea Change 2023 – curated by Invisible Dust – Melanie Manchot’s new work Flotilla intertwines two histories relevant to the Royal Docks to create an inspiring film on how we create sustainable futures and equitable societies with a focus on gender equalities.
We’re excited to present these recordings that explore some of the themes behind this work, featuring interviews from collaborators and the cross-generational group of local women who were filmed on a ‘flotilla’ of differently sized boats and ships on the night-time waters of the Royal Docks.
The work takes inspiration from both the historic women’s protests around the Royal Docks, from the Match Girls to the Suffragettes, the Sugar Girls and the Dagenham Ford strikes, and the inequalities with regards to women working on boats. Historically, women were not allowed to work on moving vessels, in fact they were barred from remaining on ships once they had set sail. Old-fashioned sailor superstitions thought that women on merchant and military vessels were bad luck and could spell disaster at sea. As a result all seafaring professions were barred to women, until as recently as the late 20th Century.
Hear more about the themes explored in Melanie’s work below (or listen wherever you get your podcasts). Recorded by UCL / Oral History.