100 Days Project Scotland: Making 100 pro-choice badges
Updated: Jul 4
This is an ongoing activism campaign (due to complete in Autumn 2023). I'm participating in the 100 Days Project Scotland; challenging myself to repeat a creative task every day for 100 days, with the aim of improving a skill and building up a regular creative practice. The challenge I've set myself is to:
Make 100 pro-choice badges, each with an abortion-rights slogan hand-typed on archive campaign materials. At the end of the challenge, to deliver each of the 100 badges to politicians, campaigners, and others working in the field of reproductive rights.
Photo gallery: Works in progress
Nominate someone to receive one of the completed badges
At the end of the project (and following a likely exhibition toward the end of 2023), I'll be distributing the badges to those engaged in abortion-rights campaigning and decision-making. A form is now open to receive nominations of people you think should receive one of the completed badges at the end of the project (this can be someone you'd like to thank for their advocacy, or someone you think needs a reminder of the issue!). If there's someone you think should receive a campaign badge, please nominate them via this form. I'm thinking writers, politicians, campaigners and so on, but all suggestions warmly received. You can nominate as many people as you like (including yourself, if you like), and the nomination process is totally anonymous.
We build on the work of those who come before us. I'm really enjoying the analogue process of this work, using forms, materials and words that connect to the history of the feminist / campaigning movement. I'm imagining campaigners from the past hunched over their typewriters (and swearing at their mistakes), just as I am.
We learn through activism. The challenge to collect and re-use materials related to the abortion campaign has pushed me to read and research in some new places. I've especially enjoyed learning more from the work of the See Red Women's Workshops in feminist poster-making, the art/activism of Speaking of IMELDA, and the 'Issue of Tissue' campaign from MYA Network, sharing real images from early stage pregnancies. Materials from all these sources appear in the 100 badges.
Stories breed stories. The push to share these badges every day on my social media has made my activism more visible than it might otherwise be, and has prompted questions, discussions and stories that I suspect wouldn't otherwise have happened. I've learned about the abortion stories of all kinds of people, in all kinds of circumstances. Storytelling matters.
Change takes time. 100 days feels a long trek, and I've felt periods of ups and downs, weariness with the process, then renewed excitement and enthusiasm. There's an echo, here, of the campaigning movement as a whole - the need to stick with advocacy through tedium, or when there doesn't feel like there's enough time, or when it feels like it's not making any difference. The discipline of continuing to champion change is important, and seeing the cumulative impact of the number of badges rack up is a reminder that small actions add up to bigger projects.
Credits and thanks
This project celebrates and recognises those who've been involved in abortion campaigning. Materials from the following organisations and projects were used in the 100 days project, and I'm grateful to them for their work, activism and advocacy. If you'd like to support this project, many of them would welcome your time, energy and donations:
BPAS: The British Pregnancy Advisory Service
Rosa: The UK fund for women and girls
Alliance for Choice
Women Help Women
Abortion Support Network
Speaking of IMELDA
Glasgow Women's Library
Spare Rib Magazine
Repeal the 8th campaign
See Red Women's Workshops
New York Magazine
Olivia Rodrigo and Lily Allen
Ask for Jane film
The Handmaid's Tale
Sheffield Maternity Cooperative
The Vagina Museum