Idle Women on the Water: A brick throwin', hijab-wearin', hairy-legged, space-takin' odyssey

Candice Purwin


Part manifesto, part social history and part travelogue in the form of a graphic novel, Idle Women On the Water tells the story of Idle Women and their mission to make space for women on the canals and tow paths of North West England.
Navigating the edgy backwaters of post-industrial Lancashire, Yorkshire and Merseyside on their purpose-built narrowboat, the Selina Cooper, Idle Women take the fight for women’s rights back to the birthplace of women’s suffrage.

In the company of women artists and writers invited to join Idle Women on their journey, creativity and solidarity are nurtured with the women and girls of the canal-side towns through which they pass.

Illustrator and writer Candice Purwin casts herself as the ‘Beast’, a lone observer who spends seven seasons with the women, documenting their experiences in this honest, perceptive and profoundly moving work. Against a backdrop of global terrorism, political instability and austerity, Purwin deftly stages Rachel and Cis’s quiet revolution as a critical and important landmark in the history of women’s activism and feminist culture.

Idle Women On the Water is an urgent call to arms for women everywhere to speak out, resist and revolt in order to survive and thrive.

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