Tales from Wo-Fan’s Land – An Introduction

In early July 2019, Frank Turner announced his latest album would be called No Man’s Land. It’s a collection of thirteen songs inspired by women from history whose stories are inspiring, intriguing, and overlooked. Along with the album, Turner has recorded a podcast – called Tales from No Man’s Land – to dig deeper into the lives he explores through song with fellow musicians, historians, curators, and more. You can order the album by clicking here, and listen to the podcast by clicking here.

In mid-July 2019, my friend Sarah sent me a message with an idea she had for a Frank Turner fan project, inspired by No Man’s Land and all the stories that could be told. Together, we collaborated to figure out what exactly this project would look like, what it should do, and what it should be called. She came up with the name Tales from Wo-Fan’s Land, as we wanted to highlight the stories of womxn and non-men from history and we’re fans. We came up with some guidelines and then lurked in a corner of the internet with other fans to plot and plan. We asked everyone to pick a person/topic they thought more people should know about and send us a short essay about them, as a way to show Frank Turner how his fans have appreciated No Man’s Land, and have inspired many of us to seek out history or embrace their own love of the field. We think the album, and podcast, are great tools of public history – and hope our series of essays can contribute to that, too.

The following is a list of the people/topics that Frank Turner’s fans have written about. These essays are written casually, like blogs, so as to be accessible to more people. Partially inspired by No Man’s Land, we’re tearing down the ivory tower, too. History is for everyone, it effects everyone, and – dammit – it’s important! We hope you have fun reading these (we had fun writing them!) and learn something new today:

We’d also like to share the spotlight with even more people and causes, so here are some organizations and charities the writers of this project suggest you check out and support:

  • Safe Gigs for Women, who work to make gigs harassment-free for all music fans and work on bystander intervention
  • GLSEN, who champion LGBTQ issues in K-12 education
  • The Yellowhammer Fund, who provide funding and support for anyone seeking care at one of Alabama’s three abortion clinics
  • The Foundation for Women’s Cancer, who support research, education and public awareness of gynecologic cancers
  • The Transgender Law Center, who work to change laws, policies, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity of expression
  • Mermaids, who work to raise awareness about gender nonconformity in children and young people, and support them
  • The Women’s March, who seek to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change
  • Immigration Equality, who advocate for and represent LGBTQ and HIV+ immigrants seeking safety, fair treatment, and freedom
  • The Outside Project, a homeless/crisis shelter and community center for those in the LGBTQ community who feel endangered or homeless in London
  • Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, who work to end sexualized violence through healing, education, and prevention
  • Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, who are a research and knowledge exchange centre focused on sex and gendered approaches to health
  • The Borderland Rainbow Center, who seek to create a community space in which LGBTQ people and their allies can heal, grow, and empower themselves and others
  • The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, created specifically to serve the National Indian Resource Center, who work to address domestic violence and safety for Indian women
  • Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre, a state-wide community legal centre for Aboriginal women, children and youth; focusing on issues relating to violence
  • Transcendence/nAGLY, who work to honor, respect, educate, and empower LGBTQ youth
  • Medica Mondiale, who work towards a world where women and girls are living free from violence
  • Women Aware, who work to transform the emotional and economic future of women and men in transition through advocacy, education, information and referral
  • Bloody Good Period, who seek to supply menstrual protection for those who can’t afford it

Thanks for checking out Tales from Wo-Fan’s Land, and make sure you listen to Frank Turner’s new album No Man’s Land and his podcast Tales from No Man’s Land.

If you’ve enjoyed this series, feel free to follow this blog or my Facebook and Instagram for potential future projects! This was a labor of love from a fandom. Thank you again for in the inspiration, Frank! – Valerie Gritsch

[Note: The header images relating to this project feature a bookcase photo, taken by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash.]

7 thoughts on “Tales from Wo-Fan’s Land – An Introduction

  1. Not read them all yet but what a great idea. History teaches us all not to make the same mistakes our forefathers made. (although you wouldn’t think so at present in either the UK or the USA!!)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s