Art. Activism. Feminism.
The FiLiArt Symposium (11 December, 2-6pm) came at a critical time. It felt like a crucial moment to stand up for the values of equality, diversity and solidarity across social divides, viewing Art as a powerful way to bring people together, speaking a shared universal language. Prominent artists, activists and academics engaged in a lively discussion with the audience on how we can support the fight for women's human rights, challenge porn culture, and overcome media stereotyping, through art.
PAnel 1 - "Self/Image"
In the aftermath of a US election in which a woman's historic candidacy was at times overshadowed by discussions of her age, appearance and 'likeability', it's more important than ever to fight the mainstream media stereotyping that tries to box us into a particular image of womanhood. The panel will explore how we can make media representations of women more diverse and equal; how women experience their own representation; how images of the self can heal and empower; and how we can counteract the harms of the 'porn culture' that surrounds us.
Dr Maddy Coy - Gender Equal Media; Deputy Director, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University
Fungi Woolnough-Murau - Working with HIV-positive women to convey their experiences through art
Judith Rifeser - PhD thesis On Touch and Feminine Subjectivity in Women's Film
Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans - Kings College, London; FiLia Trustee; campaigner against ‘porn culture’
Panel 2 - "Art as activism"
Art is often perceived as a passive medium, a pretty picture on the wall. In fact, art - in all its diverse manifestations - has always been a powerful cultural force, with the ability to challenge and change our perception of the world. The panel will discuss how art historically shaped our attitudes towards women's personhood; how art can help vulnerable women such as refugees and women in prison; how poetry can bear witness to women's identities; and more.
Leah Thorn - Working as an artist with women in prison; 'Know Me: poetry as provocation and witness'
Hong Dam - FiLiArt exhibiting artist; refugee from Vietnam
Daniela Pichler - Working with refugee women and defending women's rights
Sophie Doherty - PhD thesis on “Depictions of rape victims in law and art”
Learn more about all of our distinguished speakers at the link below.