All the Others: Creative responses to gender based violence

What did the project involve? 

This project explored how to work with person-centred approaches for representing experiences of gender based violence (GBV). Against the backdrop of mainstream media and public discourse, which tend to misrepresent GBV by conveying stereotypes of victimhood (e.g., over-representation of physical and extreme violence; white, able-bodied and heterosexual female-sexed subjects), the project aimed to use creative life writing across different forms – drawing, poetry, story-telling – to construct life story portrayals in collaboration with participants and showcase them in a co-curated online website.

Using interdisciplinary artistic forms as an emotional distancing tool, the team developed a framework for creating a responsive, ethically-informed project to collect and curate anonymised stories.

Who are the team and what do they bring?

  • Ana Baeza Ruiz’s (History of Art, University of Bristol) research focuses on engagement and co-creation. She has extensive experience working in museums devising engagement activities using graphic novels, media, magazines and museum objects.
  • Louisa Parker (The Oxford Centre for Life Writing, University of Oxford) has worked through life stories with participants and audiences internationally. She is currently exploring theatre strategies based on her book “Becoming Unbecoming”. ‘Dedicated to all the Others’ is the name of a multi-faceted research and public arts project that aims to help audiences think about how we all live with sexual crime and what we can do to think about it in more meaningful ways, using creative approaches.
  • Sarah Jones (History, University of Bristol) is a specialist in the history of gender and sexuality, with a focus on its mediations through popular culture. She has investigated histories of the relationship between sex and print culture.
  • Jo Higson’s (Independent scholar and writer) work considers the representation of domestic abuse in contemporary narrative fiction. Her PhD (University of Bristol) explores who speaks for survivors and those still experiencing domestic abuse. She is involved in lived experience creative workshops and film-making that use people’s experiences to improve services.
  • Nadia Aghtaie (School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol) has written about rape, pornography, sexual coercion, and gender-based violence. She has co-led research projects on young people’s experiences of violence and abuse (online & offline) in their intimate relationships within the European context, and her current project is: Understanding and Responding to Coercive Control within Faith Context.