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Breaking into the boys’ club

For centuries, women have fought against adversity to pursue artistic careers in what was (and arguably still is) a man’s world.  They have suffered the humiliation of having their works passed off under someone else’s name, of being barred access to training, of struggling to do what men have taken for granted (simply represent themselves on canvas or celluloid) and of having their pieces relegated to dark corners of museum and gallery storerooms.  

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Study event review: OCA South West – Global perspectives

With such a large multidisciplinary group, I wanted to start the day with a lecture on ‘Global Perspectives in Contemporary Creative Arts’. I’m aware that teaching and learning around a historical context for the arts can have a Western bias that feels out of touch with the much broader globalised discourse that is happening today.

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Women’s History Month: Aemilia Lanyer

Since March is Women’s History Month it seems like a good time to celebrate the work of women writers from an earlier age. Fortuitously, as joint editor of NAWE’s Higher Education Journal, Writing in Practice No 5, I read an article by Sally O’Reilly analysing her approach to writing a historical novel, Dark Aemelia,  (Myriad Editions, 2015) about Shakespeare and his relationship with Aemilia Lanyer, a contemporary poet, and a possible identity for the Dark Lady of his sonnets.

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Transitioning

My old school. Well they’ve still got the 11+ but never mind, I’ll  go along all the same, do a talk and maybe a workshop. They still sing the Harrow School Song as their school song: the tramp of the 22 men  in a single sex girls’ school. Well maybe they are transitioning. After all this is LGBT history month.

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LGBT artists

February is LGBT History Month – a national initiative focused on recognising lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, their lives and experiences, and promoting equality. Marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the birth of the modern Pride movement, this year a number of galleries and museums, from London to Liverpool and Birmingham to Brighton, are running talks, exhibitions, film screenings and workshops to highlight previously hidden or unknown LGBT histories in their collections.

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What I learned writing an LGBT film

LGBT History Month is all about promoting equality, diversity and education. If you are writing or making a film with an LGBT theme, there is a responsibility on the artist to be truthful when dealing with topics that – for many – are delicate, if not life changing.

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Art, activism & ending violence against women

The 25 November marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the first day in the United Nations campaign UNiTE, launching sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence that culminates on 10 December – International Human Rights Day.  

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October was Black History Month…

…and as part of this we asked OCA programme leaders to share some important practitioners to point students towards and remember artists and events in the history of the African diaspora. This is list is just the beginning of a longer one we hope, please add to it in the comments below.

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Less of the ‘same’, more of the BAME

The UK publishing industry has not moved fast enough to reflect our current society. And when you’re talking about children’s fiction, it’s particularly white.

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