As opposed to the more text-based research I began with on Monday, today I moved into a more visual way of investigating my chosen theme(s). Mainly using Pinterest, I have looked at a wide range of topics within feminism that have been represented through visual artwork, photography or fashion pieces.
I felt that it made sense for the ‘base’ or starting point of the research to be looking into the history and ideologies of feminist movements, so the one piece of non-visual research I have looked at today is some information on the beginnings of the movement(s), and also how it has split off into many different branches of thought. It is commonly considered that the large number of these different branches/ideas about what feminism actually is has caused confusion and hostility towards the movement as a whole, and in response to this I created a simple piece of work on Photoshop that I think represents how the true definition is so often lost in arguments about the ‘agenda’ of feminists. This work will also be printed onto acetate and mounted in my research sketchbook.
Today I have continued with the more visual side of research that I was carrying out yesterday, primarily using Pinterest as a way of collating all of the imagery from across the internet that I have found. Key themes in my research today have been the idea of diversity. Thinking about the political issues in the West that have brought women’s issues to the forefront of many people’s minds (i.e. this article), the ongoing and often more serious problems faced by women and girls in poorer countries are forgotten. Not only this, but even the struggles faced by women of colour in Western countries are so often overlooked by a problematic “white feminism”. Because of this I wanted to make sure my resarch is very diverse and takes into account a wide range of different problems faced by women across the world, so that my responses to the theme aren’t ignorant or only think about one kind of woman or one set of problems. One example that has been covered widely recently is the ongoing tradition of child brides in many African and Middle Eastern countries, although the practice does happen in European nations as well. Looking at issues such as these is important not only to ensure my response work doesn’t overlook struggles faced by all kinds of women, but to keep in mind there is more than one direction in which to take this project. As a result of the research looked at today I went on to create a couple of concept boards that when placed side-by-side are clear contrasts of what might come to most people’s mind when they think of the word “woman” or “feminine” (board 1), and a more serious and diverse set of images put together to question why you might think about the visuals of board 1 rather than 2 when asked what it means to be “feminine”. The final area of reseach that I looked at today is the famous TEDxEuston speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Whilst the whole speech contains many important and interesting points, in particular 22:00 – 23:50 stood out to me as being most relevant to how I am using the themes of her speech for this project.