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Serena Williams during the US Open final. Photo: Kyodo via AP Images

Serena Williams during the US Open final. Photo: Kyodo via AP Images

Carolina Caycedo, Panhurst Sisters, 2002. Criminal Women series, ongoing. Courtesy of the artist and Instituto de Visión.

Carolina Caycedo, Panhurst Sisters, 2002. Criminal Women series, ongoing. Courtesy of the artist and Instituto de Visión.

Carolina Caycedo, Pussy Riot, 2012. Criminal Women series, ongoing. Courtesy of the artist and Instituto de Visión.

Carolina Caycedo, Pussy Riot, 2012. Criminal Women series, ongoing. Courtesy of the artist and Instituto de Visión.

Events - Talks

The Study Sessions Still I Rise

"I were fighting him back an all...”

20 Nov 2018

6.30-8.30pm
 
The Study Sessions are a series of informal reading and discussion groups. Join discussions and read about transnational feminism, gender representation in the media, transgressing stereotypes, queer theory and more. See other sessions here>>
 
 
"I were fighting him back an all...”. Girls’ Story Telling as a Discourse of Liberty and Resistance.
By Elaine Arnull.
 
‘I were fighting him back an all’ is an exploration of how girls in the UK juvenile justice system use and experience violence, and in turn how their discourse is impacted by gender, other intersectional and cultural factors. I sought to give voice to the words of girls who rarely have the opportunity to have their voices heard and even more rarely have their voices represented without censorship. In their stories they demonstrate how they try to have control over their own lives and how others seek to influence, restrain or control them – all things they resist. This resistance brings them directly into conflict. Their stories highlight classed and binary assumptions about doing girlhood.  
 
Carolina Caycedo’s work has been described as: “… embodiments of people the artist has met during her travels and their stories of dispossession and resistance.” (Hammer Art Gallery, USA, 2018). And I thought that was a good place to start, providing a direct link between Carolina’s work and my own. Carolina’s is a visual representation of dispossession and resistance and my own focuses on the words and experiences of girls (10-18 years) and how they find their space in the world, particularly how they express themselves as powerful and independent beings. Having never met Carolina, but having viewed her work online, I wanted to explore how resistance against dominant story-telling can emerge in different forms, be they art or social science. 
 
My work has long drawn on bell hooks writing which has always spoken directly to me about the power of voice, the authenticity of representation and the requirement to be heard. It is these three things I wish to reflect on in particular drawing on my own work, that of hooks and with reference to Caycedo.
 
Recommended reading:
Arnull, Elaine. Being a Girl Who Gets into Trouble: Narratives of Girlhood. Girlhood Studies: An Inter-Disciplinary Journal (September 2019).
 
Additional Reading:
hooks, bell. 1989. Talking Back: Thinking Feminist – Thinking Black. Boston: Sheba.
hooks, b. (2013). Dig deep: Beyond lean in. Retrieved from: www.thefeministwire.com/2013/10/17973/
 
 
*Please note this session is now fully booked. If you'd like to be added to a waiting list please email Mercè at merce@nottinghamcontemporary.org
 
Gallery 4
 
 
Elaine Arnull, formerly a Probation Officer, is a Reader in Social Policy and Social Work at Nottingham Trent University. She is involved in international collaborative research on young people and delinquency and her work focuses on foregrounding the voice of the researched. Her most recent book (with Darrell Fox, 2016) takes a comparative cultural approach to critique current discourse and consider future constructions of delinquency at a local and global level. Elaine has published in journals such as Journal of Drugs, Education, Prevention and Policy and Journal of Criminology and Social Integration.
 
 

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