WILL FERREIRA DYKE contemplates Frida Kahlo’s place in art history and her associations with modern feminism. Known for her iconic monobrow and exuberant self-portraits, Frida Kahlo (1907- 1954) has become synonymous with activism and feminist theory.  She is a figure whom I exceeding adore. I sit here writing this article in a room complete with a framed print of the artistic genius herself looking down upon me, which I dutifully purchased after attending the V&A’s 2018 exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up. Her elevated presence in my living space is seemingly Christ-like, so it must be apparent that such a purchase was rooted in feelings of love and admiration. I first would like to outline some of my favourite works of hers; The Two Frida’s (1939), The Broken Column (1944) and Memory, the Heart (1937). These are deeply emotive explorations of the self and of personal experiences. From depicting her…Continue Reading

For the Love of Frida

SEEHAM RAHMAN examines femininity and sexual politics in Polly Nor’s satirical illustrations. Sensuality, identity, and femininity are not new phenomena in illustration and storytelling. However, the modern woman of the 21st century represents an evolution of womanhood on an individual and societal basis. Art and design are not only articulating this social change but also actively engaging with it in pursuit of strengthening the perception of femininity. As a woman of colour, I often find it difficult to find myself represented in Western Art in a three-dimensional way. Polly Nor’s art speaks to the faults of my identity, bringing forth the wholeness of who I am. Even my demons are depicted as they really are, next to sensuous depictions of womanhood. My femininity is encapsulated; my fears revealed. The artist urges women to understand the toxicity of the internet-age through pieces such as In Your Dreams. Nor encapsulates the anxieties and responsibilities…Continue Reading

Polly Nor and The Nasty Woman

FATIMA JAFAR reviews the poetry of Sandra Brown Springer and Remi-Lyn Brown, performed in an event celebrating black queer womanhood. DISRUPTION, an event marking the end of this year’s Black History Month, was held on campus last week. UCL library assistant and poet Sandra Brown Springer, and her daughter Remi-Lyn Brown read their poetry to an audience made up of UCL students, staff, and their close family and friends. Brown is a self-published poet, and part of the creative collective SXWKS, while Springer is doing her Masters degree in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, and is currently working on a short story and poetry anthology. This was the first time they had performed their poetry together, but, as they said, it will definitely not be the last. Their poetry focuses on the navigating of space and identity in today’s society as black women, and coming to terms with their queerness. Both…Continue Reading


THOMAS NGUYEN discusses Mary Wollstonecraft’s message on education for the Time’s Up generation.  Following the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, the ever-growing number of liberating speeches, marches and articles give us hope that the fight for gender equality is progressing. Springing from Alyssa Milano’s accusations against producer Harvey Weinstein in October 2017, debates on sexual harassment and sexism have opened up in all spheres of society – ranging from politics and the military to fashion and business. Oprah’s speech at the 2017 Golden Globes, Israel’s victory at Eurovision with the song ‘Toy’, and the hundreds of testimonies given the spotlight in national newspapers are just a few of the encouraging examples. It seemed, for the first time, that male executives, actors and photographers who had previously abused their power were finally getting brought to justice. Despite this, we are yet to reach the essence of the problem: namely, that a child’s education, both at…Continue Reading

‘No Distinctions of Vanity’

ISABEL WEBB speaks to Raniyah Qureshi, the founder of AWOMENfest, a three day feminist art festival that launches this month. Picture the scene: nestled in a DIY arts venue in Peckham, a group of rugby lads sit around a table to discuss the relationship between tears and feminism with The Colour of Madness Project. In the next room, more of these men – stereotypically masculine and disengaged – compare notes on the artwork of Damaris Athene and Fee Greening, whilst others, perched in the zine corner, soak up the atmosphere and contemplate the body positive life drawing session they just attended. This is AWOMENfest founder Raniyah Qureshi’s ideal for the new feminist festival. “The people you want to come the most are not the ones who are already engaged. In my dreamworld, the room would be full of rugby lads who don’t give a shit.” This might seem like a…Continue Reading

AWOMENfest: Radically Soft

OLIVIA WARD JACKSON explores gendered agency in Jane Eyre, relating it to contemporary debate on sexual misconduct in the workplace.  This year, Brontë lovers will pay further homage to their literary idols, as the five-year long anniversary of the Brontë’s bicentenary continues. The names Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester have been eternalised through their defiant, soul-wrenching romance – however, it is important to recognise that that Jane Eyre is not just another Victorian romp, but a text championing liberty and equality that still retains its political potency today. Jane Eyre can offer prudent insight into the current dispute amongst feminists regarding sexual misconduct in the workplace, brought to light by the #MeToo movement. Let’s start with an acknowledgment of what all feminists share; a disgust for sexual abuse and violent threats. There is currently worldwide debate regarding what kinds of behaviour should be condoned within the workplace (of course, remaining impartial to the sexuality or gender of the perpetrator).…Continue Reading

Jane Eyre and ‘The Right to Pester’