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International Women’s Day Sketchathon

What a week it has been for your Gender and Equality Images PhD Intern* (a.k.a. myself). Last Friday was, of course, International Women’s Day, which, incidentally, is also one of my favourite days of the year. I kicked off the celebrations with a brief appearance at Argyle House, where I presented my work on notable Edinburgh women as part of the IWD Wikipedia Editathon run by the wonderful Wikimedian in Residence Ewan McAndrew. It was an absolutely lovely event, with great attendance (we even broadcasted live to South Africa via Skype) and a bunch of very cool IWD-themed badges. What a great start to the day!

After that, I dashed off to prepare for my very own International Women’s Day Sketchathon – fun, game-based workshop mixing art challenges with stories of women in the collections! The event was held in the Research Suite at the Centre for Research Collections, where tables were set up to encourage collaborative work and refreshments were offered to lighten up the mood (and feed the starving host!).

We had an incredible group of attendees from all backgrounds, both staff members and students, of all ages, genders and ethnicities, and everyone took part in the challenges with great enthusiasm and passion for the subject matter and the creative means. We learned about notable Edinburgh women (some of which are featured in various articles on this blog), Edinburgh-based artists Jessica Harrison, Phyllis Bone and Susan Collis (whose work has either been collected in the University’s Art Collection or commissioned by the University), and we discussed the ways in which female artists at Edinburgh University chose to mark public spaces. Some incredible original artwork was created by our attendees in response to the visual prompts offered by the speakers, and I’ve collected a few examples to preserve for the future.

A huge thank you goes to everyone who helped make the event possible, and to everyone who attended with a big grin on their face and a can-do mind-set. It was wonderful meeting you all, and I look forward to many further occurrences! Now I’m off to dive once more into the collections and uncover new and inspiring stories. Wish me luck.


*Yes, even typing this job title leave me breathless.


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