Participatory Practices

DWAN’s Creative Director Dr Jenna Ashton discusses #GlobalCulturalFellow

Arts and International Affairs

Jenna Ashton

Jenna Ashton is Founder and Creative Director of arts and heritage organisation Digital Women’s Archive North CIC (DWAN). Her work specifically concerns global feminisms and women’s movements in relation to creative resistance through arts, heritage and participatory practices. Her research specialisms include digital feminisms, alongside digital futures in arts, archives, museums and galleries. Additionally she works on feminist curatorial and archival practices. She is editor of two-volume international publication “Feminism and Museums: Intervention, Disruption and Change” (September 2017, MuseumsEtc). DWAN is co-creating a digital space that will function as an archive, educational resource and alternative media outlet, supporting the connectivity, campaigns and creative cultural resistance of feminist practitioners and organisations. Jenna’s current positions also include Impact and Engagement Manager in Research and Knowledge Exchange at Manchester Metropolitan University and Honorary Research Fellow of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, The University of Manchester. She sits on the…

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#SexistAds discussion #BBC


Yesterday Creative Director of DWAN, Dr Jenna Ashton, spoke to Chelsea Norris at BBC Radio Manchester about the recent ASA CAP report “Depictions, Perceptions and Harm: A report on gender stereotypes in advertising”.

Reflecting on the content and findings of the report, Dr Ashton discussed the damaging influence of stereotyping and gender representation in the mainstream media on young people’s wellbeing, sense of identity and aspirations. Dr Ashton also suggested we need to think intersectionally around gender, and also consider representations of class, race, disability, age and sexuality. Dr Ashton disagrees with an element of the report’s conclusion which misguidedly suggests that sexualisation and representations of the body (i.e. too fat/too thin) is a separate issue from gender stereotyping.    

The report is welcomed by DWAN for its contribution to the discussion around social responsibility of corporate advertising, but feels we need to go further than simply offer new legislation. We need a culture shift in wider education around gender, stereotypes and its harmful normalisation across many areas of visual and media culture. 

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