Visit Vanessa Marr, course leader on the University of Brighton’s Design for Digital Media degree pandemic quilt project at the Grand Parade building.
Vanessa has brought together 23 women academics with caring responsibilities to create a personal quilt panel documenting the impact of COVID-19 on the working lives of female women lecturers – the combined artwork is now on display on City Campus.
The project provided a bedrock for discussion, to protect and value women’s contributions to research and to begin to address the inequalities faced by them during the pandemic. The participants collaborated through a series of online workshops, finding strength and solidarity in the sharing of their stories through stitch and conversation.
Underpinned by theories of autoethnography to entice change through the sharing of personal stories (Ellis 2004), the legacy of women and stitch (Parker 1985), and Craftivism (Greer 2014) which has established the power of stitch to emancipate women from gendered inequalities, this story quilt visualises and voices their experiences of working as an academic during the COVID-19 lockdowns from March 2020 to the Spring of 2021.