Graduates 2023: Sid Upton: Fashion and Dress History

“This is a great time to network and build connections with fellow students and use resources provided by the university.”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

My dissertation was conceived from my interest in contemporary horror cinema and the depiction of the body in conjunction with queer identity. My work uses the films of French filmmaker Julia Ducournau to explore the representation of queerness within body horror, through a lens of violence and desire that challenges conventional notions of gender and sexuality. I was intrigued to start this thesis due to the nuanced and provocative depictions of the gendered body and used an interdisciplinary methodology consisting of queer theory, psychoanalysis, film studies to reveal a complex and multifaceted depiction of identity.

How have you found your course and what made you choose it?

I initially chose to study Fashion and Dress History because of my interest in 20th century subcultural style and love for Vivienne Westwood. That has not changed, but through comprehensive and exciting modules I have gained deeper knowledge and understanding of history, art, culture, and film that I might not have discovered without this course.

Was the location of Brighton more important than you thought it would be?

Being able to live in Brighton, the epicenter of individual style, was a large part of why I chose this course to begin with. It is where I have been able to understand myself and the people around me the most.

Can you tell us about your placement

I had the incredible opportunity of completing a placement at Screen Archive South East, while there I was asked to identify and contextualise the fashion seen in a collection of 1940s films by amateur filmmaker Winston Robinson. Through this placement I gained practical experience, and it made me consider the importance of audio-visual heritage as a key element of cultural ancestry and the historical and cultural value of collection and preservation. I had initially requested a placement as SASE because of my love of film, however this experience helped my realise I wanted to be an archivist.

What are your plans after graduation?

I would like to work as an archive assistant in order to gain more practical experience, then begin a masters in Archive and Records Management or Cultural Heritage.

If you could give you 16-year-old self any advice about going to university what would it be

I would tell them to explore their interests, university is an opportunity to discover new passions. To seek guidance when needed and embrace diverse and new perspectives, they may not have considered. This is a great time to network and build connections with fellow students and use resources provided by the university. To take care of their well-being, university can be stressful and mental health must be a priority.  But most important, enjoy the experience.

Follow Sid on Instagram:  @yendisbean

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