Who decides which artists are remembered and which are forgotten? With only a small fraction of the art in museums by women, efforts are being made, at the Venice Biennale and further afield, to change long-standing narratives.
Inside the Church of San Marziale, beside a canal in central Venice, specialist art handlers are high up on scaffolding above one of the church’s second altars, trying to tease out two canvases that have been nailed to the wall of the church for several hundred years.
The paintings, which are believed to date from the late 1720s or early 1730s, are by a woman artist called Giulia Lama. She may have been the first female artist in Venice to produce major commissions for churches. The daughter of an artist, she never married and was a mathematician and a published poet.
At the time she was dismissed by some of her male contemporaries. So much so that in 1728, an abbot and man of science, Antonio Conti, wrote: “The poor girl is persecuted by painters, but her virtues triumph over her enemies.”
According to some reports, the other artists and critics at the time focused on what they decided were her unremarkable, almost unappealing physical attributes – they asked how a woman of such prosaic appearance could produce such sophisticated paintings. More
A woman who took up running after she lost her left leg to cancer has passed the Guinness World Record for most consecutive marathons.
Jacky Hunt-Broersma, 46, has run 26.2-miles every day since mid-January, normally taking around five hours.
On Saturday, she completed her 104th consecutive marathon in as many days – an achievement she expects to be certified by Guinness World Records.
A spokesperson said certifying the record would take around three months.
Waking up on Sunday – a day off at long last – was a bizarre experience for Jacky.
“Part of me was really happy to be done,” she tells the BBC from her home in Arizona. “And the other part kept thinking I need to go running.”
Her body is also recovering from the record-chasing effort, despite having stopped. “I feel tighter than I have the whole 104 marathons,” she admits.
But Jacky – who was born and raised in South Africa, and has also lived in England and the Netherlands – is grateful. Because running has given her the confidence she was afraid she would never regain. More
Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 9 – 15 May and this year’s theme is loneliness. With this in mind we have chosen Frankie Bridge as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Frankie is a singer, songwriter and TV personality. She is a former member of groups S Club Juniors and The Saturdays and has appeared in various TV shows including Strictly Come Dancing, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and The Saturdays 24/7 and is a regular panellist on Loose Women.
Frankie is an ambassador for the mental health charity Mind and chose to support them after opening up about her experiences of anxiety, depression and panic attacks back in May 2012. Having initially dealt with these issues in silence, Frankie is keen to support Mind in making sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.
Frankie has leant her support to a number of Mind’s campaigns including Time to Talk Day and Move for Mind. During Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, Frankie guest-edited the Lifestyle section of Metro Online and penned an opinion piece highlighting Mind’s ‘Join the Fight’ campaign and sharing her reasons for supporting Mind’s work.
To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week see here
11 – 16 April is Parkinson’s Awareness Week and with this in mind we have chosen Paul Mayhew-Archer as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Following a brief career in teaching, during which he organised a school trip and got left behind, Paul Mayhew-Archer has spent the last 40 years trying to make people laugh.
He is a multi-award-winning writer whose credits include ‘The Vicar of Dibley’, “Mrs Brown’s Boys” and the screen version of “Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot” starring Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman. He also produced the much loved Radio 4 shows ‘I’m Sorry I haven’t A Clue’ and ‘Old Harry’s Game’, and as a script editor he has worked on everything from ‘Spitting Image’ to ‘Miranda’.
In 2011 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, an incurable illness that gets progressively worse and has over 50 symptoms. It is also – as Paul quickly found out – funny.
Since then he’s had some of the best times of his life.
In 2016 he made his first documentary, “Parkinson’s: The funny Side”, for which he won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Presenter.
In 2018 he took part in his first podcast, sitting next to The Archbishop of Canterbury and performed his first ever One Man show, “Incurable Optimist”, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
He now promotes the therapeutic power of laughter as a stand-up comedian, and is an active member of the Parkinson’s UK Oxford Branch. To find out more about Parkinson’s Awareness Week see here https://parkinsonscare.org.uk/awarenessweek/
University Mental Health Day is celebrated across the UK bringing the university community together to make mental health a university-wide priority and create ongoing change to the future of student and staff mental health.
We know that mental health hugely matters to our students and it matters to us. Universities, including ours, have an important role to play in promoting good mental health, identifying those who are starting to struggle early, and supporting those who have a mental health condition.
In what has been a challenging period, we’re focusing on the mental health and wellbeing of our community with a programme of workshops, discussions and resources for staff and students, ensuring that we continue to support each other and our mental health through these times.
The 5-day agenda will include sessions covering nature bathing, exercise and mental wellbeing, and support for staff from Confidential Care, as well as hearing from the Student Wellbeing team and Greenwich Students’ Union about student mental health.
In a session led by the university’s BAME staff network we will be discussing what some old civilisations and the global majority can teach us about mental health and wellbeing. Staff can receive guidance on supporting students with mental health needs, and we can learn more about the benefits of ‘switching off’..
On 3 March it is World Hearing Day and with that in mind we have chosen Chris Fonseca as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Chris is a professional dancer, choreographer, teacher and deaf ambassador. He specialises in Urban dance technique and works extensively across the UK and overseas – receiving both international invitations and commissions.
Chris drew early inspiration from the actor Michael ‘Boogaloo Shrimp’ Chambers and Old Skool dance techniques such as Electric Boogaloo, Popping, locking and B-Boying. Whilst attaining his degree in Graphic Communication, Chris was a founding member of Def Motion, an all-deaf dance group affiliated to Deaffest – the UK’s annual Deaf Film Festival.
Since then Chris has been involved in a variety of endeavours. In 2012, Chris appeared in the London Paralympics opening ceremony showcasing his talents as an accomplished dance artist and creator.
Other achievements have included – The Black Collective: Black History Month, Smirnoff’s Keep it Moving campaign, LinkedIn’s Chase the Great campaign, SKY1’s what’s up TV, BBC’s the One Show, BBC Three’s Amazing Human JBL: Sound to See campaign, BBC’s The Greatest Dancer, Blue Peter and touring the UK with the Wind in The Willows musical.
Time to Talk Day 2022 is on 3 February, with this in mind we have chosen Clarke Carlisle as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Clarke Carlisle is a former premier league footballer, Sky Sports pundit and PFA (Professional Footballers Association) Chairman. He is also an ambassador for the Mental Health Charity Mind.
Clarke was diagnosed with depression when he was playing professional football and, by becoming a Mind ambassador, helps to spread the message that there needs to be the understanding, freedom and awareness to address mental health in the same way as physical health.
Clarke, and his wife Carrie, won the Speaking Out Award at our Mind Media Awards in 2018. This award was given to Clarke in recognition of the significant impact he has had by sharing his own experience of mental health problems.
World Braille Day is on 4 January 2022, with that in mind we have chosen Amy Kavanagh as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.
Amy is a blind activist and freelance disability consultant who uses social media to share her experiences as a low vision Londoner.
She advocates through writing, policy influencing and public speaking. She is engaged with a variety of disability issues ranging from accessible gaming, disability hate crime, digital inclusion, public transport and disabled women’s rights.
In 2018 Amy started the #JustAskDontGrab hashtag, a now globally recognised campaign which raises awareness of the experiences of unwanted touching which many disabled people experience when navigating life in public. Over the last year, #JustAskDontGrab has also become a focal point for disabled women to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. Amy continues to campaign for disabled people to have their consent and boundaries respected.
When COVID-19 put the country into lockdown, Amy established The Staying Inn as an online space for disabled people feeling isolated during the pandemic. The pub has grown to a community of more than 2500 disabled and non-disabled people who enjoy events including quizzes, craft clubs, activist interviews and skills workshops. The Staying Inn has become a model for providing online accessible events and now delivers digital inclusion training for individuals and businesses.
In November 2020, Amy was partnered with Guide Dog Ava. This golden retriever diva has supported Amy to rebuild her confidence and embrace her independence after a difficult year. Amy hopes to continue building communities and spaces for disabled people to share their lived experience and campaign for a more inclusive world.
In 2021 Amy came fourth in The Disability Power 100 list.
The Beijing Winter Olympics will be the most gender-equal Games ever, data experts say.
Gracenote says the proportion of events in which women can compete will increase for the 11th successive Games – with 52.75% of events for men and 47.25% for women.
Women will have nearly four times as many events to participate in as they did in 1980.
The Games take place from 4-20 February.
The first Games in Chamonix, France in 1924 had only two events which women could participate – the figure skating mixed pairs competition and the ladies’ singles – but 14 events for men, and had a gender gap of 81.3%.
That gap has now declined to 5.5% for Beijing, with 12 of the 15 sports now gender-equal. Nordic combined is the only remaining sport with no female participation.