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Displacement and the impact on gender based violence.

29 November 2018

Researchers from Bristol University will host a conference today (Thursday 29 November 2018) to present findings from a two year project looking at the impact of displacement on gender based violence in both Bristol and Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Gender and Displacement project funded by the UK government under their Global Challenges Research Fund saw Bristol academics collaborate with colleagues from the Gender and Violence Study Centre at the University of Sulaymaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

Using Art and Collaborative Approaches with displaced groups of men and women in Bristol and groups of refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan, including Yazidi women, researchers found that art was a useful way to start conversations about how gender impacts on the experience of displacement.

The project raised a wide range of issues relevant to displaced people in both Bristol and Iraqi Kurdistan such as:

  • A lack of childcare in the UK when displaced communities no longer have extended family networks to draw upon
  • Structural inequalities impacting on professional and qualified men and women using those qualifications in the UK context
  • Limits on the movement of women in refugee camps, including when accessing education

These themes were then used to provide rich creative content for a number of art project outcomes such as poetry, theatre, creative writing, art, music, photography, and film. 

One example of this is HERE/THERE: To be a woman (Part II) commissioned by Dr Emma Williamson. The collaboration between artist Ellie Shipman and author and women's rights journalist Sian Norris consisted of four creative workshops with a group of women who have experienced displacement mainly from Iraqi Kurdistan, resulting in the design of two fabrics and creation of two chairs, a project newspaper and piece of short fiction. 

The findings from this project will now be taken forward by our partners PAO, The Heartland Alliance, and DHRD in Iraqi Kurdistan, and by Ashley Community Housing and Barton Hill Settlement in Bristol. 

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