Democratic Education Network organises student-led Silent Oppressions exhibition to challenge sexism in society

Politics and International Relations 6 April 2017

Silent oppressions

The student-led Democratic Education Network (DEN), a flagship initiative of the Department of Politics and International Relations, organised an exhibition titled Silent Oppressions at the University of Westminster on Friday 24 March.

Silent Oppressions was a visual art exhibition focused on promoting awareness and providing an artistic approach to the seemingly invisible issue of microsexism. Whilst it was primarily a gender themed event, the exhibition went on to explore this through an intersectional approach that challenged sexism, racism, disablism, Islamophobia as well as homophobia.

The initial idea for the Silent Oppressions exhibition came through a group of third-year Politics and International Relations students who were interested in gender issues and members of DEN, a platform that supports student-led projects. This exhibition project promoted student engagement across and outside London and strengthened the bridges between different departments and societies, the Students’ Union and the four campuses of the University.

According to the students who organised this: “This was a successful event which included videos, photography, installations, etc. Students came together as a group for a common goal and worked within the system to strive for equality.” The event was supported by the University of Westminster's Students' Union.

Congratulating the students for the exhibition, Dr Farhang Morady, the lead academic at DEN, said: “our network is about students’ engagement in areas which will make a real difference to the worlds in which they live – and what better way to express this than through a multimedia challenge to sexism?”

The exhibition is one of the many things that DEN has done since is inception in October 2016. DEN is an academic, student-led organisation at the Department of Politics and International Relations. It promotes social action and student engagement through local and international projects that solidify and enhance students' experiences. It provides numerous opportunities to transform your ideas into reality and making a real difference. 

According to Professor Dibyesh Anand, the Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations: “celebration of diversity has to go hand-in-hand with challenging prejudices in society and we are pleased to see our students taking the lead and engaging with stakeholders beyond the Department to come up with projects that help the Department, University and the world in becoming more inclusive.

We encourage our students and colleagues to constantly engage with the public sphere rather than become insular and this is evidenced, not only through this exhibition, but also through our research in the Centre for the Study of Democracy and our commitment to DEN.”

About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

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