Jacqueline Yip (BSc International Relations) and Kristina Misheva (BSc International Relations)

‘Celebrating Protest: International Women’s Day’ is a short documentary film created by Jacqueline Yip and Kristina Misheva; two former students of (IR318) at LSE (Visual International Politics). The film documents protests in the streets of London by the group Million Women Rise (MWR) on International Women’s Day 2015. The film unfolds to analyse the history of the event through interviews with academics and key co-ordinators who strive for international women’s issues to be recognised on a wider basis. The documentary briefly explores the progression of women’s movements in the last century, followed by efforts taken in order for International Women’s Day to be taken seriously in the public sphere. The film draws attention to the most common threats that women face globally such as domestic violence and the androcentric politics of war. The film highlights that governments and policy makers need to do more in order to recognise the international scale of the problems which women face. The directors show how International Women’s Day symbolises both a celebration and a protest; on the one hand, an expression of women’s ideas, opinion and voices, yet on the other hand, a sense that more needs to be done to empower a generation of women globally.

IR318 (Visual International Politics) was introduced as a new course at LSE in 2014 by Professor Callahan. The course identifies the importance that images play in shaping our understanding in a visual age. In our daily lives we are bombarded with visual sources: photographs, films, televisions, maps – to name but a few – all of which have an impact on political phenomena, our personal perceptions and public responses in general. The course is built upon the triangular basis of the conceptual, empirical and practical encompassed within theoretical debates, concrete case studies and film making experience. In the words of Professor Callahan the course aims to equip students with a ‘critical analysis of visual media’.

Kristina Misheva and Jacqueline Yip both expressed their thoughts on having the opportunity to be part of the first cohort of students to take IR318:

For Kristina, the course offered an, “interesting and different twist to international politics” which analysed the “relation between visualisation and core IR concepts”.

For Jacqueline, the course provided a “freedom and ownership of work” incongruous to other more formally structured courses at the LSE.

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