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Older Women Rock!

Leah Thornemail-imageLeah Thorn

Leah Thorn is a spoken word poet, activist, workshop facilitator and speaker. Working in collaboration with filmmakers, her award-winning poetry films have been screened at feminist, Jewish and poetry film festivals internationally. Leah has extensive experience of leading expressive writing workshops across the prison estate nationally and in 2012 she undertook a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship, visiting women’s prisons across the United States with theatre companies. In 2013 she received a Royal Society for Public Health Special Commendation Award for her contribution to Creative Arts and the Criminal Justice System. Leah is an Honorary Senior Fellow with the ImpACT Research Group, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of East Anglia. Her latest project, ‘a:dress’, is a campaign of art/activism using textile art, poetry, film and conversations to raise awareness about fast fashion and its contribution to climate crisis. The focus is on women and girls as they are disproportionately impacted by climate crisis globally and the main target, and makers, of fast fashion.

email-image leah@leahthorn.com

Abstract

In this article artist/activist Leah Thorn shares the processes and rationale underpinning ‘Older Women Rock!’, a project creating pop-up political art spaces to raise awareness and explore issues facing early-old-age women in their 60s and 70s. Through poetry, performance, retro clothes, film, consciousness-raising and listening skills, ‘Older Women Rock!’ celebrates older women, unites them across differences, challenges their invisibility and subverts society’s assumptions and prejudices about them. The project arose out of a 10-month Leverhulme Trust artist residency undertaken by Leah in 2015 at the Kent Academic Primary Care Unit, University of Kent, and the England Centre for Practice Development, Canterbury Christ Church University. The project was developed in 2017 through a Fellowship at Keele University Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Keywords

ageingwomenfeminismfashionclothespoetrypop-ups
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Published on: 10 August 2023
Volume: 11
Issue: Supplementary issue 2
Article ID: 169
Pages:169 - 196
Copyright statement
© The author(s) 2023.
Cite this article
Thorn (2023), ' Older Women Rock! ', Journal of the British Academy, 11(Supplementary issue 2): 169 https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/011s2.169

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Older Women Rock!

Leah Thornemail-imageLeah Thorn

Leah Thorn is a spoken word poet, activist, workshop facilitator and speaker. Working in collaboration with filmmakers, her award-winning poetry films have been screened at feminist, Jewish and poetry film festivals internationally. Leah has extensive experience of leading expressive writing workshops across the prison estate nationally and in 2012 she undertook a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship, visiting women’s prisons across the United States with theatre companies. In 2013 she received a Royal Society for Public Health Special Commendation Award for her contribution to Creative Arts and the Criminal Justice System. Leah is an Honorary Senior Fellow with the ImpACT Research Group, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of East Anglia. Her latest project, ‘a:dress’, is a campaign of art/activism using textile art, poetry, film and conversations to raise awareness about fast fashion and its contribution to climate crisis. The focus is on women and girls as they are disproportionately impacted by climate crisis globally and the main target, and makers, of fast fashion.

email-image leah@leahthorn.com