I’m Moshanty – Do You Love Me? A Spotlight on the Papua New Guinean trans community – film review.

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In honour of LGBTQ+ History month 2022, third-year BA Film Studies students are providing a series of weekly reviews that capture this year’s theme of Politics In Art: ‘The Arc Is Long’. This week, Lydia Cooper provides a film review of ‘I’m Moshanty – Do You Love Me?’, directed by Tim Wolff.

Films about the transgender community are few and far between and often made without the involvement of, or respect for, the community. Films about trans people outside Europe and the US are even more rare so I’m Moshanty – Do You Love Me?, a documentary about the LGBTQ community in Papua New Guinea, is particularly refreshing.

Shot from the film I’m Moshanty – Do You Love Me? dir. Tim Wolff, First Run Features, 2020. [Description: an image of a band performing on a stage. There are five band members in total, from left to right there is a keyboard player, guitar player, two singers in the middle and another guitarist. ]

I’m Moshanty – Do You Love Me?, centres on the late singer and activist, Moses Moshanty Tau, and the wider LGBTQ+ community in Papua New Guinea. As demonstrated by the statistics at the start of the film, Papua New Guinea is an incredibly dangerous place to be a woman, and trans women are even more at risk of discrimination, homelessness and violence.

Director Tim Wolff intercuts between Moshanty’s music videos, usually shot on beaches, and her discussing her career. The best scenes are when Moshanty and her friends are in the back of a truck going to Hula Village – a more accepting part of the country. These segments are a warm, light-hearted break from some of the more harrowing aspects of the film, as this space acts as a welcoming and accepting one, isolated from the rest of the country.

Moshanty and other members of the LGBTQ community also discuss the discrimination that trans women face in Papua New Guinea and this is highlighted about twenty minutes in, with a trans woman being attacked in the street. It’s not particularly violent but it is uncomfortable and forces you to remember the hostile environment these women are living in. Although Moshanty is respected as an artist she is repeatedly misgendered throughout the film and explicitly referred to as a gay man by her mother, a reminder that even though people are willing to accept some members of the LGBTQ+ community in Papua New Guinea they are still unaccepting of trans people.

I’m Moshanty – Do You Love Me? is not only a great documentary about an artist mostly unknown outside of their home country but also an eye-opening look into the trans community of Papua New Guinea that is equal parts sad, funny and hopeful.

Further Viewing on Kanopy:

Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger(2014) – Dir. Sam Feder

The Journey of Mona Lisa (2019)Dir. Nicole Costa

‘Dykes, Camera, Action! – A Celebration of Lesbians on Screen’- film review.

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In honour of LGBTQ+ History month 2022, third-year BA Film Studies students are providing a series of weekly reviews that capture this year’s theme of Politics In Art: ‘The Arc Is Long’. Next up, Dykes, Camera, Action! – A Celebration of Lesbians on Screen by Aoife Ranyell.

Women have always been marginalised within the filmmaking world – struggling to find a voice or a break in the male-dominated landscape. For lesbian and queer women, this is even more true. Although, thanks to a trailblazing group of female filmmakers and the 90’s New Queer Cinema movement, queer women have used their voices and made themselves visible.

Dykes, Camera, Action! is American filmmaker, Caroline Berler’s, first ever feature-length documentary film, showcasing the history of lesbian and queer cinema, told by the pioneering women who made it happen. Barbara Hammer, Cheryl Dunye, Yoruba Richen, Rose Troche, Desiree Akhavan, and many more, sit down and tell insightful first-hand stories of their lives and what motivated them to get involved with film – whether that was the social and political climate of the time, or frustration of not seeing accurate representation of queer identities on screen.

At its core, this is simply a very comforting and encouraging film to watch. The 61-minute runtime flies by and, to be honest, I could’ve easily watched another whole hour of it. If you’re already well-versed in the world of lesbian cinema, this film will reveal nothing ground-breaking, but it is still a very valuable watch and an excellent entry point to the genre if you’re new. It is so heartening to see women unapologetically talking about and celebrating the things that they love and enjoy: filmmaking, the queer films they love and hate, art, social activism, and (of course) other women. I recommend getting your notes app on hand (or a pen and paper, if you’re old school) to make note of the various films that they talk about.

Kanopy Further Viewing:

UWE LGBQT+ History Month event: Screening of Rebel Dykes (2021) at Arnolfini on 19 February 2022, open to UWE staff and students.

LGBTQ+ History month film recommendations

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In honour of LGBTQ+ History month starting today, third-year BA Film Studies students Lydia Cooper and Aoife Ranyell, are providing a series of weekly reviews that capture this year’s theme of Politics In Art: ‘The Arc Is Long’. First up is Lydia Cooper’s review of Caravaggio (1986).

Shot from the film, Caravaggio, dir. Derek Jarman, British Film Institute, 1986. [Description: A person sitting gazing into the distance with a dark backdrop. They are wearing a white top with their shoulder exposed and they are holding different fruits and leaves in their arms.]

January 31st would’ve been the pioneering queer filmmaker Derek Jarman’s 80th birthday, and with this in mind I re-watched his 1986 film Caravaggio.  Caravaggio was the first film of Jarman’s I saw and it’s still my favourite because, despite not having the outwardly political themes or avant-garde quality of some of his other films, Caravaggio’s style, aesthetic and character add together to make a perfectly composed film on queer art and history.

Caravaggio is an important film in British queer cinema because of its unapologetic portrayal of a historical figure in same-sex relationships. There has been much debate about Caravaggio’s sexuality, so for Jarman to show him as openly queer, without relying on subtextual homoeroticism, was (and, in some ways, still is) ground-breaking.

The film follows Caravaggio (Nigel Terry) as he reflects on his life as a young artist during the Italian Renaissance. The cinematography and framing are spectacular, making the film look like a prolonged series of paintings, bringing Caravaggio’s paintings to life and enriching them with the emotions of the film. Although the film doesn’t contain much dialogue and has a slightly slower pace, the beautiful colour palette evokes everything that extra words could not. The film is filled with striking reds, glistening golds and melancholy blues and purples, depicting the feelings of passion, religion, death, love, sex, loneliness and isolation shown throughout the film, and Caravaggio’s life. Jarman blends the past and the present to create a queer classic that evokes equal parts art, politics, desire and passion while breaking conventional film form to create a more radical take on the classic historical film.

All reviewed films are available to stream via Kanopy, where as a UWE Bristol student your membership is free.

Further viewing on Kanopy

Jubilee (1978) – Dir. Derek Jarman

Wittgenstein (1993) – Dir. Derek Jarman

Finally, if you have an EDI or Health and Wellbeing story to tell, please do get in touch at edi@uwe.ac.uk as we welcome contributions from all staff and students for our blog.

Taking pride in our campus 

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by Grace Biddulph, EDI Coordinator, EDI Team.

UWE contractor adds colour to Frenchay campus with Pride walkway  

Painter and decorator, Martin Clark, pictured above with Frenchay campus pride walkway.

Staff at UWE are always looking to integrate equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) into all aspects of our campuses. This may be through events, working groups, networks or through our physical environment that shapes the way we, as a community, promote an inclusive culture. Our working environment is connected to wellbeing and can be an opportunity to demonstrate allyship with under-represented groups. 

The Estates and Facilities teams, who are largely responsible for our working environment, are an essential part of embedding EDI into our campuses and were the catalyst for the new EDI champions programme. The programme originated with estates and facilitates, who meet monthly to discuss how to promote EDI within the service. The programme has now been scaled up to be university-wide, and EDI champions are currently being trained in most UWE professional services (staff only link). 

The latest EDI achievement of estates and facilities is the Pride walkway, located near E block on Frenchay campus, which has been refreshed this month. Each archway now represents a colour of the Pride rainbow flag, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. The archway is used by hundreds of staff and students daily, and the new colours are a great example of how physical spaces can be used to promote positive messaging.  

Painter and decorator, Martin Clark, who was the inspiration behind the new Pride flag walkway provides his reflections below and discusses how his idea to paint the walkway has contributed to creating a vibrant, and welcoming community.  

Please tell us your name, pronouns and role working with UWE.  

Martin Clark, he/him, I am a fully qualified painter & decorator. 

How long have you been working with UWE?  

I have been working on the UWE contract for GRAHAM FM for just over four years. 

Please let us know how the colour change came about, from white to the rainbow flag.

We (GRAHAM FM) were given instructions to refresh the walkway from E Block to the existing white colour as the existing paintwork was flaking and looking weathered. Whilst sanding down and preparing the posts to repaint, I thought the area would be received well if it was brightened up as when my work was done, nobody would have necessarily noticed the refreshed paint back to white, which would have been a shame as a lot of hard work and effort goes into this type of works. 

What inspired you to paint the arches in the rainbow flag colours? 

Our Contract Manager Nick Brown is always looking to support the core values that underpin Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity and has involved our GRAHAM team to share these values wherever possible or when the opportunity arises. I thought in this case, this would be a great opportunity to showcase the colours of the Pride rainbow in this area where a great deal of people will walk past, evidence, raise awareness and maybe start conversation. 

Please do take a minute to admire our new pride walkway and thanks to Martin for his creativity in adding colour to our campus. 

Finally, if you have an EDI or Health and Wellbeing story to tell, please do get in touch at edi@uwe.ac.uk as we welcome contributions from all staff for our blog.  

The Inclusive University Blog welcomes new EDI posts

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By Laura O’Brien, Reporting and Communications Manager, EDI Team

The last year has been an exciting one for EDI and Health & Wellbeing developments at UWE. In EDI we listened to feedback from staff and students and combined this with a deep analysis of data to identify three EDI priorities for 2023 (Bridging the Awarding Gap, Speak Up, and Staff Inclusion & Diversity), underpinned by the platform of Building Trust.

A key metric for the university is the awarding gap between different groups of students who are achieving a Good Honours degree, compared to those who are not.  The ethnicity awarding gap is the largest of the awarding gaps at UWE Bristol, so we are prioritising reducing this gap by a third by 2023, but we aim to eliminate all awarding gaps by 2030.

In 2019/20 UWE’s awarding gap between White and Black students was 31pp (percentage points), and this has reduced to 28.7pp this year. We remain above the sector average but the hard work of colleagues across the university has seen big improvements in many areas. We have been working with colleagues across the University to ensure everyone understands the experiences behind the award gap and develop actions to ensure parity of experience and outcome across all groups of students. The awarding gaps guide provides information and resources to address the awarding gap, and colleagues can ideas and resources in the awarding gap community of practice.

In addition to this, all of our faculties and the Professional Services now have well-established action plans, and regularly report on the progress of these plans to the EDI Committee (EDI Committee papers are available for all staff to view). Recruitment for EDI Champions is underway, and the first training sessions are being developed.

In Health and Wellbeing, we’ve developed an annual student roadmap and staff action plan to make sure we’re taking a whole university approach. We signed up to the University Mental Health Charter in July 2020 to improve support for staff and student mental health, and will be submitting an application before the summer. A large number of initiatives have been successfully delivered with many activities moving online, such as Feel Good, our Social Prescribing programme Living Well, and online provision from Wellbeing, Disability, Student Support, Careers and Study Skills, the SU, and the Centre for Music and Centre for Sport.

The Inclusive University blog (along with the Health and Wellbeing blog) will help us to share EDI and Health and Wellbeing work across the university and we welcome contributions from all staff. We’d love to hear about any work you’ve completed, future plans, upcoming events, and engagement activities. Let us know about any EDI or Health and Wellbeing initiatives which are currently running or being planned across the university. The Inclusive University blog is also the place for sharing ideas about what inclusive practice looks like for you in your day to day and reflecting on past events or learning.

If you have something you’d like to share, please let us know at edi@uwe.ac.uk.

Women’s Forum – LinkedIn and Building Your Personal Brand

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by Caris Rubenzer, Women’s Forum coordinator, and Immigration Advisor with Student and Academic Services

Women's Forum leaflets and biscuit tin

For the Women’s Forum June meeting, we invited Careers Consultant Tim Summers to come and talk to members over lunch (biscuits included) about LinkedIn and the benefits of creating and maintaining your ‘Personal Brand’.

For someone who was aware of LinkedIn as a concept, but had not managed to get past the profile creation stage (my account had been created back in 2013 and I had dutifully ignored it since then), I felt like this was a topic that would be useful for many women working in Higher Education.

Not only do studies indicate that women are less likely than men to apply for jobs where they feel they do not meet the job specification completely, but also that men and women actually employ different tactics to find jobs. Even more worrying, according to LinkedIn’s Gender Insights Report, recruiters are less likely to click on woman’s profile when searching for candidates.

Because of this, it is incredibly important for women to be aware of how valuable tools such as LinkedIn can be ultilised effectively to network, advertise and sell oneself as a unique individual with a wealth of expertise to offer employers.

Tim started the session by posing the following questions:

  • What does ‘Personal Brand’ mean to you?
  • How do you rate your social media confidence?
  • What positive change could LinkedIn support you to achieve?

From there, the Women’s Forum explored what LinkedIn has to offer and compiled a handy Top 10 Tips for creating your personal brand:

  1. Complete your profile! Include your work experience, job title and an engaging summary;
  2. Be engaging. ‘Add spice’ but don’t ‘over egg the pudding’. If your job title is Careers Consultant, it might be a bit over the top to label yourself as a ‘Transformation Specialist’;
  3. Edit your public profile URL. This will be easier to remember and share. You can also add it to your CV!
  4. Add connections. Don’t be shy! Write a note with your request explaining why you’d like to connect. You’ll be surprised with how effective this can be;
  5. Engage with the newsfeed. Commenting, posting and sharing on LinkedIn gets your name out there and you’re more likely to be recognised within your sector;
  6. Post questions. Posting questions can encourage others to engage with you and raise your profile;
  7. Join groups. Joining groups relevant to your sector provides a wider network and many more opportunities you may have otherwise missed;
  8. 5 minutes a day. Just 5 minutes engagement per day can inform algorithms to make LinkedIn much more relevant to you;
  9. LinkedIn Salary. Use this LinkedIn feature to compare salaries of similar jobs or to see what you can expect if moving into another sector;
  10. I’m free! Actively looking for another job or just keeping an eye out? You can turn on the “Open” option on LinkedIn to notify employers that you’re available.

Tim ended the session by providing some useful links for those who would like to find out more on the subject, including HE-specific resources created by LinkedIn:

UWE Bristol also provides career development support for staff. The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) (staff only) offers 1 hour career consultations.

Additionally, UWE Bristol runs a mentoring scheme (staff only) which assists all staff with their career development and finding professional opportunities.

To summarise, the session was a short but useful introduction on the possibilities of using LinkedIn to enhance the way you navigate the often intimidating world of job hunting or networking within your chosen sector.

For me personally, the session inspired me to go through my now ancient account and give it a little spruce. The idea that 5 minutes of engagement a day can enhance your professional life astronomically seems like a win-win situation. If you also take into consideration the statistics around women not feeling confident about applying for certain jobs, engaging with LinkedIn can give you that extra confidence to go for that job you may have previously disregarded as an impossible dream.

If you are interested in finding out more about this session or the Women’s Forum in general, please contact us at womensforum@uwe.ac.uk

You can connect with Caris Rubenzer on twitter at @CarisRubenzer, or on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caris-rubenzer/.

‘Redefining my disability’

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by Sophie Savage, Disability Project Officer, HAS Widening Participation Team 

I attended the Students’ Union’s ‘Redefining Disability Panel’ last week, which I think utilised some really well developed questions from Samuel Cornelius-Light (Students’ Union Disabled Students’ Officer), and the panel had a range of different backgrounds and experiences that they shared which were thought provoking and passionately delivered.

The importance of active listening was highlighted on multiple occasions in regard to how to best communicate with and support those with particular needs. In addition to challenging assumptions of what the lives of disabled people might look like – sport, performing on stage, going clubbing, ballet were all mentioned as activities enjoyed by the panelists and adaptation being the key for inclusion for all.

I felt fortunate to be a member of the audience, however if there was any criticism to be had, it would be that it was a shame there wasn’t a bigger audience for this fab panel to interact with.

Gender Networks: A Network for Network Leaders

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By Aimée Atkinson, Faculty and Service Liaison Manager on the Student Journey Programme, and one of UWE Bristol’s Women’s Forum Coordinators

Back in October I made the trip to London to attend a breakfast meeting hosted by Gender Networks. This is a network specifically for people who lead, chair or coordinate networks in their own organisations, across a broad range of sectors and industries. The Gender Network aims to support networks, at all stages of maturity, and offer to help network leaders find mentors from across sectors to help them take their network where they want it to go. Their meetings are an opportunity to be informed of the latest issues, as well as a chance to hear from a broad range of speakers, and an opportunity to share best practices. This is a membership organisation, and UWE Bristol’s Women’s Forum Coordinators had been invited to attend as guests of Vanessa Vallely OBE.

Vanessa, pictured above is an author, speaker and entrepreneur and is best known for launching We Are The City as a vehicle to help women progress in their careers. Vanessa also founded the diversity forum Gender Networks, the Rising Star Awards and TechWomen100 awards. A number of staff from UWE Bristol have won Rising Star Awards historically, including Jessica Coggins and Janice St. John-Matthews. Vanessa is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to Women and the Economy. One of the highlights of my day was meeting Vanessa, who despite her status is both warm, and approachable, as well as inspirational.

The meeting was being hosted by Investec, who are part of the network. Members take it in turns to host the quarterly meetings, and they usually take place in London. Investec are known for their zebra, and attendees were delighted to see the zebra was also in attendance! (See image in top left of tweet above).

The whole event only took a total of 2 hours, beginning at 8am with a breakfast reception and an opportunity to meet fellow attendees. Most of the women I spoke to were based in London, however some had traveled from Manchester and Leeds, including Simone Roche, CEO and founder of Northern Power Women.

Despite being a short event, it was definitely action packed! After an introduction from Vanessa and a welcome from our Investec hosts, where they told us about their Taboo series, and the work they’d done to bring sceptics on board, as well as how they’d opened up their women’s network to male allies. We were then treated to a round up of gender related news from Harriet Minter who is a journalist and broadcaster. Harriet talked us through how companies can ensure maternity leave does not hurt a woman’s career, how Facebook have gotten into trouble for targeting their job adverts, the importance of gender allies in public as well as private spheres, the rise of working mothers, and the need to have women on boards.

Following the round up of the news, Vanessa encouraged us all to do some speed networking, with a twist. Vanessa encourages networking at all the events she hosts, and has noticed that people tend to network with people that look like themselves. All the blondes talk to blondes, the people with glasses find someone else with glasses. Therefore Vanessa set us the challenge of talking to someone who didn’t look like we did. I thought this was an interesting approach, and while enforced networking can often feel a bit forced, or awkward, fortunately this didn’t!

This was followed by table work, where the room organised themselves into small groups and shared their local successes, plans, and best practices.

Following this was a series of inspirational speakers, which began with Ann Francke, author and CEO of the Chartered Management Institute. Ann spoke about the gender pay gap, a topic she is an expert in, and one she has spoken about very regularly. Ann talked about the Broken Window Effect – this is a criminology theory, and refers to the work undertaken by New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton in 1990s in which tackling small crimes such as graffiti and broken windows lead to a reduction in crime rates. Ann argued that by tolerating small gender slights we are a long way off solving the bigger issues, such as the gender pay gap.

Ann was followed by Heather Melville, OBE. Heather talked about the need to diversify networks, and that by diversifying speakers it can encourage a diversified membership. Heather also spoke about the importance of sustainable networks and the need to encourage new leaders. She talked about the risk of a network hinging on one person, and that if that person leaves, it is possible the whole network can fall apart. Not only this, but it is a good development opportunity to bring new leaders on board, and it doesn’t have to mean you, as a leader, leaving the network entirely.

Heather was followed by Sherry Coutu, CBE. Sherry spoke about Founders4Schools and the importance of children, and particularly girls, needing role models, and how these are not always evident in their family or local community. Therefore Founders4Schools aims to inspire school aged children to reach their potential by providing them with role models, and in particular role models that they can relate to.

All in all it was an action packed, inspiring couple of hours, and there’s definitely lessons that UWE’s Women’s Forum can learn from the speakers. And what’s more these lessons are easy to share with any of the other staff networks at UWE, particularly around sustainable networks and diversifying speakers, to in turn diversify membership.

Using the strengths-based approach in student placements

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By Sarah J. Davies – Social Work Placements Co-ordinator. April 2018.

The field of Social Work has developed a method or philosophy called the ‘strengths-based’ approach which can be liberating for everybody to consider using.

When applying a strengths-based approach to student or staff learning, we focus on what the individual can already do, rather than on their problems, limitations or ‘lack’ of particular skills and knowledge. As part of the strengths-based approach, the student would be seen as empowered, “capable of solving their own problems,” and taking a pro-active part in their learning rather than UWE (and its partner educators) being the ‘experts’ who diagnose a student’s situation and determine what should be done (See www.oxfordbibliographies.com). The ‘strengths-based’ approach demands a more collaborative relationship between the student and UWE. The student is encouraged to take the initiative in identifying systems and strategies to support them on their journey towards completing a qualification.

At UWE, inclusivity is a core value, and the diverse student population is one of our greatest strengths. In my role as the placements co-ordinator for Social Work, one of the biggest challenges can be securing placements for this diverse population.

For many years, our partner Practice Learning Co-ordinators would receive the batch of student papers and we would have a similar conversation. Very often, the Co-ordinator might express concerns at the students’ age and lack of direct experience. And each time I would remind them that we measure our undergraduates by aptitude, not experience.

The truth of the matter is that sometimes students coming straight from school can be perceptive, with a lot of experience relevant to their chosen profession, and then sometimes they are not. Occasionally, a student in their 40s can have less professional awareness than one in their early 20s. So age is clearly not the right benchmark for assessing people.

The strengths-based philosophy offers an alternative view which helpfully focuses on students’ skills and knowledge. A young student, for example, could be seen as part of an IT-savvy generation who might be quick to understand the benefits of social media and flexible enough to move with rapid technological change. Such learners might be fast to pick up complex local authority IT systems for the managing of cases and care packages within the Social Work profession.

Putting it into practice

In the past, conversations with Practice Learning Co-ordinators used to end with an agreed compromise – I would offer to ring the students to fish for information and see whether the given résumé could be improved.

For example, on one occasion, I rang a young student with a notably sparse employment history and prepared to improvise.

“Can you tell me anything more?” I said in my most encouraging tones, “Anything relevant at all?”

“Well, I did used to work in a nursery”, the student said tentatively, in fact so tentatively that my next question was,

“Plants or children?”

“Children”, they answered, amused.

I was left wondering why they hadn’t written this down. Had the student come to see paid work with small children as such low status work that it didn’t qualify as ‘social care’, but as a more elaborate form of ‘babysitting’? Perhaps there were cultural perceptions involved?

In the years that followed, we shifted to working with a more strengths-based approach. We organised preparation sessions, involving our Practice Learning Co-ordinators, to teach students the value of their own previous experience. Transferable skills gained in pubs and shops, such as customer service and administration, were definitely relevant to the ever-changing Social Work profession.

Our processes in 2018 started with a radically new suggestion. A new academic colleague asked:

‘What if we did away with gender, age and ethnicity on this form?’

On the one hand, some agencies might justifiably need to know. Residential settings (for looked-after children, for example) sometimes have good practice guidelines about the gap in age between the oldest service user and youngest member of staff (not less than five years). In the past, some secure units, such as young offenders’ institutes, used to follow a similar policy.

We chewed over our distinctly ‘UWE’ undergraduate problem. – The ‘young student’ question is less of an issue for Bristol University, who run a master’s programme only and can therefore guarantee a higher age threshold for  its cohorts of social work trainees. Age can, of course, be guessed at from earliest employment years, but somehow we felt that the act of removing this box from the front page would make youth less prominent.

We consulted with colleagues at Bristol University, compared, and contrasted template placement forms.  No age, gender or ethnicity there. For all the extra layers of administration, we decided to chuck in a ‘curved ball’ and go for it. Age is now ‘out’ of our forms and to see how we got on, you will have to watch this space . . .


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