Lydia Tuan

Lydia Tuan is a PhD candidate in the departments of Film and Media Studies and Italian Studies at Yale University. She is writing a dissertation on the conceptualisation of elemental cinema at the intersection of film studies and elemental media studies. The project seeks to redefine the term ‘elemental cinema,’ by proposing it as a formal-aesthetic mode through which the four Aristotelian elements contribute to an aesthetics of displacement through portrayals of everyday hardships on film, such as migration and environmental disaster. She has previously published on the cinema of Paolo Sorrentino, Lisandro Alonso, and Naomi Kawase.


Examining how Varda confronts biological time with cinematic time, Tuan explores her feminist use of the essayistic form as self-portraiture.


Feeling inspired by MAI? Dedicated to intersectional gender politics in visual culture? Want to keep your feminist imagination on fire? MAI newsletter will help refresh your zeal for feminism with first-hand news on our new content. 

Subscribe below to stay up-to-date.

* We'll never share your email address with any third parties.


The team of MAI supporters and contributors is always expanding. We’re honoured to have a specialist collective of editors, whose enthusiasm & talent gave birth to MAI.

However, to turn our MAI dream into reality, we also relied on assistance from high-quality experts in web design, development and photography. Here we’d like to acknowledge their hard work and commitment to the feminist cause. Our feminist ‘thank you’ goes to:

Dots+Circles – a digital agency determined to make a difference, who’ve designed and built our MAI website. Their continuous support became a digital catalyst to our idealistic project.
Guy Martin – an award-winning and widely published British photographer who’s kindly agreed to share his images with our readers

Chandler Jernigan – a talented young American photographer whose portraits hugely enriched the visuals of MAI website
Matt Gillespie – a gifted professional British photographer who with no hesitation gave us permission to use some of his work
Julia Carbonell – an emerging Spanish photographer whose sharp outlook at contemporary women grasped our feminist attention
Ana Pedreira – a self-taught Portuguese photographer whose imagery from women protests beams with feminist aura
And other photographers whose images have been reproduced here: Cezanne Ali, Les Anderson, Mike Wilson, Annie Spratt, Cristian Newman, Peter Hershey