Exploring the Female Film Student Experience in #MeToo Society
by: Ruby Aylin , January 27, 2020
by: Ruby Aylin , January 27, 2020
MAI is delighted to include Ruby Aylin’s brilliant video essay in its pedagogy issue. Aylin made the film for a module on her filmmaking undergraduate course at a UK university, and in it she responds to the pedagogical approach that she observed as underpinning her learning. That is: male-centric, and with few opportunities to learn about women filmmakers or discuss the issues affecting women on sets and in the industry today. Thus, the video uses Aylin’s own footage, alongside documentary images, to tell a personal story that is always political. It both recognises and analyses how the gendered nature of film education can inform taste, impact careers, and affect women’s daily lives. Aylin’s valuable insights and self-reflection, alongside the dynamic nature of her storytelling and nuanced handling of the Weinstein case, are testament not only to her talent as a filmmaker, but also how important women’s voices are in educational spaces when they are able to make themselves heard.
On a personal note, I’m also deeply honoured to introduce Aylin’s video because it responds to an article that I wrote and that MAI published in 2018 (‘Fuck the Canon’). Seeing Aylin take inspiration from and critique that essay is, for me, seeing feminist pedagogy and network-building in action. That I learned so much from her work speaks to the need for non-hierarchal learning environments and our radical rejection of the top-down, patriarchal models of teaching that are taught to us (or rather, imposed upon us) by the UK education system.
Now, as right-wing backlashes continue against the most marginalised people in our society (women of colour, trans women, disabled people, non-binary people, queer people, and more besides), and against Arts and Humanities subjects, it is critical that we support and amplify feminist pedagogy wherever and whenever we can. While all of our learning may be shaped by different approaches, boundaries, and experiences, we are a community that can create new worlds through our sharing of knowledge and ideas. I hope that Aylin’s brave and powerful video essay inspires more people to engage in feminist thinking and practice. I have no doubt that her work will play a part in others making positive changes to their learning environments, and beyond, too.
WHO SUPPORTS US
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