MAI Manifesto

MAI provides a free open-access publication forum for feminist scholars, writers, artists and activists who address visual culture at large. Our authors operate under the assumption that female experiences are never uniform. Just like in everyday life, in art and media multiple other markers of social difference always influence expressions of female, agency, perspective and identity.

© Chandler Jernigan

MAI: An Intersectional Journal

We don’t want simply to say that this is a LGBTQI & intersectional feminist journal: we want it to be that markedly on every level from organisation to writing. We believe in the importance of inclusivity in any feminist conversation—in contrast to exclusivity & everything that it represents. This is the basis from which we work.

We debate women’s experiences & outputs as producers & audiences in visual culture cutting across racial, national, sexual & class divisions. Our authors trust that multiple other markers of social difference influence expressions of female perspective & identity in art & media.

Feminism must be intersectional. Otherwise, it will be stinking bullshit!

We’ve been inspired by the words of Angela Davis. Check out her speech from The 2017 Women’s March!

MAI: A Collective Journal

We, MAI founders & editors-in-chief set the remit & scope of the journal, but we have a consulting body of scholars, writers, artists & activists who work with us as a revolving board. We commission our contributors’ work & edit MAI together.

Our team effort ensures that the journal’s content is varied, timely & up-to-date. We update MAI’s content & make it available for free on a rolling basis.

We aim to facilitate a conversation without end.

MAI: A Diverse Journal

We welcome a variety of modes of writing & expression in response to visual culture from a feminist perspective. While we aim for high scholarly quality of thought & research, we believe that feminist debates shouldn’t be limited, and indeed, cannot always function or flourish inside traditional academia.

For this reason, we welcome scholarly feminist approaches to visual culture but don’t demand that articles adhere to a strict academic register. Next to academic studies, we welcome experimental forms of writing & visual thinking.

For us, the contemporary is just a point in the long cultural history. That’s why we’re interested in feminist research in today’s global visual culture, as well as that looking to the past.

We publish the following forms of feminist criticism & creative expression:

  • Studies on women in visual culture (contextual & representation analyses)
  • Polemical & provocative research on women’s media & art practice
  • Creative & poetic responses to works of art by female practitioners
  • Original biographies of prominent female practitioners whom the grand histories of art & media have overlooked
  • Biographies of feminist killjoys throughout history
  • Responses to & thoughts on television series & films from a feminist perspective
  • Pieces on feminist artistic activism
  • Feminist audience & reception research
  • Reinterpretations of misunderstood feminist art & media practice
  • Interviews & dialogues with feminist practitioners & theoreticians
  • Visual & audiovisual responses to feminist issues & politics
  • Re-evaluations of radical feminist texts that have been overlooked, underappreciated or reviled
  • Book, exhibitions & event reviews

MAI: A Journal with A Mission

Above all, MAI is a collective that seeks to uphold core feminist values of solidarity, compassion & agency. We believe that the future can be better & it starts with us learning to listen to one another. We think that feminist art & stuff makes the world a far better place – yes, we do!

An idealistic project with no funding in place, MAI is founded, written & maintained by dedicated feminists to provide the general public with access to feminist research & ideas.

As much as ‘we smash patriarchy’, we also try to smash the academic publisher’s paywall, even if just a bit.

Yours truly,

Anna Backman-Rogers (Gothenburg University, Sweden)

Anna Misiak (Falmouth University, UK)


PS. We hope for MAI to eventually become the basis for an annual creative & artistic retreat that will function as a holistic & inclusive alternative to the academic conference that will facilitate feminist discussion  and dialogue. We thank you for your patience and support.


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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