Save the Date: Media Representations of Domestic Violence – Thursday Feb 7th

How is domestic violence portrayed in the mainstream media?  Is it represented as a crime primarily affecting the disenfranchised – for example, the working classes or ethnic communities?  How does this representation create a power dynamic and the potential for exploitation between media practitioners and survivors with lived experience of domestic violence? 

These and other important questions will be discussed at this collaborative event with the Department of Media and Communications and the Gender Department at LSE, in association with On Road Media and Clear Lines. 

Introducing our speakers

Our confirmed speakers will be: Penny East (Survivor and Head of Communications, SafeLives), Nathalie McDermott (Founder, On Road Media), and Zing Tsjeng (Broadly Editor, Vice Media).  Dr. Sadie Wearing from the Gender Dept will chair.

Penny East, Survivor and Head of Communications, SafeLives

Penny is Head of Communication at SafeLives, a national domestic abuse charity. Penny was motivated to join SafeLives after experiencing an abusive and controlling relationship in her twenties. She now works to raise awareness of the issue but also the challenges faced by survivors in being heard, understood and supported. She works with the media on a regular basis, on survivor stories, data and the urgent need to change the public conversation around abuse. Penny was a Fellow on the Clore Social Leadership Programme 2017 and specialised in gender equality. She is a keen writer and recently wrote about her experience for the New Statesman. Before joining SafeLives, she worked for charities such as Comic Relief. 

Nathalie McDermott, Founder and Chief Executive, On Road Media

Nathalie is a former broadcast journalist, and worked at the BBC, Guardian and Media for Development where she set up the Prison Radio Outreach Project in Wandsworth Prison. In 2008 she founded On Road Media, a charity that improves media coverage of communities that are misrepresented and misunderstood. They connect journalists with people with lived experience of social issues to inspire new storylines in soaps, TV dramas, factual and comedy, as well as improving news coverage. They support activists to do this work safely and with agency, including practising self-care, building confidence through peer support, and learning strategic communication techniques when choosing which parts of a personal story to tell, when and why for maximum impact.

Nathalie oversees Angles: A Different Take on Sexual and Domestic Abuse (New Radicals 2018 winner) and award-winning All About Trans, which have both leveraged over £6 million in positive British programming in the media.

Zing Tsjeng, UK Editor of Broadly at Vice Media

Zing Tsjeng is the UK editor of Broadly, VICE’s channel for millennial women. She has written about feminism, arts and culture, politics, race and LGBTQ identity for publications like the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Dazed, i-D magazine and The Debrief. Zing is also a presenter for VICE, and her most recent documentary (Britain First vs Antifascists vs Police) attracted 1.5 million views on Facebook.

Zing is a keen speaker and panelist, and has appeared on BBC Woman’s Hour and moderated live events at the BFI, SXSW, Web Summit and HowTheLightGetsIn festival. In 2017 she was nominated for the Pride Power List, which celebrates the achievements of influential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Zing is the author of the feminist series, Forgotten Women, published by Octopus. Most recently Broadly’s team launched the #UnfollowMe anti-stalking campaign in partnership with Paladin Charity highlighting the need to change our approach to stalking and update the law. Follow Zing on Twitter.

Chair: Dr. Sadie Wearing, Dept of Gender Studies 

Sadie Wearing’s research and teaching interests are in the critical analysis of literary, visual and media culture with specific interest in representations of aging, temporality and memory in both historical and contemporary contexts. Her work is concerned with questions of the political implications of deployments of cultural understandings of time, memory and the body. Specifically she examines the ways in which literary and cinematic narratives articulate contested cultural processes including questions of public and private memory, national identity, heritage and belongings, gender sexuality and aging. She has written on the questions raised by adaptations of literary and biographical texts and the specificity of cinematic forms of memory and forgetting, and at how these might be understood in relation to postcolonial theory, postfeminism and contemporary formations of celebrity.

Sadie’s recent work examines the ways in which cinema, literature and popular culture reflect and complicate wider cultural assumptions about aging, memory and temporality, and the complexity of the ways in which aging subjectivities, constructions and embodiments are produced and reproduced.

Event details

This series of events is dedicated to exploring how the media represents different forms of gender-based violence, and the kind of ‘voice’ given to survivors.  They are also designed to provide a fruitful dialogue between those with lived experience, those who represent that experience, and those who study these media representations. Concepts explored will include voice, audience, the public sphere, agency, and recovery from trauma. Keep an eye out for our next event in the series too. On Wednesday March 20th, we’ll be hosting a special screening of the critically acclaimed documentary Even When I Fall, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Our 7th Febuary event will be followed by a reception, providing a space for survivors, frontline workers, journalists, advocates, academics, and the public to build useful connections.  This event is free and open to the public.  Attendance is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so do arrive early to ensure yourself a seat. 

Media Representations of Domestic Violence, Thursday Feb 7th


The London School of Economics

Thai Theatre

New Academic Building (NAB)

54 Lincolns Inn Fields


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