Naomi is currently in her final year of studying Textiles at Edinburgh College of Art. Over the past six years she has gained knowledge and skills in various Textile Techniques such as screen printing, embroidery and computer aided design. Naomi would describe her work as being playful, reflective and experimental with a particular interest in designing for Childrenswear.
Naomi recently designed an oversized poncho which was made from an up-cycled woollen blanket which featured a large floral uterus design which was heavily embroidered and digitally printed. This particular piece of work was featured in the ECA fashion show and was representational of womanhood, motherhood and the journey and choices that all women must make in life; it was a statement of empowerment.
Naomi has faced the challenges and amazing rewards of being a young, single mother and this is something that Naomi wants to portray in more of her work to open up the discussion and share her story proudly as well as listening to others.
Naomi will be facilitating a Textile-based workshop to support the 16 days of activism.
Kathryn (Kat) Rezai is a PhD student at Edinburgh Napier University. Her research explores the relationship between Instagram branded content and millennial women’s self-image. Since starting her PhD, Kat has become active in challenging the ways in which women are portrayed in
contemporary advertisements. Kat has used her research to teach students about the issues with gendered advertisements in modules: Marketing and Society and Marketing Ethics. Outside academia, Kat has continued to become active in a feminist quest to challenge female gender stereotypes. In April 2017, Kat gave a guest lecture to sixth form pupils at King Edward VI School in Morpeth on the dangerous ways in which women are portrayed in advertisements, and a separate lecture on social media safety awareness. She participated in the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA, 2017) major report on gender stereotypes in advertising as a seminar attendee to give expert advice on addressing harms and risks of gender portrayals, such as sexual objectification, gender roles, and violence, to name a few. Since January 2017, Kat has embarked on stand-up comedy as a new platform to raise awareness of gendered ads to the public audience. From doing
impressions of gendered ads, to revising slogans into ‘reality’ one-liners, Kat is using humour to highlight the dangers of female gender stereotypes.
Caitlin Huynh has a third culture identity, having moved from Vietnam to the States at a very young age. She is often very critical and observant of the world around her. For this reason she is pursuing International Studies at Virginia Tech. In this field of study she feels as though she is constantly being introduced to and is learning from other cultures. Her background and experiences growing up have definitely contributed to why she wants to share her knowledge and viewpoint with the world and others. She hopes by doing so, she can raise awareness across issues, whether those be gender equality or indigenous rights. Please see her article for more information on her journey into politics from Vietnam to America.
Monika Śledziowska is currently a PhD student in neuroscience at Cardiff University. She hails from Poland, a patriarchal society, where women’s rights are still limited. In the past, she has volunteered for a charity organisation based in Poland, providing medical equipment for hospitals. After moving to the UK, she has obtained a BSc degree in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh. During her time in Edinburgh, she worked with an undergraduate research group on a project concerned with gender bias in perception of academic research. At the moment, in addition to her PhD, she is volunteering for First Aid Africa, teaching first aid and supporting the research division of the charity. The message behind 16 Days deeply resonates with Monika and she hopes to help make it a success.
Ben started training in traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu with Edinburgh Jitsu in 2002 under the tutelage of Shihan Paul Golz. He obtained his 1st Dan in 2010, and has been teaching at Edinburgh Jitsu ever since. He has also spent 12 months learning with the Sensei of Jitsu Canada in Toronto. He runs Edinburgh Jitsu Youth, and is the lead instructor for Edinburgh Jitsu. He has a reputation as an approachable and patient instructor. Ben is a passionate believer that jitsu can be of benefit to all, and that martial arts can also be fun whilst also being very effective.
Harriet Fildes is a writer, journalist and academic, currently teaching at the University of Stirling having recently completed her Ph.D at the University of Edinburgh. Her research explores civil society and its impact on foreign policy, soft power and international diplomacy. She has been published by Peter Lang, Taylor and Francis, OpenDemocracy and the Center for Research and Policy on Turkey amongst others, as well as consulting for The Times, BBC, Russia Today and more. She writes regularly on freedom of expression, human rights – particularly for women and the LGBTQ community – foreign policy and social movements in the Middle East, and is the Managing Editor of Independent Turkey, described by Solidar as “one of Turkey’s last remaining independent media outlets”.
Apart from her experience in academia and journalism, she works alongside numerous civil society organisations in Scotland and Turkey on international solidarity initiatives such as the Edinburgh World Justice Festival, for which she is a member of the executive board and current festival coordinator. The festival launched in 2005 and is now a well-established annual series of events mobilising thousands of people across Scotland and connecting public engagement, policy, research and social movements to further progressive change around the globe.
She was born in Manchester, and educated at Aberystwyth University before pursing her advanced degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies where she was awarded the Standard Chartered Scholarship. Prior to this, she worked as an editor and reporter in the UK and the Middle East, was Programme Director at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin in 2012, Research Fellow at Bilkent University in 2013, Editor for Research Turkey from 2015 and has been a member of the New Foreign Policy think tank since 2017.