I wanted to do this project because I have a strong interest in feminist history and theory. My university studies mainly focus on second-wave feminism, so it was new for me to go even further back in history to women's suffrage and uncover all these precursors to feminism as we know it today. It has been so interesting to learn more about women’s suffrage with a new focus on working-class figures and a subaltern study of the suffragette movement through the Breaking Barriers project.
Taking part in the Student Research portfolio, in general, was also a great opportunity for me to gain experience in exhibition design and curation during a time that hasn't permitted me to volunteer in museums as it gave me the freedom to present academic research through a creative, non-traditional output of our choice.
My main role during this project has been focusing on designing the Breaking Barriers online exhibition and webpage that we have decided to present our research on. This required working with the researchers to curate the research we have collated throughout the project and planning the narrative we wanted to convey through the exhibition. I was also responsible for designing the graphics that we have used to keep a consistent branding for the project.
Since our team is mostly comprised of very talented History students who already have experience conducting archival research, I decided in the early phases of the project to incorporate my skills and knowledge gained from my Art History degree to take on a more design/curation-oriented role in the project. This was quite ambitious of me considering I have very little experience in web design, and this was my first time designing an exhibition so there were a lot of unanticipated challenges I faced such as the right to use certain images the researchers found, especially since they had to use unconventional resources to find these relatively unknown figures. But despite these challenges being a part of making an accessible historical online resource has been a very educational and rewarding process.