I am an Historian, author, writer …three important aspects which make up the content of this blog. My writing has common themes of journeys, gender, art, seeing and ‘un-seeing’, my word for sight loss.
In June of 2017 I was appointed as the CEO of West London Vision, a new organisation which aims to improve the outcomes available to people with or at risk of sight loss living in West London. This is a move away from research but puts me in a much better place to highlight the issues which affects blind and partially sighted people. It also allows my work in inequality to come full circle by joining my experience of gender and LGBT issues with that of disability.
Historian, Author and writer
In my historical research I discovered 50 women who travelled to the Caribbean and Central America between 1820-1900. My thesis, about their perspectives and travel writing accounts, (including untranslated Spanish texts) contained 42! A mere snippet of this work is contained in this blog, please see the links above.
I have contributed to grey literature, newsletters and handbooks for Rights of Women (ROW) and the Women’s Resource centre (WRC). In the early 2000’s when the failure of some women’s groups was the result diminished financial and human resources, I helped run a series of events on capacity building with WRC. I also successfully applied for a grant to set up a small library of materials on grant making for women’s groups. I then wrote an article for the Library Association Record (now CILIP) about this lack of information resources for women’s organisations which helped to raise awareness of this issue. Although libraries in general are now low on local authority agendas, I still support them when I can. I occasionally write blog posts for Living Paintings, who maintain a library of tactile books for adults and children.
My work has also been published in Spare Rib and other feminist press, where I interviewed ground breaking black female writers such as Barbara Burford and Paule Marshall (the latter was the subject of my master’s dissertation). These women were before their time in dealing with topics such as body image and racial identity in Britain, the Caribbean and America. In 2014 I contributed an article to Centre’s LGBT Almanac on black women’s political activism in 1980’s Britain.
There is a selection of my work in Chroma a digital literary journal, and poetry on this blog. I recently took part in an event where I shared my experiences of sight loss in verse. (See My Spirit of Resistance). Entitled, Spirit of Resistance, this event was a celebration of the Extant performing arts company’s production of the same name, involving visually impaired people of various ages and backgrounds. An article appears on this blog and a video and review are on Extant’s website.
Please look around the site, I will be updating it regularly with projects and work I am doing.
Also leave your comments and let me know what you think.