Read on for a handpicked selection of the good, the bad and the one to try in the world of social impact communications. This week, we’re highlighting London’s diversity, Wollstonecraft’s statue, and a new app for women
| NAILED IT: HELP SHAPE LONDON’S STREETS
Following a year that shone a light on London’s inequities, City Hall has formed the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm to ensure our public spaces are telling the full story of the city’s diversity and culture.
Diversifying London’s public spaces is long overdue, as our Missing From British History campaign demonstrated. The City Hall initiative not only provides representation for communities whose contribution has been overlooked for decades, it also gives Londoners the opportunity to learn about some of the underappreciated achievements that have made the city what it is today.
Suggestions for new murals, sculpture trails and bus stations are already being accepted as part of this fantastic initiative. To join the discussion and suggest your own ideas, click here.
| ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: THE MOTHER OF FEMINISM GETS HONOURED WITH NUDITY
Whenever a historically important woman gets a statue, it’s a cause for celebration. And the mother of Western feminism deserves to be honoured more than most.
Unfortunately, last week’s unveiling of a statue in honour of Mary Wollstonecraft has divided opinion. The artist, Maggi Hambling, renowned for honouring historic figures like Oscar Wilde, argued that she prefers to respond to the “spirit” of her subjects rather than be constrained by “convention or preconceived demands.”
To many, however, it has simply put another anonymous naked woman into the public realm. The campaigner Caroline Criado Perez, who successfully campaigned for a statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, has called it “insulting” to Wollstonecraft’s memory, and a campaign to fund a fully clothed statue of Virginia Woolf has received thousands in response.
There’s nothing wrong with nakedness. But why did this statue, designed to symbolise the struggles of feminism, have to have the standard female body we’re already so used to seeing in a male-gaze culture? It feels like an opportunity has been missed to celebrate women for something other than their looks, for once.
You can donate to the Virginia Woolf statue fundraiser here.
| ONE TO TRY: NEW APP FOR SURVIVORS OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
Chayn, the online platform for survivors of gender-based violence, are releasing a new app this week for survivors to seek help, share their stories and join a supporting community.
Co-designed by survivors from Chayn’s own team and the wider community, the app will provide resources on trauma and recovery, including practical mental health and sexual wellbeing advice, guidance on how to disclose abuse, and information on legal and police procedures in the UK.
We love Chayn’s platform for its brilliant UX design, including its innovative Little Window chatbot which focuses on the safety and wellbeing of its users whilst maintaining a unique brand. No doubt the app will be more of the wonderful same.
You can attend their launch event this Thursday here: https://bit.ly/35AwSbO