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Dr Basia Sliwinska

Senior Lecturer: Cultural and Historical Studies
London College of Fashion
Researcher Research
Barbara  Sliwinska


Dr Basia Sliwinska is an art historian and art theorist and has been developing research focused on visual activism, through feminist and transnational lenses, in 20th and 21stcentury women's art practice. She joined the University of the Arts London in 2017 where she works as a Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Historical Studies. Her areas of specialism, recent and ongoing research are situated within feminist art history and theory and focuses on concepts of the body, activism, gender, home and transnationalism in the works of women artists in 20th and 21st centuries. Previously, Basia worked in the School of Art and Design (Middlesex University) and at Loughborough University, where she developed an AHRC funded project entitled Migratory Homes (2013). Before joining Loughborough Basia was a research fellow at Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton) and an Associate Editor at the academic journal Third Text. Recent publications include: the solo-authored book The Female Body in the Looking-Glass. Contemporary Art, Aesthetics and Genderland (with I.B. Tauris, 2016; 2018); the co-edited book The Evolution of the Image: Political Action and the Digital Self (with Routledge, 2018); co-authored chapter 'Edge Effect: New Image Formations and Politics of Identity' (in New Media New Intimacies, Routledge, 2017); and co-edited the special issue of Third Text: 'Trans-figurations: Transnational Perspectives on Domestic Spaces' (2016).

Research statement

My recent and ongoing research is engaged with visual activism and transnational and intersectional figurations in contemporary women's art practice embracing existing and developing feminist impulses to interrogate questions of ethics, embodiment and representation in the era of new materialism and supposed post-humanism. In July 2018 I convened a symposium entitled Feminist Visual Activism at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. This initiated a larger project encompassing a session at the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand's conference (December 2018), and a forthcoming edited volume focusing on transnational perspectives in feminist visual activism.

My book, The Female Body in The Looking-Glass. Contemporary Art, Aesthetics and Genderland (I.B.Tauris 2016; 2018) focused on gender identity and the politics of visuality in the post-1989 practices of women artists from Central and Eastern Europe. The recent co-edited volume, The Evolution of the Image: Political Action and the Digital Self (Routledge 2018) explores the political efficacy of the image in digital communities and representations of the digital self as new forms and strategies of resistance. In my chapter I analyse 'Black Protests' in Poland concurrent to the tightening of abortion laws. In my previous projects I explored the concept of transnational and transcultural strategies of resistance in relation to domestic spaces. This includes a co-edited Third Text journal special issue (2016), the co-curated exhibition Home Strike (2018) at l'étrangère gallery, London, and the research project Migratory Homes (2013, funded by the AHRC).

Research interests
visual activism, artivism, feminism, the body, gender, ethics, women's contemporary art practice in historical, critical and philosophical contexts, visual cultures, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis.


Current research students

  • Ioanna Karagiorgou, Creation and representation of masculinities through male personal style bloggers (Joint supervisor)
  • Richard Sorger, MATERIAL into PRACTICE; PRACTICE onto BODY; BODY out to SPACE. Embellishment as a spatial concept: supplementing the fabric of identity and fashion through the growth of new techniques. (Joint supervisor)