Emma Campbell
EMMA CAMPBELL
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Projects and Publications

When they put their hands out like scales - Interview with Emma Campbell

You mentioned activism, do you consider yourself an activist artist?

When I was living in London I had a very minor involvement with activist feminist groups but this contact was mainly academic. When I started this project I would not have said I was an activist artist, rather that I was politically engaged. However now I would definitely consider myself an activist. Because I became so involved with this project I equally became totally embedded in activist culture. I believe that if I want to approach this subject from an honest perspective I have to take an activist standpoint. However something I have learned through this process is that everyone has to approach activism in their own way. As an artist I want to open a more nuanced discussion, one which acknowledges the personal rather than the theoretical.

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Source Photographic Review

I've chosen photographers who seemed to engage a specific story, place or quality - whose vision mines that milieu for pictures that don't just attach themselves to a topic but properly render it either visually arresting or obscure, but also leave us with some imaginative or conceptual work to do ourselves. It's that that I want in a photograph or a body of work: a sense that however satisfying or startling or instructive the image, something more remains just out of reach.

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HOW TO CAPTURE THE 8TH AMENDMENT

This acknowledgement of one’s pain is tightly connected to the acknowledgment of one’s right to be protected from that pain – whether you think such pain belongs to the unborn or the women. The fact is women’s pain is a tricky subject to visualize: how do you illustrate the mental distress a woman can feel when facing a pregnancy she cannot take upon herself? How do you show the shame, loneliness and anxiety brought by having to travel overseas to terminate it? How do you picture the inner, physical and mental pain you can go through when having an abortion, especially in secrecy, with post-care being complicated? The silence surrounding abortion in Ireland echoes the visual blackout of women’s pain.

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SHINE THEORY IN ZAGREB: PIZZA FOR FOUR WITH ARTISTS EMMA CAMPBELL AND SIOBHÁN CLANCY

What do you call it when feminist podcasters have a conversation about female collaboration, draconian patriarchal laws and where we plan to stick them, and vulvas on churches (yes) with feminist abortion rights activists and artists, in front of a live audience that entirely consists of OTHER people devoted to fighting abortion stigma??

You call it pure bliss. No punchline here. 

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Think women seeking abortion in Northern Ireland have other options? Here’s the reality

All of the prurient details of the recent disgraceful case, where a 21-year-old was convicted and given a three-month suspended sentence for taking abortion pillsshe bought online, have been documented in this newspaper and others, some even going so far as to suggest a 10- to 12-week foetus is a “baby boy”. I’ve had a miscarriage at 10 weeks and what I lost could no more be described as a baby as a ball of wool could seriously be called a jumper.

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Emma Campbell
Female Lines: New Writing by Women from Northern Ireland

In 1985, The Female Line: Northern Irish Women Writers was published. A pioneering anthology at the time, it gave many Northern Irish women writers their first opportunity for publication. Now, over thirty years later,Female Lines: New Writing by Women from Northern Ireland – a stunning mosaic of work by some of the best contemporary women writers from Northern Ireland – acts as both a new staging post and a sequel to its vibrant feminist predecessor.

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