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The Visual Embodied Methodologies (VEM) network aims to create spaces of knowledge-exchange and research excellence around visual, embodied and art-based methodologies within, across and beyond Social Sciences. We believe that in using these methodologies lies the potential for co-produced forms of knowledge, opening possibilities to explore otherwise difficult to articulate issues.

The network, founded in 2019 by Dr Negar Elodie Behzadi and Professor Jelke Boesten, emerged within the Department of International Development. It has since expanded to span the Faculty of Social Sciences and Public Policy, and is co-coordinated by Professor Jelke Boesten, Professor Cathy McIlwaine (Geography) and Professor Rachel Kerr (War Studies).

Intersectional Gendered Violence (2023-2025)

In 2023, the VEM network was awarded a ESRC Methodologies award. The project will take place from 2023-2025, with the team focusing on different strands of intersectional gendered violence, and ways VEM can be used to address this.

  • Professor Jelke Boesten’s research will focus on sexual harassment against and among young people. She will work with students at King’s to map what they understand as sexual harassment, what safe and unsafe spaces are, who might be most vulnerable and why. Alongside, a Just Futures project led by Science Gallery London, she will develop a parallel project with young people from South London.
  • Professor Cathy McIlwaine will use VEM to work with Migrants in Action, using storytelling, photography, and film to explore resistance and activism among three generations of migrant women.
  • Professor Rachel Kerr will draw on archival research to produce new visual understandings of conflict-related gendered trauma and pain, how this is expressed and understood and what meanings are attached to it in different contexts.
  • Suzanne Hall will use the findings of these workstreams in policy labs to explore ways of shaping policy and influencing policy makers in their understanding of these issues.

Our Partners

The network partners with Arts Cabinet in experimenting with different forms of artistic knowledge production. We invite members from across the College.


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Network leads

Project Coordinator

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