Panel: Patchwork Panel: Conceptualising Seams that Separate and Stitch Together
Using the language of Journalism studies and theories of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, and my own experience of conducting an editorial board at a text-message sewing circle I will in this paper discuss the gendered practices of collective story telling in traditional news-medium as well as in traditional patchwork sewing circles. Both these – equally traditional – practices produce products with collective narrative: pieces of news and patchwork quilt respectively. In both practices the decisions of what narrative that is important enough to be printed or sewn is made in a collective gathering: the editorial board and the sewing circle respectively. The differences are however vast, and go beyond medium production processes and economy. The practices are construed on either side of the gender-dichotomy. The editorial board in the field of journalism is a place of male power and sites of conflict and power play, where editors patch together tomorrow’s edition by sharing out pieces of news to journalists. The hardest and hottest pieces are mostly awarded to male journalists, whereas lesser status soft news is given to female journalists. In order to cope in journalism, many female journalists use guerrilla tactics.?The editorial sewing circle can similarly be understood as a guerrilla tactic. It crosses the gender-line by taking something construed as soft, female, unimportant, private hobby, and placing it in a hard, important, public, artistic, digital media landscape.
- Margareta Melin, Dr. PhD in Journalism, Associate Professor / Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden. Her research lies in the crossroad of journalism studies, feminism, cultural studies and artistic research. Melin’s artistic practice lies in the realm of textile, and Melin has worked as textile designer and costume designer.