Doctoral studies

Justina Semčenkaitė

Creative part: "Fashion Discourse in the Context Of 21st Century Activism". Supervisor prof. dr. Renata Maldutienė

Theoretical part: "Fashion Discourse in the Context Of 21st Century Activism". Supervisor assoc. prof. dr. Laima Kreivytė

Photo: Justina Semčenkaitė. KNITS OF ACTIVISM. Fashion activism in public places, 2022.

Within my practice as an artist that draws upon my professional experience as a fashion designer, I have undertaken a broad range of practice-based projects in the last decade that deal with activism through fashion. This exposition seeks to use fashion as a framework to demonstrate how each of the projects contributed to a body of research that has enabled me to make a contribution to knowledge in terms of how the practice of artistic activism impacts upon one’s (fashion) identity.

As the collective activism of fashion consumers has grown, the fashion industry has to constantly face activist motives. Community solidarity at the local, social and digital levels drives political and ideological initiatives, uniting and achieving positive change on human rights issues - LGBT+, race and gender equality. In such cases, fashion becomes one of the main means of expression in creating the identity of the initiative. This study not only identifies individual means of identity creation, but also explains how to turn it from a short-term initiative into a long-term (fashion) trend.

This research investigates the means of fashion expression that have the strongest impact in the context of activism. It aims to identify the most effective and completely ineffective means of fashion to effect change in the industry. Using multiple experimental approaches and artistic practice as the core of the research, I try to find the most effective methodological approach at the same time answering the research purpose of making a change of what fashion represents.