Gillian O’Hagan and photographer Helen Sloan: Missing Voices
Programmed with Belfast International Arts Festival, Atypical Gallery presents Missing Voices, a participatory photographic project about the lives of young women with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), led by Queen’s University researcher Gillian O’Hagan and photographer Helen Sloan.
Over a five week period, Helen and Gillian worked with a group of nine adolescent girls from four schools across Belfast. Using smartphones, the girls produced a series of 34 photographs, giving a powerful and moving insight into their lives inside and outside of the mainstream school environment.
To complement the exhibition, Atypical Gallery will host a panel discussion at 7pm on the evening of Thursday 24 October.
Led by Gillian O’Hagan and Helen Sloan, this discussion will delve deeper into the focus of the Missing Voices project which aims to amplify the adolescent female voice of ASD. The panel will look at the importance of creative expression in helping girls with ASD to allow parents, teachers, friends and others to understand their experience of the world around them.
They will also discuss the chronic problem of misdiagnosis in female ASD, asking why practitioners continue to use male-led diagnostic criteria that leaves countless young girls unseen, unheard and unrepresented.
Gillian O’Hagan is a doctoral student at Queen’s University Belfast. She is also the SENCO and Head of Psychology in Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School in Belfast.
Helen Sloan is an Irish photographer best known for her work as primary stills photographer on the HBO series Game of Thrones.
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