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Hackney Downs Studios

How resident Dot Athena supported Teach Us Consent on their new content campaign

Teach Us Consent, a movement that calls for earlier and more holistic consent education in Australia recently shot their latest campaign at Dot Athena based at Hackney Downs Studios. Eat Work Art took the opportunity to speak with them to learn more about their work and why they collaborated on this project. 

Teach Us Consent

Teach Us Consent
My name is Chanel Contos, I grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to the UK in September last year to do a masters in Gender, Education and International Development. 

In February 2021, I posted an instagram poll asking "have you or has anyone close to you been sexually assaulted by someone who went to a single sex school?" 200 people replied saying yes, and since, the conversation has gone global, with 6,500 people submitting testimonies of sexual assault from when they were at school to my website teachusconsent.com. Along with these testimonies, the website is host to a petition that calls for earlier and more holistic consent education in Australia, for the purpose of reducing the prevalance of sexual assault and to promote healthy intimacy. My motivation behind starting this campaign was being sexually assaulted myself when I was 13, but not knowing that it counted as rape until I was 15 and learnt what consent was. I think it's an injustice to be so uneducated on what sexual assault is for it to happen to you, or for you to be a perpetrator of it, without knowing what it is. 

Teach Us Consent

Dot Athena
My name is Christos Markou, I’m a photographer and have been running Dot Athena for the past few years now at Hackney Downs Studios. Dot Athena is primarily a photography and film studio available for hire. On top of that we are also offering a wide range of content services. Over the past year we have produced a print feature for Vogue China, completed a retouching job for the latest Athletic Bilbao football team kit, created video content for South Hampstead High-school, shot some portraiture for the automotive company Genesis and plenty of e-com and look books for a number of emerging clothing brands. Our studio clients include Deliveroo, Universal, Numero Netherlands, Sony, JW Anderson, Nintendo and many more! 

Christos, why did Dot Athena support Chanel Contos's movement: Teach Us Consent?

CM: Simply put, not a single woman in my immediate surrounding that I know of, has not been a victim of some sort of sexual abuse in one way or an other. As people are now more verbal about it the least I can do is contribute towards it and help raise awareness.

Chanel, how has the past year been for you? 

CC: I moved to London in September last year which has meant most of the time I've been here we've been in lockdown, or strict distancing rules. While this has some downsides, it's allowed me to run this campaign that's shaping Australia all the way from my room in East London. 

Teach Us Consent

You've already caused a huge impact (both culturally and politically), what are you hoping for next?

CC: Mandatory consent education in the whole of Australia, not just in the State of Victoria. Violence prevention to be included in the initial teacher training curriculum.

National conversations to continue so the taboo around being a survivor os sexual assault is abolished. To expose that we live in a rape culture, abolish the stereotype of a rapist as being a creepy person who jumps out at you at night, and make it normal for people to believe survivors when they accuse a 'nice' person of being a rapist. 

To improve the quality of consent education in the UK, and work with individual schools to pilot programs that shift the culture of the school, with the intention to make these scalable.  

Teach Us Consent

What type of content did you shoot?

CC: We've just shot content at the Dot Athena studio that we hope will be educational about rape culture, consent education on the movement, as well as calls for action.

Christos, how would you like to continue supporting significant campaigns like this? 

CM: We very much like to offer pro bono and discounted rates to anyone looking to create relevant and culturally important content. I welcome any of the residents and local community to get in touch and discuss how we might support their cause. 

You can keep up with all Teach Us Consent news and updates by following @teachusconsent on Instagram.

Added
28th July, 2021