The Male Room took place in 2018. It was open to young men aged 18-30 who were aspiring entrepreneurs or who wanted to focus on personal development. During a residential retreat at Folly Farm we supported them to develop creative skills and practical knowledge of entrepreneurship, and explore and challenge ideas about masculinity in their industry. They also received professional mentoring and coaching.
Photography by Dean Ayotte
Knowle West Media Centre supports people of all backgrounds to develop careers in the creative industries – particularly groups that are under-represented or have faced barriers to achieving their goals. We recognise that men are faced with societal challenges that not only impact their wellbeing but the experience and wellbeing of other groups including women and LGBTQ+ communities.
Bristol (12.8) and Bath (11) both registered higher suicide rates than the national average of 10.1 per 100,000 persons in England. (Office for National Statistics)
New YouGov research reveals the scale of the generational shift in terms of how young people perceive their own masculinity and, to a lesser extent, femininity. On a scale of 0-6, where 0 is completely masculine and 6 is completely feminine, only 2% of young men (aged 18-24) define themselves as totally masculine, compared to fully 56% of men over 65. 36% of young men are less likely to say they find it easier to talk to a friend about issues than women (53%). (YouGov.UK 2016)
Mena Fombo explained: “KWMC supports women and other underrepresented groups to access safe spaces and learning environments to develop skills to progress into the often male-dominated creative industries, and develop the confidence to challenge cultural norms. This work is vital but can only change the industry so far – we also need to support men to recognise the privileges they experience and use their influence positively. The Male Room aims to support men in the creative industries to both succeed themselves and be part of creating an environment where all oppressed, and underrepresented groups can thrive, feel safe and included.”