Dr. Kirsten MacLeod is Professor of Creative Media Practice at Edinburgh Napier University. She is the Academic Lead for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in the School of Arts & Creative Industries. She lectures on the BA (Hons) Television. She has worked as a filmmaker and media practitioner for over 20 years in broadcast and community based media.
She received a BA (Hons) Archaeology & Social Anthropology from Edinburgh University (1991) and an MA Visual Anthropology from the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology, University of Manchester (1994). She received her PhD in Creative Media Practice from the University of the West of Scotland (2014), based on practice led research in community media contexts in Govan and the Isle of Bute.
Kirsten was PI on AHRC/GCRF funded "Pacific Community Filmmaking and Gender, Impact and Engagement" project. The international, inter-disciplinary project, focused on developing community filmmaking to tackle gender based violence and gender inequality in the Pacific (2019-2020) https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=AH%2FT007990%2F1
The project set up the Pacific Community Filmmaking Consortium and produced a slate of films by Pacific filmmakers working with their communities on GBV and the impact of covid on women.
Kirsten was a Co-I and filmmaker on Napier led, "Investigating the use of temporary accommodation to house asylum seekers and refugees during the Covid 19 outbreak" funded by Economic and Social Research Council & GCRF (£53, 888) (2019-21). https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=ES%2FV015990%2F1 This led to the production of the collaboratively produced short documentary, I'm Still Here.
Kirsten executive produced and edit produced the Napier collaborative documentary, Bleeding Free, about period poverty and dignity in Scotland and Uganda. This was part of the Bleedin Saor project which won the 2022 Times Higher Education Award for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The film was made with students across SACI.
Kirsten coordinates many practical production projects and collaborations with organisations and industry such as the HMP Polmont YOI Media Project which won a 2017 Herald Higher Education Award for Widening Access.
She supervises PhD students across practice led, practice based and by publication covering social media and sport, community media and distribution, collaborative documentary production and ethics of participation.
She collaborates with partners such as Plantation Productions in Govan and has developed projects and screenings with organisations such as The Gallery of Modern Art, National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive and the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival and the Glasgow Women’s Library. She works internationally with filmmakers and academics on the pacific Community filmmaking consortium and with menstrual health education agencies in Uganda.
As a practice led researcher Kirsten is interested in examining community media as a form of knowledge practice situating filmmaking as a form of enquiry though which knowledge emerges during the production process. This approach to filmmaking and research is ethnographically informed, connecting media practice to place and people as well as acknowledging the personal and subjective agency of filmmaker and participants. Her research emphasises the relations of production which emerge during production and how knowledge is recorded and shaped by this process.
Kirsten is interested in community media as a way of deconstructing & reconstructing the past, such as in projects on the the Spanish Civil War in Govan, campaigning women on Clydeside and the Spanish Armada in Scotland.
Kirsten has worked in television on a range of factual programmes and series. She began her career as a researcher on Warriors of the Disappearing World (Granada TV/The Learning Channel) and Mars & Venus with Desmond Morris (Discovery) and began filming and directing with Keeping the Dream Alive, a 30 minute obs doc for BBC2 series, United Kingdom! (Mosaic films, 1997). Production credits include Shooting Producer/Director on series Liverpool Mums (Bazal for Ch5); Red Light Girls (Granada/ITV/Sky); The Wedding (Ginger for BBC2); Can You Live Without…Your Mum? (Ch4, Fulcrum TV), Heir Hunters (Flame TV). In 2009 Kirsten was Series Producer for MnETV on BBC Alba series, Frapaisean chon chaorach (Sheepdog Trials) and Trom is Tapaidh (Heavies).