Islington's Camden Passage to host AdventurHER exhibition telling stories of female travellers

Traveller and author Alice Morrison.Traveller and author Alice Morrison.
Traveller and author Alice Morrison.
“There are lots of women around - some are solar rowing across the Atlantic while others are doing amazing adventures - and yet we are invisible to the public gaze.”

Television production companies and documentary makers are letting down women with a lack of representation, research has found.

Intrepid Travel commissioned the work as it prepares for an exhibition in London, celebrating female adventurers.

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AdventurHER is in Camden Passage, Islington from Friday until Sunday (April 19-21). It tells the stories of 11 adventurous travellers.

One of them is Alice Morrison, a journalist, author and adventurer currently living in Morocco. She has been described as “Indiana Jones for girls” (a description of which she approves) and, among her many adventures, she was the first woman to walk the Draa River in Morocco.

She told LondonWorld: “There are lots of women around - some are solo rowing across the Atlantic while others are doing amazing adventures - and yet we are invisible to the public gaze. Honestly, it’s like a last little pocket of women not being properly represented because I think we’ve made so many strides in the world.

“Exhibitions like these proudly put us up so the public can come and see what kind of amazing things women adventurers do, and the amazing things women are capable of.”

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Traveller and author Alice Morrison.Traveller and author Alice Morrison.
Traveller and author Alice Morrison.

She added: “Another important thing is that when Intrepid Travel did their survey, they found out that several women felt that they were underrepresented on the TV, and they did want women doing the shows to inspire them.”

Intrepid Travel organised research which found that three in five women said they put their travel and adventure aspirations aside, while a third said they felt more adventurous than ever. 62% of women said that they would be inspired to travel more if they saw people like themselves on TV shows.

Alice said: “You would assume that only people that travelled in the world were white middle-aged men who tell jokes. I love travel shows, and I applaud everyone who does them and the channels that run them but, honestly, I think we do need a bit of diversity and different voices.”

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Adventurer Alice Morrison.Adventurer Alice Morrison.
Adventurer Alice Morrison.

Intrepid Travel worked with Sheffield Hallam University’s Dr Adele Doran, whose research specialises in outdoor recreation and adventure tourism.

She said: “There seems to be a preference to use middle-aged male presenters on TV travel shows, particularly comedians. You see them haggling at markets, taking epic journeys, trying exotic food, and climbing mountains. Consequently, audiences are perpetually seeing and hearing about adventure travel through the filters and experiences of male travellers. Yet, women make up 57% of global adventure travellers which proves that there is the desire to create and consume female-centric travel and adventure content.

“Women are often relegated to travel shows and travel writing with a fashion, spa, wellbeing, or gastronomy angle. Whereas adventure or discovery travel, particularly in remote areas, is often associated with men and commands higher prestige."

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Another story showcased in the exhibition is that of TV presenter Louise Minchin, who completed the Patagonman triathlon, one of the toughest in the world.

She said: “There is definitely more that can be done to represent all forms of adventure in the media. There’s proof that seeing women doing it is key to inspiring and encouraging others to embark on their own travel goals. Having an exhibition like this and seeing all these amazing stories in one place is truly inspiring and I’m absolutely honoured to have my own story included.”

Zina Bencheikh, managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Intrepid Travel, said: “At Intrepid, we’ve seen a jump in bookings from women of all ages embracing adventure. It’s so important that women see themselves being represented in the travel industry - be it in film, on TV, or even on social media - to give them that confidence to get out and see the world.

“Adventure can come in so many forms, whether it’s trekking to Everest Base Camp, exploring your own backyard or simply stepping outside your comfort zone. There are so many incredible female adventurers and we’re excited to be showcasing just some of their stories in this new exhibition.”

Intrepid Travel’s free AdventurHER exhibition is on from Friday to Sunday (April 19-21) at 20-22 Camden Passage, Angel, London. It is open 10am to 6pm.

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