Anglia Ruskin student explores world of polyamory

Published: 5 December 2011 at 13:33

Jemima’s book on multi-partner relationships added to Kinsey Institute collection

A book by an Anglia Ruskin University student exploring the world of polyamory – the practice of having more than one consenting intimate relationship at a time – has been acquired by the prestigious Kinsey Institute in the United States.

Jemima Willcox’s book, The Polyamory Project, has been hailed as “very important” by the founder of the Kenneth R Haslam MD Collection on polyamory, housed at the Kinsey Institute.

The Polyamory Project is a very important first and as yet developing work that records first-hand stories of young polyamorists incorporating consensual multi-partnering into their lives,”

said Kenneth R Haslam MD.

“This life path is developing worldwide and some day, many years from now, some historian studying the early phases of the polyamory movement will appreciate Jemima Willcox’s work.  Polyamory is a major departure from mainstream family formation and this new direction is being recorded by young authors like Ms Wilcox.  
“The Kinsey Institute recognises this societal shift and has provided a home for the polyamory archives which document this change.”   

Jemima, who lives in Cambridge, is in the final year of a BA (Hons) Photography degree. In addition to her book, she also produced a mixed media exhibition which she has displayed at the Ruskin Gallery on Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus and the Old Truman Brewery in London.

The 25 year old said:

“I spent nine months documenting a ‘poly’ family in Cambridge – a man and two women – and the book also contains interviews with 25 poly people from around the world. As I’m a photography student it started off as a visual project but over time I realised that there was more to it than just images, so that’s how the interviews and the book began.
“I really wanted to understand what poly is, how people live a poly lifestyle and how it makes them feel. I’m somebody who isn’t poly but I’m fascinated by it and have many poly friends.
“The most common misconception is that people become poly to have lots of sex and to basically sleep around.  My aim with this project was to be as unbiased as possible and to educate my audience that there is another choice other than monogamy, and the people who choose to live a poly lifestyle are not ‘strange’ or ‘weird’.”

The Kinsey Institute has recognised polyamory as a developing social trend and so established the Kenneth R Haslam MD Collection to record and preserve polyamory history.  It does not advocate or endorse polyamory, it only houses and maintains a collection of polyamory archives.