his safer spaces statement is about trying to make events, like Love: Art, Ideas, Music, Politics safer for all of those involved. We use the word ‘safer’ to acknowledge that no space can be entirely safe for everyone and not everyone experiences spaces in the same way as others. This statement is not about policing other people – it is about all of us being more careful about how we act and how we treat each other.
A safer space doesn’t involve the elimination of conflict but more careful conduct and consideration of it. Developing our struggles for liberation we can explore new ways to recognise, understand and articulate safer environments. By cultivating safer spaces we can become more aware of our own feelings and behaviours, how we impact others and attempt to ensure that disagreements are centred on ideas and practices, not people.
We want Love: Art, Ideas, Music, Politics to offer spaces that are welcoming, engaging and supportive: spaces where people take care of one another whilst promoting lively and productive debate. We want people to feel they can be relaxed and open – that people’s different opinions and different practices are important and that they can strengthen our relationships and communities.
Love: Art, Ideas, Music, Politics can be thought of as a temporary ‘commune’ based on a love ethic in which everybody is encouraged to look out for one another, pitch in with food preparation, childcare, cleaning and helping ensure everything runs smoothly. We won’t be micro-monitoring behaviour at Love: Art, Ideas, Music, Politics, but each session will be facilitated and we expect that everyone attending will respect this safer spaces statement and take responsibility for their own behaviour at all times.
People attending Love: Art, Ideas, Music, Politics are asked to be aware of their behaviour and to think about whether it might be offensive to others. Please also consider whether anxiety, new environments, being surrounded by new people, drugs, alcohol or other experiences could blur your ability to gauge how your behaviour is affecting those around you. If you cross a person’s boundaries, or offend another person, we hope they will tell you that your behaviour is considered inappropriate and we hope you will listen to them. If you don’t listen to them and if you continue the behaviour, they may take their complaint to the Love: Art, Ideas, Music, Politics collective, who may then raise these issues with you. There is more detail about the process for a grievance on the next page of this statement.
What we can do to create safer spaces
We ask you not to make assumptions or judgements about someone’s sex, gender, sexuality, culture, nationality, ethnicity, body, dis/ability, age, class, marital status, pregnancy, parental or caring status, religion, occupation or identity.
Please respect people’s physical and emotional boundaries.
Always get consent before touching someone, crossing personal boundaries or sharing personal information about them with others.
Respect people’s opinions, beliefs and differing points of view.
Be mindful of children, look out for them and try not to leave anything around that could endanger them.
Be responsible for your own actions. Be aware that your actions can affect others.
Take responsibility for your own safety and get help if you need it.
Need Some Assistance?
If you experience or witness any behaviour that makes you feel unsafe/uncomfortable, or if you are feeling like you would like to talk to someone confidentially about anything, please feel free to talk to a member of the Love: Art, Ideas, Music, Politics collective. We will not breach your confidentiality without your permission.
1) If you wish to proceed with a grievance, directly approach the person whose behaviour has caused you to feel unsafe and try to resolve the issue.
Walk away if you can’t reach a resolution. Acknowledge the difference of opinion. Make your opposition known. Find your friends, go to a quiet space and debrief.
2) If unresolved, approach someone from the Love: Art, Ideas, Music, Politics collective.
3) The collective will meet to hear complex and unresolved grievances if necessary. This is a last step and we encourage individuals to take responsibility for their conflicts maturely if possible, prior to needing the collective to intervene.
5) Excluding people is an absolute final resort and will only be done by a consensus decision of the collective.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.