Better Practices for Safe(r) Spaces #3: being accepted for who you are

(c) Sadrie Alves

How to develop better ways of working in the performing arts sector today – and in the future? As part of How to Live and Work Now?, we are inviting six artists, collectives and researchers to set up self-organized collective working groups.

In one of those working groups, writer and activist Olave Nduwanje is initiating a research trajectory on safe spaces – not only on the why, but specifically on the how.

What does it entail to create a safer space? What are safer spaces for those living and surviving in positions of marginalisation, of erasure, of repression, of violence? What alternatives are queer and BIPOC communities, or people with a disability, in need of? What alternatives are they building and caring for?

Over the past few months, Olave Nduwanje – lovingly supported by Rotterdam-based queer activist, organiser and spiritual advisor Non Sense – held in-depth conversations with organisers of safe(r) spaces in and outside of Brussels.

These conversations led to a series of podcast episodes. Listen in on the ambitions, vulnerabilities, expertise and embodied experiences of these safe(r) space organisers: Jacopo Buccino and Sirah Foighel Brutmann (Engagement Arts), Xandra Koster and Sita Mohabir (Feminists Against Ableism), Jenebah Kamara (Jabari), Claire Gilder and Marnie Slater (Mothers & Daughters) and Aida Yancy (Equal City Brussels). 

#3 Aïda Yancy

In the third episode, Olave talks to Aïda Yancy, activist and thinker who developed a toolbox for organisations supporting people who experienced sexual and gender-based violence. A safer space does not necessarily mean that it has to be comfortable. It does mean that you can come there with all parts of your identity and that you are accepted for who you are.

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Read the transcript of the third podcast