Safer Space Policy

We know it isn’t possible for any space to be completely safe and we don’t claim to guarantee this. We aim to create a space where people acknowledge the existence of structural oppressions, including but not limited to racism, sexism, homophobia and ableism, and work together to actively challenge themselves and others to avoid perpetuating these. If anything at Quiltbag Cabaret makes you feel unsafe, please let us know and we will do what we can to help. You can speak to Ann, Sasha or Nim on the night, or email us at quiltbagcabaret@gmail.com.

The event is open to people of all genders and sexualities. Nobody will be excluded on the grounds of identity. However, anyone whose behaviour makes other guests feel unsafe  may be asked to leave.

Performers whose language or humour we consider marginalising or offensive will not be invited to perform. Where an act includes elements which are likely to be distressing for some people, we ask performers to warn the audience. We’ll aim to warn for the most common triggers, but if you have specific triggers please get in touch and we’ll be happy to find out if these are likely to come up in performances. We acknowledge that despite our best efforts we might get things wrong and would really welcome your feedback if we’ve messed up.

Please be respectful to one another, and avoid making assumptions.

What does the safer space policy mean for performers?

Before performing at Quiltbag Cabaret, you should be prepared to think about whether any aspect of your performance might be heard as marginalising people from disadvantaged groups. Please be careful to avoid invalidating others’ experiences. It’s not always easy to see this yourself, so it is useful to get perspectives from people from other minority groups. You should be willing to take feedback from marginalised people into account and make changes if necessary.  To be clear, we do welcome performers talking about their own experiences of oppression in both light and serious tones, insofar as this does not extend to generalising about other people’s experiences.

We ask you to consider whether some parts of your performance may be distressing or triggering to some audience members. Many members of our community are living with trauma, and their experiences may mean they find some content difficult to hear. For example, some people may be triggered by discussion of themes such as mental illness, weight and body image, suicide, abuse, or prejudice of various kinds. If there are parts of your act which may be upsetting for some people, then we ask you to warn for this so that audience members can choose to leave the room. Below are some  examples of how to give a content warning:

“Before I go on I want to warn you that the next section [poem/song] contains themes of ….. If anyone doesn’t feel comfortable with that it’s fine to go to the art room or the quiet room for the next few minutes [appropriate time period]”

“This next section contains a depiction of bisexuality that is both biphobic and cissexist but we hope it is clear from the context that this is presented negatively.”

“During my act, I make light of my own internalised [insert oppression here].”

We (Ann, Nim and Sasha) ask performers to provide as much information about the content of their act as possible, eg a transcript or link to recording of work representative of what they plan to perform, so that we can check it is suitable for the event, and identify content warnings that may be needed. We are happy to offer feedback but we acknowledge that our perspectives are limited by our own experiences*. We therefore encourage you to seek a range of perspectives from people with different experiences.

Please feel free to discuss with us any aspects of this policy or your act that you are unsure about.

*Some of the aspects of our experiences that affect our perspectives are:

We are all aged mid twenties – early thirties and university-educated. None of us has visible disabilities. None of us is monosexual. We are all read as white and female. Between us we have some personal experience of mental ill-health, gender nonconformity, bisexuality, grey-asexuality, kink and being a first generation immigrant.

 

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