quiltbag aug 2019

Film seminar and viewing, themed around safe spaces

Physical spaces can have a direct influence on the mental and emotional well-being of individuals. Spaces are locations – whether public or private, functional or recreational – that include, (but are not limited to), rooms, open terrains, vehicles and corridors.

Anyone can feel threatened in a particular space for any number of reasons. Yet, the greater LGBTI+ community has been particularly vulnerable to discrimination in many/most of these spaces. This has led to the emergence of so-called “gaybourhoods” – gentrified neighbourhoods that feature clubs, bars and restaurants specifically for the LGBTI+ community. While “gaybourhoods” and other such spaces provide some refuge against physical and verbal abuse, they do not protect individuals against discrimination when negotiating hostile shared spaces on a daily basis. Simply using public transport and public restrooms, walking in the street, sitting down to lunch, using social media or working alongside one’s co-workers may be a threatening experience for the LGBTI+ individual or group.

A safe space is not only a physical place free of harm – both corporeal and verbal – but it is also an environment free of bias. It is a space in which bodies and minds are not threatened or exposed to prejudice. The QUILTBAG project invites abstracts for papers reflecting on/exploring the concept of “Safe Spaces”. Papers may consider safe spaces from the following perspectives (though these are by no means exhaustive): film/TV/communication industry/social media/graphic novels/fine arts/music/literature/law/finance/language/linguistics/activism/personal testimonies.

The half-day seminar on 12 August will be followed by the QUILTBAG film screening, held at the Dr Miriam Makeba Auditorium, UNISA, on Tuesday, 13 August 2019.

Kindly send paper proposals to Dr Terrence Carney (carnetr@unisa.ac.za).