A Safe Space, Creating
I've never been the best at talking and writing, sometimes I lack the confidence to say the things I should say and worry that the things I shouldn't say will somehow slip in. Though one benefit of this state of indescision and “self policing” is that I’ve got back into poetry writing, it’s something that I do to help me process.
The words I want to/shouldn’t say, expressing the anger and pain, letting you all know why I spent half of my time on the edge of, or in tears, will perform something I don't want, erasure of my voice. Writing to everyone at a point of having processed is easier for me, as everything is a little less raw, though I’m undeniably still angry.
It’s funny little trope that, "The Angry Black Woman", a reduction into something that will fit neatly into a box and can be packed away and ignored. There's more to us though, more to me than will ever fit into your boxes.
So I've focused my attention on what I can be doing that is sustainable for me and won't drain my energy or make me want to disappear, much like microaggressions in my inbox, or force me into turtle mode because this Aspie isn't very good at dealing with too much input. So I've talked about it with others and tried to figure out the best way to do it. I started planning it and then Sydney is Cancelled's hope for safe spaces was violated. So I took a step back and thought some more, about how I can mitigate the chance of that violation. I'm working to provide a safe space with representation, because it is so damn important to have it.
Though I need your help to establish it and make sure it is the most accessible it can be. I’d like to hear from all my London and surrounds BAME/BiPOC knitters, crocheters, makers, that would like to attend a night, monthly or bi-monthly, that is specifically a space for you to craft to your heart's content and be social (as little or as much as you'd like) with other makers
What does this space look like to you?
Where (which area) in London is the most accessible for you?
Will you need help to access this space?
Do you want this space?
I want to be clear to people, that those who come into our public spaces, to express outrage at what BAME/BiPOC deal with everyday, rooted in historical oppression and supremacy, then turn round and become apologists in my or other’s inboxes, this space is not for you.
To make it even clearer to you, we don't need your outrage, we need your action.
If you are unclear what action looks like then do your research, listen and learn and then act. Acknowledge that teaching takes time, energy and in this space from BAME/ BIPOC/ WOC, it takes a hell of a lot of emotional labour. That labour shouldn’t be taken for granted and if anyone else is uncertain as to why you’ve been asked to buy a kofi for someone who is doing that work or pay towards a cause, that’s why. You are helping to compensate or support someone or a cause, for all of the time, energy, and emotional labour that they have given you, or are giving to others in providing what they have.
This post and these words do not exist in isolation, there are a number of amazing WOC and POC that have been doing a lot of emotional labour on bringing to light the discrimination, and providing spaces for BAME/BIPOC to share their experiences within our fibre community. I will add them below when and only if I get their permission to share here, with the information they would like to share.
Jeanette Sloan, Designer, Writer and Champion of POC/BIPOC makers highlighting their work through her IG feed and the list which is on her blog. She can be found on Instagram and on her website where you can read the Black People Do Knit Article
Witchcraftylady on Instagram, Uk based Maker, Dyer and Spinner of Gorgeous Yarns which can be found on her Etsy
Please note that all comments will be moderated. If you are a BAME/BIPOC maker and you have commented, you can also include whether your comment is public or just in response to the questions i'm asking, I can then leave your response unpublished and anonymise your answers for the post.