m{if} safer space policy

Not only does m{if} advocate for safer space in its usual articulations of “(a) a supportive, non-threatening environment that encourages open-mindedness, respect, a willingness to learn from others, as well as physical and mental safety; (b) a space that is critical of the power structures that affect our everyday lives, where power dynamics, backgrounds, and the effects of our behavior on others are prioritized; and (c) a space that strives to respect and understand survivors’ specific needs” – it is also a space that specifically entangles different realities and experiences with collaboration, participation and a space for audience that is prompted by ideas of utopia and oppression, history and the future, borders, time, art and technology, and, more importantly, community. Live conversations, travelogues, discussion sessions and performances, and exhibitions of new and archival material interrogate our shared histories and forge new collaborations across time and space.

The m{if} safer space policy is intended to make Museum of Impossible Forms a supportive, nonthreatening environment for all who attend.  We would like this space to be welcoming and engaging, and we encourage everyone to be proactive in creating an atmosphere where the safety of others is valued.  In this spirit, we are survivor centric and survivor oriented, and abuse, sexual assault, and discrimination will not be tolerated.

People who have perpetrated inter-personal violence, assault and/or harassment are not welcome to this space, unless they are actively engaged in an accountability process and currently in compliance with all the terms and/or demands of that process (according to the facilitators, the survivor, and/or whomever’s been designated to monitor the agreements emerging from the process).

Everyone entering this space is asked to be aware of their language and behavior, and to think about whether it might be harmful to others. This is no space for violence, for touching people without their consent, for being intolerant of someone’s religious beliefs or lack thereof, for being creepy, sleazy, racist, ageist, sexist, hetero-sexist, trans-phobic, able-bodiest, classist, sizist, or for using any other behavior or language that may perpetuate oppression.

Consent Policy

We strive to keep this place safe by following the simple guidelines of consent.  This includes asking, listening to, and respecting others; it does not include coercion, expectations, or assumptions.  Consent is not just the absence of a “no,” but the presence of a “yes.”  It is based on clear communication in an environment where people feel comfortable saying no and yes, and with full trust that their boundaries will be respected.  Consent is not only important in sexual situations but in all of our interactions.  All people entering this space are making an agreement to:

  1. Respect everyone’s physical and emotional boundaries. Ask first before touching, and listen and change your behavior if someone tells you that you are making them uncomfortable.

  2. Respect the pronouns and names of everyone. Do not assume anyone’s gender identity, sexual preference, survivor status, economic status, background, health, etc.

  3. Respect people’s opinions, beliefs, experiences and differing points of view.

  4. Be responsible for your own action. Be aware that your actions do have an effect on others despite what your intentions may be.

  5. Be aware of your prejudices and privileges. Notice if only men are doing the talking, women are cleaning up, or you’re falling into any other fucked-up standard.

  6. Look out if there are kids and animals. Try not to leave anything around that could endanger them or other adults.

  7. Respect the sobriety policy of the space. If drugs, alcohol, and intoxicated individuals are not welcome, (or are only permitted at certain times), please uphold this decision.

  8. Remember that this is not a secure space. Do not bring any illicit or banned materials into it.

  9. Respect the privacy guidelines of the space/event. Check with the event coordinators and other attendees before using cameras or recording devices.

  10. Respect the neighbours and the neighbourhood. Be aware of the community you are in, and check how your own privilege may affect the people around you.

  11. No law enforcement personnel are allowed into the space at any time.  If they come, do not let them in without a warrant.

There will be (#) on site mediators to help with any conflicts arising from the violation of these agreements.  The individuals staffing/hosting at Museum of Impossible Forms are empowered to enforce these rules, and to make the final decision on anyone’s expulsion. Please note that any group or individual engaging in violence (including sexual violence and harassment) within this space will be asked to leave immediately.  When a decision needs to be made to give ‘benefit of the doubt’ to someone who has engaged in abusive behavior or to support to a survivor, the preference will be given to the survivor.

This policy is instated in recognition and rejection of rape culture as the status quo.  Rape culture is that in which sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence are condoned, excused and even encouraged. Rape culture is part of a broader culture of violence, wherein people are socialised to inhabit different positions in hierarchical relationships, to commodify their fellow human beings, and to relate to each other through violence and coercion. Rape culture is rooted in broader systems of oppression – such as patriarchy, white supremacy, capitalism, homophobia, and colonialism – and is not separable from them in how and why it is perpetrated, experienced, and dealt with.

Dealing with Conflict

If you experience harassment, abuse, sexual assault, or any other kind of consent violation while you are here, or if a perpetrator of sexual violence is interfering with your participation, or for any other reason you need support to deal with sexualized violence, please come to us. There will be trained and experienced advocates and support people for survivors of sexual assault (at … space/wearing …/noticeable in some other way). People staffing housing and other spaces, as well as medics and antiauthoritarian-minded legal observers should also be able to put you in contact with us.

We can offer you:

* Support, caring, and listening

* Advocacy on your behalf, including the removal of perpetrators of violence

* Emergency housing changes to quiet, safer space housing

* Transport to a rape crisis center

* Medical, herbal, and wellness (massage, acupressure, music therapy) resources

* Resources for further support and/or action

* Support to document sexual abuse by law enforcement