Building Experiences That Truly Reflect Safety and Community
We are huge believers of forging safe spaces as Art of Superwoman and I had the immense honour of moderating a Keep Walking Towards Safe Spaces conversation on Twitter where we posed the question: What does a safe space look like?
We were brought together by the Rocking Daisies and Johnnie Walker family in association with the She Said So property – to hold honest conversations around safe spaces for me, you and everyone around us and unpacked the importance of safe spaces for women and under-represented communities in the entertainment sphere.
And here a bit more about this amazing initiative:
It is not too often we see the evolution of a phrase coined not so long ago move from political jargon to everyday spaces – be it a group huddled up to “spill the tea” of the night before or plastered on promotional posters calling on Gen-Zs to party up a storm.
“This is a safe space” has grown, in many spots, to mean a host of things to all of us. It is important for us to journey back to those university chambers where it was conceptualised to root out its intended meaning.
Defining Safe Spaces
Plainly stated, Safe Spaces are spaces created free of bias, conflict, criticism, and the potentiality of physical or emotional harm. As one broadens this definition, it becomes clear that Safe Spaces go far beyond just sheltering their inhabitants from criticism. They are spaces where freedom of difference is accepted, where diversity is celebrated, and one’s sense of individualism is emphasised. How this notion translates into our daily lives is the trickier part. The part where constant work and introspection is required from all of us.
Our Role in Shaping Safe Spaces
Creating Safe Spaces is in the simplicity of paying attention to how occupants interact with physical spaces prior to any human engagement, this is the first checkbox exercise in curating environments that allow people to feel welcomed and recognised. A simple yet effective example of this is the intentionality poured into restroom spaces. Many women and queer people can resonate with the discomfort of being ushered down an alley like corridor to a restroom area with poor lighting, lacking the sanitary needs that should be the norm today.
An awareness of how we enable people to feel safer with our environments are all small yet easy fixes; they require attentiveness and intentional design. They require us to see our physical space as a living thing that interacts with us and evokes from us physical and emotional responses.
Beyond the physical environment, a Safe Space is a space that embraces diversity, not in tolerance but in acceptance, and enables freedom of difference. Our sense of belonging in a space directs our sense of safety in that space. We are social beings who are informed by various cultures. How we feel represented in spaces deeply impacts how we navigate ourselves in them. The creation of spaces that represent us is a very conscious practice that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Settings that validate our identities allow us to let go of our guards and deepen our sense of community and freedom.
People want to feel seen. And it is the intentionality of ensuring enough room for a wider variety of individualities to be represented in our projects, spaces, and lives that enables our communities to feel safer.
And this is why platforms such as the Rocking The Daisies have understood the call to enable safe spaces. In 2019 the event organisers introduced a female-only Ladies Camp in support of the murder of Uyinene. This year Rocking The Daisies and SheSaid.So organisation bring back the Oasis camp and is open to members of the LGBQIA+ community.
The Oasis is one of the festival’s intentions to address and provide security measures while encouraging diversity for women and the LGBTQIA+ community.
As the festival makes its return, Johnnie Walker, in upholding its brand consciousness of creating an inclusive and diverse environment – saw it fit to amplify and support the work done by the progressive festival from 2019.
Walking Towards Safe Spaces
Johnnie Walker in its mission to highlight societal shifts, continues to root its consciousness in boldly advocating for inclusion and diversity. To meet this call, as the title sponsor of the Rocking The Daisies festival, Johnnie Walker has invested in amplifying and supporting all facets of the event. Not only proving an entertaining line-up and responsible good times, it is equally important for the brand to support the Oasis in association with the SheSaid.So organisation in order to provide festival goers a full circle safe experience.
SheSaid.so is a global organisation that advocates for the empowerment of women and other gender minorities in the entertainment industry, to further highlight the importance of creating festival experiences that are safe for all attendees.
In 2022 Oasis, will invest in creating conversations (Texx Talks) that broaden the awareness in advocacy in women’s rights and that of the LGBTQIA+ community. The weekly interview-style podcast lives on the entertainment website Texx and the City.
The haven will also offer its attendees wellness experiences such as yoga mornings, camp site talks, change rooms and entertaining performances
The South African constitution reminds us that everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing and as us, we encourage everyone to play their part in creating a safe net for their ‘neighbour’. Keep Walking Towards Safe Spaces is a call for collective progress towards safety, inclusion and freedom.
#KeepWalkingSA #JWxRTD #KeepRocking
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About Johnnie Walker:
Johnnie Walker is the world’s number one Scotch Whisky brand (IWSR), enjoyed by people in over 180 countries around the world. Since the time of its founder, John Walker, those who blend its whiskies have pursued flavour and quality above else.
Today’s range of award-winning whiskies includes Johnnie Walker Red Label, Black Label, Double Black, Green Label, Gold Label Reserve, Aged 18 Years and Blue Label. Together they account for over 19 million cases sold annually (IWSR, 2018), making Johnnie Walker the most popular Scotch Whisky brand in the world.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff and Cîroc vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.
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