Shawna Potter is in an excellent position on how to secure show space for artists and music fans. She has traveled the world as a frontperson for feminist hardcore punk Fighting on women, And as a worker at a Baltimore home, he has spent years fighting street harassment as a founding member of the city’s Hallaback! Chapter. Now, with the publication of his new book, Securing space, He could add “published author” to his resume and a powerful new tool in his arsenal.
Securing space It is a clear, effective guide that is partly manifesto and partly reminiscent; Everywhere, Potter draws on her own experiences as a female musician who has spent years mainly navigating male space, activism and punk rock. This is a thin book that is absolutely filled with advice and resources, ranging from grounding techniques and bystander intervention techniques to templates for venue deals and gender neutral bathroom signs. He adopted a community-centered, DIY approach to breaking down perceptions of harassment, accountability, and reinstated justice, and to challenge abusers’ competent power structures.
“After all sorts of training venues and venues [in ways to combat harassment and create a safer environment for marginalized people] In the last five years, I have realized that more people need this information than I can personally reach out to, ”Potter explained. “Since I’m giving myself the same information and answering the same question, I thought why not just write everything? My ultimate goal would be to read a copy of this book and put it on site at every venue and space across the country.” Everyone would love to work as a basic set of guidelines to make sure they feel welcome and safe when entering.
Shawna Potter of War of Women Photo by Chris Sikich
With the festive season in full swing, and the #MeToo movement challenging attitudes in the music scene, Potter’s advice will be helpful to all actors, not just women. On the show, she often leads crowds in “safe space” training during their set stage, and when they joined the Warfare Women Warpad Tour in 2017, they brought a workshop Safe view Each of the shows is tabulated by expert volunteers and provides information and support.
Potter explains, “Artists can’t just do one thing – there are many options, all of which can be tailored to your comfort level, the possibility of your own harassment and your privileges and your abilities,” Potter explains. “My advice is to talk about what’s important to you: on stage, in promoters and clubs, on social media.”
Potter noted that artists have a special ability and privilege that can be used to combat harassment, and that show-goers, especially those with marginal identities, have a responsibility to do what they can to ensure that they are able to enjoy violence or harassment-free shows. There are. .
“Someone on stage has options, and your ability comes from having a mic,” Potter said. When an artist sees someone in the crowd harassing him and asks for an example of what he can do, he offers one of three things: You may encounter a person who behaves badly; You can contact the person who is feeling uncomfortable and offer help; Or you can call security directly. “Every approach has its pros and cons, but each shows that the whole crowd, not just the immediate parties, will not tolerate harassment and violence during your show,” he said.
As he makes clear in the book, there is no way to make a place 100% secure for everyone – but the goal of securing places is ultimately achievable, if people put in a little effort. In the end, he tells people – especially those on stage – to stand up for members of the audience who have less power and privilege. And he made it clear that it would not be wise to assume that the club itself would monitor the situation, or anticipate intervention.
“Just don’t expect the best, or assume it will stop and everyone will be fine,” Potter said. “Do whatever you can to actively address identity-based harassment and violence so that people can relax and have a good time on your show.”
– Kim Kelly