Do You Have Concerns About A Member Of Our Community?
(Written by Braedon, adapted from a larger Safe(r) Spaces policy written for the Collective by Rebecca)
Abuse and harassment are being tolerated & forgiven all too often in Edmonton’s arts scene. While navigating this is challenging, it's not going to get any better if we don't start doing something about it. This piece is to show our commitment to keeping our spaces safe, to encourage people in our community to feel comfortable reaching out to us, to give an idea of what sorts of action we will take when concerns are raised to us, and to serve as a reference to help in our own decision making processes.
What’s Not Cool:
Speech that contains sexism, gender policing, racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, anti-religion/spirituality, ageism, ableism, and other forms of hate speech.
Purposeful ignorance or insensitivity to triggers and refusal to use trigger / content warnings.
Ignorance to the pronouns of individuals at the event.
Photography or videography without the consent of the subject(s). Unwelcome sexual advances or attention. Supporting any of the above behavior.
Disrespect towards venues & venue staff.
Etc. You get the gist.
Reaching Out To Us:
We want our spaces and events to be safe and comfortable for everyone in our communities. We are committed to doing the work this will require. That being said, we are still learning. We hope that attendees and community members can trust us enough to reach out when they observe oppressive behavior. Please reach out to any of us at a show in person or over social media, as well as at any time if you have any concerns. We’re here to work with you to make our shows as fun as possible and your safety & anonymity are number one. We understand that only the people involved fully understand the situation and any potential solutions victim(s) might have will be taken seriously. You can find our contact info listed below, as well as instructions on how you can reach out to us anonymously.
We understand that our track record is not perfect with regards to keeping our shows safe and future mistakes are always a possibility. We are committed to having these conversations with members of our community, and that includes taking accountability for times we have failed to keep our spaces safe and comfortable in the past. Please feel free to reach out to us about anything, even if it is just to have a conversation about something that has already happened or if it is something we have already been made aware of. You as an individual in our wider community are supremely important to us.
Anonymously: scroll to the bottom of this page.
The whole Collective:
Braedon: or @backstage_brae on Instagram
Devon: or @rapgamejeffrosso on Instagram
Rebecca: @x.xxellers on Instagram
What We Can Do (at an event):
If you are at an Absurd Collective event and notice harmful behavior of someone else in attendance, these are some of the steps we might take. Please note that these situations can be fluid and complex, and that we will work with concerned attendees to address behaviour in a way that suits the situation and the desires of those affected by problematic behaviour. Please note that members of the Absurd Collective are also subject to these outcomes.
Call-In: The offender will be asked to stop the behavior immediately or be asked to leave. This will be done with forgiveness, privately, and through what is called a “call-in”. A call-in, similar to a call-out, aims to stop oppressive & inappropriate behavior. A call-in differs from a call-out because call-ins are done in private and are considered a less-reactionary approach to conflict. Situations approached aim to educate, not alienate. Once the behavior is addressed and if the victim(s) is comfortable with it, an apology must be made.
Being asked to leave or banned: Someone who is banned will not be welcome in any spaces we curate and will not be welcome to collaborate with the Absurd Collective in any capacity. This will be the default outcome for someone who has exhibited a pattern of problematic or oppressive behaviour and refuses to be accountable.
Asked not to come to a specific show: Someone may be asked not to come to a specific event or set of events. This outcome is listed here as a less severe version of an all-encompassing ban and in case it is helpful in addressing more complex situations. This can be done easily and with no explanation to the party who is asked not to come to a specific show.
Warning/Conversation: It will always be an option that we simply reach out to someone (circumstances permitting) and ask them about behaviour, mention that we have had concerns, or give them a warning that they will be subject to a ban if certain behaviour continues.
We hope that this document restores potentially previously lost trust in the Absurd Collective or helps you feel more comfortable at our shows. As always, feel free to reach out to us, and we can’t wait to see you at a show. :)