Taking Space

Space has always mattered to feminism. And it will continue to matter in the future, however that it manifests. Taking space, taking up space, sharing space, ceding space and finding space are all central concerns to this feminist journey which begins and ends at former Salvation Army hall locations.

Where once wayward women and “poor children” had their souls saved, a commercial venue now provides musician, Emily Soon, with inspiration to contemplate the notion of ‘shelter’ and our future generations. Then, Sista Zai Zanda casts her gaze backwards to the controversial Madame Brussels, preserved now in the naming of a bar and laneway, but previously a fraught symbol of the tangled politics of economics, respectability and the feminine. Kochava Lilit unravels the Monster Petition sculpture, which commemorates women’s suffrage, to question how we celebrate, offering a more subtle form of recognition: atonement. From the ‘mighty’ and ‘monster’, Quinn Eades takes us back to the humble public toilet, using it as a platform to ask for more than a place to tend to our bodily needs, instead asking for a complete reappraisal of this place and time and the bodies we allow or do not allow to take up space within it. Finally, Darlene Silva Soberano haunts us with the tenderness of love, its once ubiquitous and quotidian expressions: touch and closeness. With so much space between us now, how can we hold on to what has made us human in the uncertain future?

This journey was made possible by Queen Victoria Women’s Centre in collaboration with Peril Magazine.

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