Crafting Identity Makerspace for LGBT+ History Month
From the 15th February to 4th March, we helped facilitate Loughborough University's first pop-up Makerspace for LGBT+ History Month at Martin Hall Exhibition Space.
From handmade flags and protest banners to radical self-published zines and manifestos, there has been a long history of craft and DIY processes within the LGBTQIA+ community and in intersectional queer-feminist activism more broadly. Crafting Identity celebrated these histories and helped connect people through the process of making.
The hub was designed as a welcoming and relaxed space for people to get together and make things using a variety of craft processes. Anything that was made was added to the walls to create a temporary exhibiton and then collected at a later date. There were also four free workshops that took place during the month involving expressionist painting, self-portraiture, embroiding textiles with light and journaling.
The positives of our relaxed makerspace was that nobody needed to have artistic talent, we provided some simple instructions for each task. And to help inspire everyone we had a little library full of books about LGBT+ Histories and identities. Everybody was welcome to drop in, see the space and take some time out to try out our badge maker, decorate a tote bag or just make a rainbow bracelet. As well as supporting LGBT+ History Month, it was also a great way to have some time out from work or study (and have a free cup of tea!).
The exhibition windows and interior were all been designed by student Kelsey Bebbington, who also designed the winning entry to our Inclusivity mural competition, and the makerspace was supported by members of the Loughborough LGBT+ Association and the LGBT+ Staff Network at Loughborough University.