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.

The gallery walls with student and staff work created in the makerspace on display.

Makerspace Image Gallery

Quotes and Testimonials

“This is a fantastic space to facilitate creative events, and I believe many students and staff would benefit from its welcoming atmosphere being available to them more regularly than one-off events. Attending a creative event here definitely helped to switch the mind off current stresses and onto something explorative and mindful. If this was available throughout the day for use whenever necessary, I think this has the potential to benefit the mental health of many staff and students.”

Dr Chris McLeod School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

"I went to the makerspace twice during the time that it was open. The first time, I went to an Expressionist workshop and worked with some paint, and the second time myself and two other friends went and decorated some tote bags. I loved the experience! It was incredibly relaxing and just a great way and space that allows you to immerse yourself with something that has nothing to do with uni. I would love to see another space in the future, as I would make the most of it to relax, destress, and do other fun activities with my mates."

Lety Student

It’s fantastic that LU Arts are so active in supporting events like LGBT+ History month. The range of lead and self-guided activities available throughout February was fantastic and was warmly welcomed by the LGBT+ community on campus. The arts is and has always been a crucial outlet for marginalised people to express themselves, tell their stories and process their experiences, and LU Arts enables us to do this within the University in a supported way.

David Wilson Trans and Non-binary Rep for the University’s LGBT+ Staff Network and a member of the EDI Sub-Committee