Help the Feminist Library build its new home

by Feminist Library in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 31st March 2019 we successfully raised £48,778 with 1011 supporters in 167 days

Help the Feminist Library raise £65,000 to Build its New Home and Safeguard its Precious Herstories & Community Space for Years to Come

by Feminist Library in London, England, United Kingdom

Less than 2 weeks to go! Help us build our new home by spreading the word today

Over the past few months of the campaign, we have been able to achieve incredible things and raise a lot of money for the new home project. It has been an amazing journey, with numerous generous individuals and organisations supporting us along the way, boosting our conviction that the Library needs to persist on its mission to save and protect women's histories, against all odds. But we still need a little bit more of your support! With only 13 days left before our crowdfunding campaign closes (this time for good!), and 15% away from the target, we could use the help of our friends in spreading the word even further, and getting a couple hundred more supporters, ultimately raising all the funds that we need for the move.

Last week, we chatted with Lucy Sanderson, 1/5 of our new home (feminist!) design team. Here's what she had to say about her feminist work and the Feminist Library project in particular:  

Q: What inspired you to join a feminist design/architecture/makers team? 

A: I'm inspired by feminist spaces - During my masters I spent a lot of time studying and using the collection at the Feminist Library.  I overheard that the Feminist Library were moving and asked if I could design the new space. My Royal College of Art MA focused on feminist spaces, particularly the landscape of exercise where I designed a gym, called the Post-Feminist Gymnasium; Freud’s structural model of the psyche suggests behavioural conditioning is a social construct. I have set out to experiment with this theory, using design to challenge the accepted cultural, material and spatial language of exercise spaces and promote different attitudes, exploring specifically the impact of the male gaze on female behaviour. The Post-Feminist Gymnasium is a sanctuary devoted to developing strength of mind as much, if not more, than the physical strength of the body. It will encourage visitors to engage intellectually in a programme of exercise that asks them to suspend their normal self-consciousness, nurturing bravery rather than perfection and rewarding the use of instinct and intuition. By playing with the materiality of the devices, products and props women use to enhance or improve the way their bodies are perceived, I intend to replace a somewhat bizarre aesthetic of falsified fleshy colours with a more primitive materiality that is designed to reconnect users with their honest, instinctive physical and mental responses, supporting and celebrating the re-education of body and mind. The Post-Feminist Gymnasium is situated in the former Daily Mail Printworks in Canada Water. The building was purpose built to house six storey printers accessed from a central platform, the rhythm of operation was structured by time. Canada Water’s history of conflict and campaigning can still be felt, embedded within the gymnasium equipment. Its repurposing as FG will draw connections between past and present  testing strength, challenging the accepted norms of behaviour and thought and fighting against exploitation and oppression.

Q: Tell us more about your feminist practice. 

A: Studio Lucy Sanderson is a multidisciplinary design and research studio with a provision to bring equality to environments. Conceiving creative and research projects from initial concept through to production. Campaigning for the future of change. Our work manifests materiality, moving image, sculpture, exhibition design, set design, spatial design and photography in response to notions of gender politics, equality and behavioural conditioning constructed through the psyche. This process of working is deeply embedded in the post-digital discourse, curiously observing how the education of tactility through materials can evoke emotion.

Studio's team - photo by Gabby Laurent

Sanderson coined the term, "Every(body) deserves equality", 2016 - referring to the 'body' as a localised landscape with the premise to perform in society without stereotyping. This concept was initially related to acknowledging the lack of people of colour within the feminist discourse, 'every(body)' is the groundwork ideology hoping to redefine the notion of sexuality, nationality, age, culture, cultural capital, recognition of white privilege and gender through the means of equality. 

Q: What do you like about the Feminist Library and why did you decide to join the new home project? 

A: I like the sense of community that surrounds the Feminist Library; It's feminist history and passion for keeping feminism alive. I decided to join the new home project because I believe the Feminist Library is the watering hole of feminism and I'm excited to see this institution grow into something more accessible and fruitful. 

Q: What inspires your everyday practice outside of this work? 

A: I'm inspired by conversations with friends and family; everyday rituals; being sensitive and curious. 

We heave ourselves been incredibly inspired and lifted through working with the feminist design team. Lucy Sanderson is also part of the team making a documentary film about the eventful move of the Library, giving voice to the designers through its historical and cultural journey. The documentary is made in collaboration with Lilian Nejatpour, produced by Tracy Bass with sound design by La Roux (Elly Jackson)!

More news about our fabulous feminist design team in our next update; as well as by the incredible amount of support we've received from individuals and organisations all over the world! We just need a little bit more support now - please spread the word today and help us get to 100% of our target by the end of Women's History Month!  

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