Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

popbands, poplabels, poprecords

Moderator: shaved head thrills

User avatar
RITH
Posts: 3355
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 08:35
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/RITH
Location: Almere
Contact:

Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by RITH » Sat May 16, 2015 17:50

In another thread I wrote this:
Instead of trying to define racism or asking if we are racist or not I think we should put the effort in making it explicitly clear that everyone is welcome and that nonwhite people will not just be tolerated as long as they stay quiet, but will be actively and explicitly defended and supported when attacked or feel attacked, and listened to when they speak up.
and
there have been some concrete examples in the recent past where 'indiepop' was not ok, and as a result some nonwhite people felt hurt and unsafe. So instead of waiting for concrete examples to surface and then act on them, I wonder if there's something more we can do as both individuals and as a community to make it clear to white people in advance that any kind of racist behaviour is unacceptable, and make it clear to nonwhite people that they will never stand alone when faced with what they experience as racist behahaviour. I'd love to see the indiepop community moving on from passively anti-racist to actively anti-racist, an explicitly welcoming and safe community for all. Even if we already think we are, it would be great if we could still send out that signal, and actively create a place where all people can join in conversation with a sense of guaranteed equality and safety. Any thoughts on how we can achieve this?
I felt that that last question was worthy of its own thread. How can we actively work on making/keeping indiepop non-racist, and a welcome and safe community for all?

User avatar
RITH
Posts: 3355
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 08:35
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/RITH
Location: Almere
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by RITH » Sat May 16, 2015 17:57

I had a look at our forum rules:
usual forum rules apply, basically don't be a prick and try not to be tedious.

Avatars are limited to 100x100 pixels to keep the forum tidy.
I'm just brainstorming here, but for just a start would it be an idea to at least include some lines in there that explicitely state that racism and sexism will not be tolerated in any form? I understand this is implicitely included in 'don't be a prick', but sometimes things need to be more than implied. It'd just be a small thing, but I think every small thing counts.

noLooking

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by noLooking » Sat May 16, 2015 19:11

RITH wrote:I had a look at our forum rules:
usual forum rules apply, basically don't be a prick and try not to be tedious.

Avatars are limited to 100x100 pixels to keep the forum tidy.
I'm just brainstorming here, but for just a start would it be an idea to at least include some lines in there that explicitely state that racism and sexism will not be tolerated in any form? I understand this is implicitely included in 'don't be a prick', but sometimes things need to be more than implied. It'd just be a small thing, but I think every small thing counts.
Given that I break both those rules all the time and, as already established I think, racists often don't tend to think they're being racist, I doubt it's worth it in any sense that would have a genuine impact. On the other hand you could argue that it offered a degree of solidarity and support, which isn't an insignificant thing in itself.

Perhaps it's best to have these debates once in a while with those who wish to try it on. The alternative is essentially banning something, which just pushes it under the carpet and pretends that it doesn't exist. I've always believed that unpleasant things are best confronted - they always pop up sooner or later, however much someone tries to delete the evidence from their Facebook Indiepop tearoom.

As far as keeping indiepop non-racist I've kept schtum so far as, in all meaningful participatory senses, I'm not really a part of indiepop and so I can't really offer an informed view. For what it's worth though (not much) I think above all listening to people's concerns (and taking them seriously) and standing up against prejudice where it arises is probably the best way to ensure everyone feels welcome and included - imposing T+C from a theoretical position is bound to run up against limits sooner or later.

Yes, my advice is that trite.

User avatar
indiehorse
Posts: 1941
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:50
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/
Location: Nottingham
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by indiehorse » Sat May 16, 2015 19:17

I'm just thinking outloud here really and I have a few drinks inside me but I think it's maybe a mistake to think of indiepop as the scene. I mean, obviously, as has been well documented, the term means different things to different people but however you interpret it it does mean a specific music with a specific history which means it does have a predefined audience and it can make it alienating to people who aren't already immersed in it. It can't be an inclusive culture if newcomers are bound by pre-existing notions of what is and isn't indiepop.

The things that attract me to whatever this community is that I feel a part of are the punk ethics and D.I.Y culture. I feel like those are the are the pillars of the inclusive community we want to be helping build rather than a particular (albeit vague) categorisation of music. Otherwise it feels like we're saying, hey kids, come and join our community but you have to make the music that we like and do things the way we like them.

I've no idea if I've conveyed the point I wanted to make at all. If I was smarter I'd probably use the word "intersectionality" at some point.

User avatar
Gordon
Posts: 5351
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 22:33
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/GreenGordon
Location: King's Landing
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Gordon » Sat May 16, 2015 22:25

Have there been any racist issues on this forum that haven't been properly dealt with?

Have there been any issues that could have been avoided if the rules to this forum were spelled out differently?

I'm not trying to be a dick myself, but if this forum actually has any barriers set up that discourage diversity, I'd be personally open to suggestions by people that faced these barriers as to what they'd like changed.
Toot toot.

User avatar
RITH
Posts: 3355
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 08:35
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/RITH
Location: Almere
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by RITH » Sat May 16, 2015 22:56

Gordon wrote:Have there been any racist issues on this forum that haven't been properly dealt with?

Have there been any issues that could have been avoided if the rules to this forum were spelled out differently?

I'm not trying to be a dick myself, but if this forum actually has any barriers set up that discourage diversity, I'd be personally open to suggestions by people that faced these barriers as to what they'd like changed.
I think all I can really say is that we've always had very few nonwhite members, for various reasons that probably mostly have nothing to do with racism. But I know we have at least one less now than we used to have because of something that happened on here. That is not to say that the forum is racist, I'm just suggesting that sometimes it may be better/nicer to actively and explicitely stand for something than to just sit back and see that things are okay and there are in theory no barriers.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying something is wrong with the forum or the way it's run. I just feel that we could try to make it even better. Not just the forum, but the whole 'community'. It's really not meant as a dig at anyone; I'm just seeing an opportunity. It's interesting to me that every now and then this question pops up again (not just here), "Is indiepop racist?", and then mostly white people agree that it's not really, and we move on. But the two or three times so far that I've witnessed a POC bring up the courage to suggest otherwise, a lot of those same white people got really pissed off. It can happen, of course. But if we genuinly do believe that we are welcoming everyone into this community, sometimes a little bit extra effort may be needed, or can at least be a nice gesture. It may just, really just maybe, make people think and most importantly, make marginalised people feel more welcome and a bit safer. Will it change anything? Will more POC suddenly find their way onto anorak or into the community? Very possibly not. Who knows. We can have an attitude of "It says nowhere here that POC are not welcome. If a POC finds their way onto this forum and they run into some kind of trouble, we'll deal with it properly." Or we can do something else. It's really not up to me. That's why I started this thread.

I know anorak does not equal the indiepop community. It's just a place to start.

User avatar
tonieee
Posts: 4497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 08:40
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/tonieee
Location: Sheffield Sex City
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by tonieee » Sun May 17, 2015 08:18

If somebody had asked the question "is indiepop racist" 10 years ago I would have said "of course not" and been affronted and defensive. Gradually through discussions on anorak and reading things in other sources on the internet I've become aware of things around white privilege and how people of colour feel in a predominantly white space (and I don't consider myself to have got there yet, I've still more to learn but at least I'm now more open to that).

I'm not sure that adding don't be racist/sexist/homophobic/etc in the forum rules would change much as most people in indiepop wouldn't consider themselves to be so plus how many people read such things anyway? "Don't be a prick" could possibly be more effective because it's short and stands out.

What I think (as a person of white male privilege preaching to the same :-)) is more important is having discussions like this whenever the subject comes up and especially listening to and standing up for people from oppressed/disadvantaged groups. This from my experience is a more effective way for people to learn.

If there were to be a change to the forum rules maybe it should be along the lines of "people from privileged/majority groups should listen to and stand up for people of minority/disadvantaged/oppressed groups" (there's probably a better way of putting that).

It's hard because I (like probably many people in indiepop) am not a confrontational person and would tend to shy away from telling someone when I think they're wrong and also worried about blundering in on issues on which I don't know much but I am trying to do better on this.

User avatar
tonieee
Posts: 4497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 08:40
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/tonieee
Location: Sheffield Sex City
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by tonieee » Sun May 17, 2015 08:33

A follow on from the above points, I would prefer people to point out to me where I'm wrong so I can realise that and improve my behaviour/thinking in future (though I can understand why it would be hard to do so because I find such things hard). I would much rather that than have someone just carry on thinking "that tonieee is a racist".

User avatar
RITH
Posts: 3355
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 08:35
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/RITH
Location: Almere
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by RITH » Sun May 17, 2015 09:28

tonieee wrote:If there were to be a change to the forum rules maybe it should be along the lines of "people from privileged/majority groups should listen to and stand up for people of minority/disadvantaged/oppressed groups" (there's probably a better way of putting that).
I like that.

The suggestion to add something to the forum rules was just one suggestion. There are possibly many other/better ways to create a community that feels safe(r) to everyone. One really important thing, I imagine, would be live shows and the way they're promoted. I'm not sure how this works or what would help, but I know that in some genres this is quite a common thing: to create/promote safe places for all races, genders, sexual preferences, et cetera. Also here I realise that this may seem almost too obvious for most, but, at the rist of repeating myself, I think it could be good to make the implicit and passive explicit and active.

Just throwing around ideas. It's meant to be a brainstorm.

Carys
Posts: 1386
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 20:27
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Carys » Sun May 17, 2015 21:16

Thanks for starting this thread. I'm wondering how other places promote the idea of inclusion/safe spaces. Maybe we could take tips from places where this is already working well?

While we're on the subject of diversity, I think there's also an issue around access for disabled people. The vast majority of small venues are not accessible for people with mobility impairments, and by using these venues we are excluding people. There's stuff we can do, though:
- Where possible, try to use accessible venues, with step-free access.
- Make it clear when promoting gigs whether the venue is accessible.
- Try to do things like ensuring there is adequate seating or reserved seating.
- Consider letting carers accompany disabled people for free / offering concessions.

User avatar
Trev
Posts: 6877
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:56
Last.fm: lostmusic
Location: Cardiff
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Trev » Sun May 17, 2015 22:14

Carys wrote:There's stuff we can do, though:
- Where possible, try to use accessible venues, with step-free access.
- Make it clear when promoting gigs whether the venue is accessible.
- Try to do things like ensuring there is adequate seating or reserved seating.
- Consider letting carers accompany disabled people for free / offering concessions.
I'd love to be able to do this but there simply aren't many venues that meet all (any?) of these wishes that are available and affordable in London. I am very hopeful the forthcoming DIY SPACE FOR LONDON in Bermondsey will address a lot of these issues.
not really here

Carys
Posts: 1386
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 20:27
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/

Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Carys » Sun May 17, 2015 22:26

@Trev Yeah, don't get me wrong - I'm not sure there are many either. But it should still be one of the considerations. Even if the venue isn't fully accessible, a few steps may be better than lots of steps, for example.

And in terms of seating, it wouldn't be too hard to have a few chairs available for people who need them (or to make clear this could be arranged), kind of like you kindly did when I hurt my leg the other week.

Is the Montague Arms accessible? Would be nice to have a list of small accessible venues really.

Carys
Posts: 1386
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 20:27
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Carys » Sun May 17, 2015 22:38

And just to be clear, making a gig accessible doesn't just have to be about step-free gubbins. Stuff like indicating the capacity of the venue really helps me (I struggle in crowds) and fostering an environment where people aren't chastised for not drinking alcohol can help too.

User avatar
tonieee
Posts: 4497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 08:40
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/tonieee
Location: Sheffield Sex City
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by tonieee » Sun May 17, 2015 22:44

Carys wrote:fostering an environment where people aren't chastised for not drinking alcohol can help too.
I'm shocked to hear that this happens. Do many places do this?

Carys
Posts: 1386
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 20:27
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Carys » Sun May 17, 2015 22:50

@tonieee Not specific places so much as people. I've definitely had raised eyebrows for drinking soft drinks, and regularly get the whole "You're not drinking? Why not? Oh go on, let me get you one? Just one?" from well-meaning friends. I reckon all-ages gigs are usually better for this. I mean, it's not the end of the world or anything, but I have felt pretty awkward on occasion sat there with my diet coke.

There's some good stuff on the following website about cheap easy things that can improve accessibility: http://www.attitudeiseverything.org.uk/ ... t-practice

User avatar
tonieee
Posts: 4497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 08:40
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/tonieee
Location: Sheffield Sex City
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by tonieee » Sun May 17, 2015 23:17

Ah okay I misunderstood and thought it was the venues pressuring people. It doesn't make it any easier for you though. I've probably been guilty of this in the past too.

User avatar
linus
Posts: 2491
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 17:55

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by linus » Mon May 18, 2015 16:30

Out of interest, is there a list of admins and mods and of these how many are still active users of the board?

noLooking

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by noLooking » Mon May 18, 2015 16:39

a fog of ideas wrote:Out of interest, is there a list of admins and mods and of these how many are still active users of the board?
There's a list at the bottom of the index page. I make it, at a big stretch, seven.

User avatar
linus
Posts: 2491
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 17:55

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by linus » Mon May 18, 2015 17:16

Ah, so in total I make it 13 admins and 18 mods (some of whom also have admin status) and, yeh, very few of those are still active

Time for some changes?

User avatar
indiehorse
Posts: 1941
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:50
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/
Location: Nottingham
Contact:

Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by indiehorse » Mon May 18, 2015 17:46

Carys wrote:- Consider letting carers accompany disabled people for free / offering concessions.
I like this one. I was vaguely aware that cinemas and theaters offer this sort of thing but had never thought or heard about it in the context of d.i.y gigs. I'm definitely going to introduce this.
Trev wrote:I'd love to be able to do this but there simply aren't many venues that meet all (any?) of these wishes that are available and affordable in London. I am very hopeful the forthcoming DIY SPACE FOR LONDON in Bermondsey will address a lot of these issues.
I'm obviously no expert on London venues, but the Shacklewell, the George and that funny-smelling place where the Obzine alldayer was all have relatively few steps, don't they. (As opposed to say Power Lunches where even the most able-bodied person could break their neck on those stairs after one too many gin and tonics.)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests