The need of separatist spaces : a queer feminist exploration of saunas and lesbian spaces
Abstract: This thesis explores separatist spaces, with focus on lesbian spaces, with the aim of enabling discussion about the need and configuration of that type of spaces. The focus is on exclusion as a method for achieving an equal society in the long term. Grounded in the queer phenomenology that concludes that gender has to do with access to space, and by the repetition of actions, gender segregation takes place in a way that seems effortless. It also deals with that queer, and other minorities, bodies need to orient themselves in a certain way to avoid assault. To orient themselves in a certain way, the space will need to be re-inhabited. The conclusion from that is that there is a need of separatist spaces for minority groups in order at times to get a break from the need to stay aware of the surroundings. This need is strengthened by cataloguing existing separatist spaces based on gender, sexuality and race. In Sweden today separatism is used as a practice to fight structural discrimination. However, separatist spaces face a resistance from the majority society. Following these conclusions the design project is carried out partly in 1:1 actions of separatist spaces, such as hosting sauna clubs where a group of people are invited to sauna together and talk. Part of the project is carried out in smaller scale. Feminist methodology has been used with a focus on architecture as a process rather than an object and using norm-creative design as a tool.
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