This is a Feminist Safer Space
We want to create a feminist safer space, which means that racism, sexism, biphobia, transphobia, queerphobia, fatphobia, homophobia, butchphobia, sissyphobia, ableisms, ageism, femmephobia, toxic masculinity, misogyny and classism are not welcome here. Visitors to the space are invited to actively reflect upon these structures of oppression.
There will be an organiser hosting each evening at Mothers & Daughters. They are there to enjoy themselves and to be a contact person if you need info, help or support. Ask at the bar if you need to know who is hosting. The host will intervene if someone is receiving unwanted attention and will ask people to leave if they are compromising this feminist safer space.
We use the word “lesbian” to embrace and celebrate all possible forms of love and intimacy between people who identify with the female side of the gender spectrum, who have identified as such or have been ascribed a female gender at some point in their lives. We embrace gender as an orbit full of possibilities.
We want to make visible forms of lesbian relating that all too often disappear behind the dominance of male* love (both outside and within queer communities). We encourage inclusive and feminist reappropriations of the word “lesbian” and hope to open up a space that allows for these meanings to emerge.
“Mothers & Daughters”?
Our name was proposed by Rachel O’Neill, a poet and visual artist based in Aotearoa New Zealand. Like many of us in queer relationships, Rachel and their partners have been misread as relatives, and the name is in honour of their experience and chosen families everywhere. We asked Rachel to write an introduction to Mothers & Daughters:
‘Mothers & Daughters,’ the account executive says, dunking a knowing smile up and down in the mug.
‘I’m seeing a mother placing a hand on the knee of a daughter,’ the sub-executive adds.
‘They’re relating, not related,’ says the client. ‘Remember, in the brief, the quote marks?’
‘Wink wink,’ says the client’s phone.
‘Sorry, I thought I’d put my phone on silent,’ the client says.
The executives exchange a look. The product is becoming. They will have to retrieve it from the becoming place.
‘I don’t even need knees in my fantasy,’ the client’s plus-one clarifies, leaning back, eyes closed.
‘The knees aren’t important, always, I’ll give you that,’ the executive says, playing for time, scrambling around for a new metaphor.
‘Except when I’m in France,’ says the plus-one with a professional slap and a giggle.
‘Metaphor comes from the French métaphore, via Latin from the Greek metaphora, from metapherein, which means ‘to transfer’,’ says the executive.
The sub-executive, the client and the plus-one blink. The phone wink winks.
‘Sorry,’ the client says, fingering the screen.
‘Mothers & Daughters,’ the executive rallies, stumbles.
‘I’m seeing a knee, a lovely dirty knee,’ the sub-executive says.
The plus-two coughs.
‘We’ll call you,’ the client says, literally opening the door.
The executives fade away.
‘At Mothers & Daughters there are…’ the plus-three begins.
‘...transfers of energy, of senses, of loves, maybe even dark matters,’ say the whole collective, all eyes open, dancing close.
This bar has a different economy than you may be used to.
There is a documented difference in wages, education, support and economic and social freedoms for many of us due to our ethnicity, gender and/or sexuality.
At Mothers & Daughters we use a pricing system that tries to address the documented gender gap in Belgium.
The gender overall earnings gap in Belgium stands at 31.2%, which is the difference between the average annual earnings between women and men. It takes into account three types of disadvantages women face:
- lower hourly earnings
- working fewer hours in paid jobs
- lower employment rates (for example when interrupting a career to take care of community, friends, children or other relatives)
If you have a privileged position that means your wages, and access to opportunities and documented work are positively affected by your gender, sexuality and/or ethnicity, then choose menu B.
For the rest of us, because of our sexuality, ethnicity and/or gender we choose menu A.
Global Gender Gap (from The Global Gender Gap Report 2017):
Central Asia: 29%
East Asia and the Pacific: 31.7%
Eastern Europe: 29%
Latin American and the Caribbean: 29.8%
North America: 28%
South Asia: 34%
Sub-Saharan Africa: 32.4%
The Middle East and North Africa: 40%
Western Europe: 25%
There will be events, activities and special occasions hosted at Mothers & Daughters. To keep up to date about the parties, lectures, screenings, workshops, and conversations we will be organizing check our facebook page, or send an email to email@example.com to join our mailing list.
If you want to be involved in helping with our events, check our Facebook page for call outs.
Mothers & Daughters has a wheelchair ramp and a wheelchair accessible toilet (located next door in Chez Jacques, Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 10:30pm). The bar space has variable light conditions (lit seating areas and a low-lit dance floor), and we do not use strobes or laser lights. We have illuminated toilet and exit signs. There will be occasional use of a smoke machine. A changing room is available on request at the bar (this space is not wheelchair accessible). We do not have any of our signage in braille. Bar staff are available to assist with specific needs on request.
A detailed description of the accessibility of the space will be posted on our facebook page soon, and can be requested directly from the bar or by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are very welcome to bring food from home or surrounding restaurants.
Here are some places to get food close by:
Fries: Fritland, Rue Henri Maus 49 (€) Ⓥ
Ice cream: Gaston, Quai aux Briques 86 (€) Ⓥ
Salads and snacks: Carrefour Express (open until 8.30pm), Quai á la Houille 4 (€) Ⓥ
Lebanese: Grillade au feu de bois, Rue du Marché aux Poulets 5 (€) Ⓥ
Salads and snacks: The Farm (open until 7.30pm), Quai au Bois à Brûler 43 (€-€€) Ⓥ
Phó: Gourmet D'Asie, Rue Van Artevelde 14 (€€) Ⓥ
Ramen: Umamido, Place Sainte-Catherine 1 (€€) Ⓥ
Pizza: Nona, Rue Sainte-Catherine 17-19 (€€) Ⓥ
Pizza: La Belle Equipe, Rue Antoine Dansaert 202 (€€) Ⓥ
Thai: Yaki, Rue des Poissonniers 6 (€€) Ⓥ
(€) = €3 - €6
(€€) = €10 - 16
Ⓥ = Vegan and/or vegetarian options available
Mothers & Daughters has financial support from Cabinet Bianca Debaets (Gelijke Kansen | Egalité des Chances), the Cellule Egalité des Chances de la Ville de Bruxelles and all those who generously donated to our Le pot commun crowdfund and paypal account.
This is not a commercial project—we are committed to keeping the entry to Mothers & Daughters free and open for all, and to offering a much needed safer space and special events without the pressure of making profit. Out of respect for the artists, musicians and activists contributing to the program of Mothers & Daughters, selected events will have the option for participants to give a donation.
In the event that we do make a profit from running Mothers & Daughters, we will use the funds in the following way, with the numbers indicating priority:
1. Paying those who gave their labour for free or for reduced rates.
2. Reimbursing costs incurred by the team.
3. Creating a fund for future projects.
BAL: Brussels Almanack Lesbian (❤)
DIGGING UP RADICAL SPACES FROM OUR PASTS. TRACING POLYPHONIC LESBIAN HERSTORIES.
This exhibition and publication, Brussels Almanack Lesbian (❤), gather fragments of histories made by lesbians rather than history that happened to lesbians. This material has been uncovered from Belgium's alternative archives and woven together to form lists of lesbian spaces, movements and dances; lesbian slang and alphabets; mythologies, mysteries and manifestos.
The exhibition’s timeline starts in 1953 when lesbian pioneer Suzan Daniel initiated the Centre Culturel Belge, the first gay and lesbian organisation in Belgium. It ends in 2003, when The Gate, Brussels' last lesbian bar to date, permanently closed its doors.
This collection testifies to the hard work, boldness and care that went into making lesbian spaces in this city and its surroundings. It is a patchwork stitched together from ‘ephemerabilia’ left behind by a rich variety of grassroots movements in our community, to which we invite everyone to contribute their own stories.
Delphine von Kaatz
Joëlle Sambi Nzeba
Alison Jip, Josephine Reich, Lucy McKenzie (2018)
Tip Jar and Vase
Nathalie Wathelet, Water girls (2018), Forget me not (2018)
Koha / Donation Box
Jay Tan, Trophies (2017), mixed media
A very very special thank you to Alice Versieux and ooooo. Words cannot express how important you are to the process and spirit of this project.
Mothers & Daughters would not have been possible without the labour and resources donated by Alberto García del Castillo, Alison Jip, Arianna Bertolotti, Askarel, Asli Hatipoglu, Bert de Bock, Chez Jacques, Clare Noonan, Despina Vassiliadou, DinoBoom / Arg!, Elisabeth Speckstadt, Farah Barqawi, Färm, Filip Gilissen, France-Laure Labeeuw, Goedele De Caluwe, Habiba Effat, Harald Thys, Helene Pigeard-Benazera, Jane Haesen, Jay Tan, Jenifer Evans, Josephine Reich, Julie Loriaux, Kato Six, Laurie Charles, Lucy McKenzie, Margot Vanheusden, Mophradat, Nathalie Wathelet, Paulien Föllings, Raid Boussouf, Sara Parolin, Sophie Kurpershoek, Stefanie Snoek, Wiet Lengeler, Yyoga, and all those who helped us.
The generous people who contributed to donated to our Le pot commun crowdfund and paypal account.
And to the talented creatures who provided playlists!
Brasserie de la Senne
The Paper Factory
Cabinet Bianca Debaets (Gelijke Kansen | Egalité des Chances)
Cellule Egalité des Chances de la Ville de Bruxelles
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