Charleston has an incredible history as a place of self-expression, and the lives and loves of the Bloomsbury Group continue to inspire us today. They were fearless in their thinking about gender and sexuality, and radically accepting in their approach to others. We will continue in this tradition and are taking steps to make Charleston a safe space for everyone.
As an organisation, we define a safe space as a place where anyone can relax and be fully self-expressed; a place people can occupy without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of their race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or expression, cultural background, age, or physical or mental ability.
At this point in time, we have a particular focus on making Charleston a safe space for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities or expressions. Taking our Orlando at the present time exhibition as the start of a learning journey, we will try new things, learn from one another, and ask for feedback from our museum and gallery visitors. We will undoubtedly make mistakes, but continue to be open to change.
As part of this journey, we are updating our email signatures, toilet signs, the language we use as we greet visitors, as well as the text throughout our website. These are small changes, but they are the start of a larger process.
‘The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark’ (Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse)
As an organisation, as a society, and as individuals, we all have a long way to go in learning about ourselves and about one another. This task will always be ongoing – there will never be a moment of perfect understanding – and we invite anyone who cares about Charleston, or these issues more generally, to join us on this journey. Let us continue creating and embracing opportunities for personal truth and self-expression.
More about Charleston:
Resources for staff and visitors:
Read Charleston’s Equality and Diversity Policy
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would love to hear from you.
CRESSIDA BELL talks to her sister, Virginia Nicholson, about Charleston, her design work and curating ‘In Colour.’
Informal reading and discussion group, exploring Bloomsbury texts and themes. First Sunday of every month.