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project origin story
By Brett Swinney

most enthusiastic about contributing to the project. Over

The

Lavender

Occupation

started

Menace
as

the course of the evening we

a

were able to collect a variety

means of queering public

of positive responses that

space, or expanding upon the

counteracted

the

standard

number of public/private spac- angry and aggressive meses that could hold room for

sages scrawled on the walls

specifically targeted and mar- of public bathrooms. From
ginalized populations. The first there

it

seemed

apparent

iteration took place in Cole’s

that we needed to produce

Bar, a part of the 2016 2nd Flr

more events that interrupt the

Rear Festival, and asked par- cynicism found in the public
ticipants to answer the prompt

space by providing affirmative

“Who do you make room for?” alternatives.
by writing their answers on

Public bathrooms pose as

the walls with paint markers. an important place caught
While the installation was a

between public and private

part of an alternative art space

space. In this current politi-

festival, it was the unsuspect- cal climate the bathroom has
ing bar patrons who were the

been transformed into a bar-

4 lavender meance occupation a handbook