The phrase ‘a safe space’ emerged from the women’s and LGBT movements of the 1960s and ’70s, and has since been taken up by a broad swathe of identity-based communities. But it has also increasingly been viewed with derision by those who think that it represents an overly sensitive culture.
In this short documentary The Swimming Club,UK directors Cecilia Golding and Nick Finegan offer a sweet yet staunch defence of the importance of safe spaces, in this case the pool used by the London Trans and Gender Non-conforming Swimming Group (TAGS). The film profiles several members as they describe how swimming together – including wearing the swimsuits of their choice without prejudice – has allowed them to find a sense of freedom and ‘serene power’ that rarely exist in the world outside the pool.
“That first jump, that first slide into the water, was a massive reclaim of a sense of power, but a sense of serene power,” Roberta