If you have sent in a positive relationship story and experience we look forward to sharing how your stories are helping us to transform and challenge harmful sexual attitudes & behaviours and promote healthy intimate relationships.
The discourse around relationships is so often weighted on the side of the negative, with break-up stories and arguments seemingly everywhere, but we want to show the positive side of the story. We aim to diversify the conversation around relationships and sex, which is why we asked participants to respond to ten short questions that included a story from their own lives about a positive experience in a relationship.
People told us about a time when they felt supported by a partner, a time when they felt their boundaries being respected, and a time that was just really fun and felt good! A selection of these stories have been chosen to be illustrated by artist Lou Brown, of Goodstrangevibes, for use in our zine produced by students from Durham University, Bishop Auckland College and Northern School of Art and distributed as part of Durham’s Summer in the City Festival 2022.
Please keep an eye on this page or our socials (Facebook - Instagram - Twitter) for upcoming announcements about our zine and the events we will be running as part of Summer in the City Festival this June.
What is the Let's Talk About Sex project?
There are so many questions that you may have about sex. Education, family, peers and social media have such an influence on sexual stereotypes, expectations and behaviour. The lack of open conversation can lead to harmful misconceptions.
Let’s Talk About Sex aims to co-create artistic work with students aged 16 to 24 from The Northern School of Art, Durham University and Bishop Auckland College, in order to challenge harmful sexual attitudes and behaviours and facilitate open conversation, resulting in confidence, knowledge and healthy intimate relationships.
Why? In March 2021, the devastating murder of former Durham University student Sarah Everard, whose death sparked outrage and protests over the rates of violence against women came just months after the Everyone’s Invited’s mission was founded in June 2020, its aim to express and eradicate rape culture with empathy, compassion and understanding which has already to date received over 54,000 testimonies (Oct 2021).
In 2020 a high profile UK university was shaken by fresh claim of sexism and rape culture. Messages from group chats were published on social media to horrified students. A chat from the group exposed ‘posh lads’ plans to compete to sleep with the poorest girl at the University highlighting an intersection of sexism & classism embedded in higher and further education. Bringing together students from different institutions to collaborate creatively will work to address the issues and break down barriers.
What's happened so far? With the work of our Artist in Residence, Lou Brown (aka Goodstrangevibes), we have engaged students from our 3 partner institutions (The Northern School of Art, Durham University and Bishop Auckland College) through drop-in sessions and artistic workshops, using live art making and discussion as a platform to explore how these issues affect young people. Together with data collected from surveys, evaluations, and testimonies, we have been able to draw out recurring and shared key themes that we want to address in phase two.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Goodstrangevibes is run by Lou, a queer artist who creates illustrations to make difference in respect to body positivity, mental health, LGBTQ+ topics and sex education.
Lou's artwork is informed by their academic insights, queer identity, past experience of an eating disorder and current experience of anxiety and OCD.
With funding from Curious Arts and Queer Arts North, they recently delivered Revolutionising Sex Education, a project that aimed to shake up sex education. The output was a zine featuring illustrations to expose the reality of sex and its multiplicities through the lens of raw sex stories. To support the artist and purchase a copy of the Zine or other artwork head to their shop.
Artwork created during the Artist In Residences at the Northern School of Art and Durham University.
Information & Support
If you are looking for more information or support on any of the themes we are exploring please download our support sheet.
Everyone’s Invited is a safe place for survivors to share their stories completely anonymously. The act of sharing their story with Everyone’s Invited allows many survivors a sense of relief, catharsis, empowerment, and gives them a feeling of community and hope.