Citz is often a sanctuary for many people, regardless of gender, race, class, disability, or any other identity. Citz should feel like a safe place to come for everyone. Safe places are not just safe because they shield from the outside, but because they are safe and respectful from the inside. At Citz we never want anyone to feel like the very fabric of their being, that their identity, who they are, is being questioned or used as a reason not to respect them on a human level.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a utopian society where everyone respects everyone equally, and where racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, classism, and other discrimination doesn’t exist. This is why, at Cardboard Citizens, it is ever more important that we strive for an environment that opposes all forms of oppression and discrimination for members, guests, artists and for staff.

We are not here to police your thoughts or emotions, but we have a duty to make sure that no one feels attacked, belittled, disrespected or erased because of them. ‘Freedom of speech’ is an Americanism; in the UK we have Freedom of expression under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act of 1998.  In short it states that “Free speech is not an absolute right: it is right that there are limitations to ensure that it is not exercised in a way which causes harm to others… for example stirs up racial hatred, or hatred to other groups; causes fear of violence, alarm or distress, constitutes harassment or is defamatory or malicious.”

When you are with Citz, no matter who you are, we want you to feel welcomed, safe, and respected. Our activities centre on people learning and creating in safety from any prejudice and pressure that might occur in the outside world.

We want to ensure that our space at Citz can be a safe haven from the prejudice and discrimination that can occur outside of our workshop space. To be clear, we do not tolerate Racism, Transphobia, Homophobia, Ableism, Classism, Misogyny or discrimination. Of course, sometimes we may get things wrong or not fully understand the language around certain identities. We encourage you to have read of the below resources if you are unsure or interested to find out more. You are also welcome to speak to me directly if you have any issues or queries with this statement.

Chris Sonnex – Joint CEO and Artistic Director

You can also hear Chris read the statement here.