In January 2023 the Beyond Opposition team sent out our fourth newsletter, having entered the 4th year of the project and an exciting new stage of discussion groups and artist-led workshops. Please do read about what we are doing, sign up for face-to-face research activities and pass on the information to anyone that may be interested in joining in!
Between February 2020 and September 2022, we recorded 161 qualitative interviews in Ireland, Great Britain and Canada. The interviews explored the everyday experiences of people concerned about or opposed to legislative, political or social changes in relation to sexualities and sex/gender in the 21st Century in Ireland, the UK and Canada.
The next phase of the research brings together people with a range of different views and perspectives on these issues to take part in discussion groups and artist-led workshops, imagining new ways of sharing space that do not aim to overcome difference.
As part of the ERC funding we are asked to let them know what we have done midway through the project by submitting an interim academic report. We submitted it earlier this year and this was approved over the summer. The report details what the project has achieved and what is left to do. A public summary will appear on their website, however for now you can read it here.
Our research article entitled ‘COVID19 geographies: activities and activisms of those opposed to or concerned about changes to sexual and gendered legislation and cultures‘ was published in Social & Cultural Geography on the 24th of August 2022. You can read the abstract below.
Abstract: COVID19 is inherently geographical in its impact on society. Not only has it deepened pre-existing inequalities and further isolated groups that rely on physical spaces, such as LGBTQ people, the pandemic required a restructuring of multiple forms of time–space relations including activism. Using interview and questionnaires responses from early 2021, we explore the impact of COVID19 on the activities of those expressing concerns about, and opposition to, socio-legal changes related to sexualities and genders in Canada, Great Britian and Ireland. Participants’ perceptions of the effects of COVID19 regimes (lockdowns and restrictions) highlight four key trends. First, the biggest group of questionnaire respondents understood their views/activities as unchanging. Second, some participants noted a disengagement with sexual and gender politics. Third, those who were activists before/during COVID19 noted challenges in continuing their activities online with the loss of face-to-face interactions, and how they negotiated new spatialities. Finally, for some participants COVID19 regimes meant either newly engaging in, or increasing their pre-pandemic, activism with time to ‘research’ and to develop their activities. Further work is needed to investigate if our findings are similar to other groups engaged in other forms of activism and the longitudinal effects and implications of COVID19 geographies on activism.
Kath Browne & Catherine J Nash
You can read the full article here.
The questionnaire was live on this website from 20th May 2020 to 22nd July 2022. We collected 973 complete questionnaires. The original questionnaire was revised on the 16th of March 2021, following a review of initial project data, including input from those who took the initial questionnaire as well as from research interviews.
In early 2022 the Beyond Opposition sent out the following newsletter updating our subscribers on progress during 2021. If you would like to sign up for a newsletter, you can do so here.
“Reflecting on 2021 and Next Steps for the Beyond Opposition Project“: The Beyond Opposition January 2022 Newsletter
Since our project launch in March 2020, we have been busy collecting questionnaire responses, attending events, and interviewing people (in-person and online). Among our most notable findings were the range of perspectives and experiences shared across participants, as well as some unexpected connections and alliances across diverse populations and groups. We are delighted to share a summary of our initial findings for the Beyond Opposition Project here.
Interested in participating? We are still collecting questionnaire responses and conducting interviews across Ireland, UK, and Canada. Share your story with us!