The LightUp Fallowfield protest art installation aims to highlight key problems about safety and the dark
LightUp Fallowfield is a protest art installation coming to Fallowfield on Thursday the 8th of December. The event is open to everyone, and involves members of the community coming together in the Ladybarn area of Fallowfield with torches and lights of all kinds to provide solidarity with those who feel afraid to walk home alone in the dark.
The event’s aim is to raise awareness of the fears that students have around their safety when coming home in the dark, especially in the winter months. The event will also be followed by drinks at The Font along with some discussion around the issues raised by the event.
The ‘protest art installation’ will begin at 7pm on the footpath off Ladybarn Lane behind Sainsbury’s, an area which is dimly lit at night, where everyone is encouraged to light up the area by bringing whatever they can — be it fairy lights, torches or just their phones.
Concerns surrounding the safety of students walking in the dark have been raised before, with a string of sex attacks being reported earlier on in the year which left detectives urging women in particular to avoid walking alone at night.
The project is run by Jessica Mallard and Zuzanna Niska, and their event is not only important in bringing attention to the unsafe nature of walking home in the dark, but it is also relevant to the time of year. They have introduced the event by explaining that “while an array of Christmas lights are turned on this winter, we continue to live in the dark reality of not feeling safe to walk alone at night”, and it is therefore a chance to “switch on some lights of our own”.
Jessica and Zuzanna have plans to continue raising awareness with future events, such as “more workshops, exhibitions and collaboration with organisations in the new year”. Jessica then went on to tell me that they plan on “using art to instigate meaningful discourse between the community and those in power”.
The facebook page for the event can be found here, where updates surrounding the event will be posted.