Code of conduct at Medialab Prado

Hacer de Medialab un espacio seguro
Photo: Elvira Megías. ECA at Medialab Prado. 2017.

One of the responsibilities Medialab has, as a public cultural Centre reporting to the Administration is to provide a safe space for those who inhabit it. As an open, flexible and welcoming space that understands the diversity of its users as a value, a code of conduct has been developed in a collaborative manner that establishes the foundations of behaviour that are considered inappropriate and that will not be tolerated within the Centre, together with what resources will be made available to users so that they can report possible situations that violate the principles contained in point 3.1 of this document.

In addition to defining what values are indispensable and what behaviours will not be tolerated within the space, this code of conduct is intended to be a tool with which to articulate reflection processes that foster joint responsibility in the prevention of and action against misogynist, racist, homophobic, transphobic aggressions and which as a result can turn people into agents committed to the defence of diversity, respect and guarantees.

This code of conduct and the associated protocol are based on the principle of care and protection of victims of oppressive and discriminatory behaviour as a fundamental principle of action. This means that priority will be given to providing care for victims that avoids or diminishes situations of vulnerability or insecurity, paying heed to their emotional and physical situation, assessing the risk they face, respecting their timescales, guaranteeing and respecting their informed decision and ensuring they are accompanied and taking into account that people who have been attacked are not passive subjects and that every response must therefore have their consent and approval.

OUR VALUES. WHAT IS OK.

As a public space that any person can inhabit, a series of values are specified that make Medialab an open space and a meeting place for different communities:

  • Diversity: We can use the acceptation coined by Gimeno Sacristán (1999: 12 and 13) which says “Diversity refers to the circumstances of subjects who are distinct and different”. It is the quality by which one thing is distinguished from something else. Difference is not only a manifestation of the unique being that everyone is, but also, in many cases, it is a manifestation of power or of becoming, of having the potential to be and to participate in social, economic and cultural assets. Therefore the term diversity descriptively refers to the multiplicity of reality or the plurality of realities". Diversity is not shackled by values, by judgments about what good or bad it may have or generate; it lacks motivations that relate it to or that make it play one role or another.

  • Inclusion: Inclusion means a commitment to welcoming general diversity, without any manner of exclusion, not even for reasons that have to do with discriminating between different types of needs. Inclusion begins by accepting differences, celebrating diversity and promoting the equitable treatment of each and every person. The process of inclusion is intended to minimise barriers so that everyone can participate, regardless of their physical, mental or social characteristics or their cultural contexts, etc.

  • Transversality: Is a pedagogical concept which means “crossing from one side to the other” and refers to that content, subject, goal or competition that “spreads through” every process of teaching-learning-work. This means that it sets out more favourable conditions for the content to be assimilated throughout the whole process, not only in part of the process.

  • Equity: Equity has its origin in Natural Law and is related to social justice. It involves equal treatment for all, taking into account their differences and respecting each person. That is to say, it defends that all individuals should have the same conditions and opportunities, taking into account the historical and social perspective we start out from, which requires adaptations in specific cases. This means that depending on the position each person occupies, he or she will need more or less support to achieve equality of conditions with respect to others.

  • Equality: Equality is the condition in which two obviously different people are recognised the same status. Equality poses a situation of fully proportional equivalence; in addition, it implies a fair distribution of rights and obligations. To talk about equality, implies talking about a universal legal principle which states that all people are equal, that there are no differences in value regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexual preference, age and other considerations. Social equality would be, for example, the characteristic of those states in which every citizen without exclusion effectively achieves the realisation of all human rights, particularly civil and political rights and the economic, social and cultural rights that are needed if we are to achieve true social justice.

  • Recognition: Is to distinguish one thing, a person or an institution among others because of their characteristics and traits. It also serves to express the gratitude that is experienced as a result of a given action, favour or benefit.

  • Respect: The special consideration and esteem you have for someone or something; recognising someone’s value simply because they exist. It is based on the recognition that consists in distinguishing one person from another because of their characteristics and traits.  Humiliation is when others -society- refuses to recognise someone. For Honneth, a person who is despised, humiliated and unrecognised, loses their integrity, their rights, their personal autonomy and their moral autonomy. Many forms of respect are based on a relationship of reciprocity (mutual respect, mutual recognition, etc.). However, insofar as the respect of people toward objects, customs and social institutions is concerned, they are based on considerations other than reciprocity.

  • Joint responsibility: (or co-responsibility). Responsibility is the awareness of the consequences that everything we do or fail to do has for ourselves or others. Joint responsibility is when that consciousness is collective; being aware of the environment and of our companions. Through it we deal with the injustice implicit in certain habits, such as the fact that girls have to take care of spaces. It assumes, therefore, that we are all equal and that there are no responsibilities that should not be shared. So if you see any situation in which a person is being compromised, notify the staff of the Centre so they can take action. We must explain the difference between telling on someone and reporting. When it comes to protecting victims, there’s no such thing as a tell-tale. Only brave people who report a situation.

  • Sisterhood: Inequality cannot be tackled from an individualistic standpoint. The word sisterhood is derived from the fellowship there is among women, feeling as equals who can bond, share and, above all, change their reality. This concept is closely linked to the concept of solidarity. The idea expresses how important cooperation and solidarity among women is.

  • Dialogue: Dialogue is a form of verbal or written communication in which two or more people communicate in an exchange of information. The so-called interlocutors (the transmitter - the receiver) need to exchange their roles as one person cannot hoard just one of the roles.

  • Collaboration: Any process involving the work of several people working together, both to obtain a result that would be very hard to achieve individually and to help someone achieve something they could not manage on their own. It is an intrinsic aspect of human society, and it applies particularly to various contexts such as science, art, education and business; it always goes hand in hand with similar terms such as cooperation and coordination.

  • Genuine and active participation. (Backing up the complaint). Alert coordinators, participants, mediators or Centre staff if you see anyone in a situation of danger or vulnerability or any violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem insignificant.

  • Consideration and respect in discourse and individual actions. Medialab is a safe space. Our goal is to ensure that this space meets the guarantees so that those who inhabit it, irrespective of their status, can feel it is a safe place in which they can be themselves.

 

WHAT IS NOT OK. EXAMPLES.

Some examples that we will divide into blocks:

Communication:

  • Publish, display and share material that is sexually explicit or violent.
  • Publish, or threaten to publish, the private information of other people.
  • Share images with sexual content among people in the company in an unsolicited and unjustified manner.
  • Take pictures, videos and recordings without the consent of the people who appear in them.
  • Deliberately calling someone with offensive names.
  • Voice opinions on another person’s appearance, sexual orientation or heritage, without their consent.
  • Discredit a person, turning them socially or professionally into a victim through “affection”.
  • Any one of the situations referred to above is a violation of the Code of Conduct whether carried out in person or using digital tools, mobile phones, etc.

Language:

  • Offensive and/or degrading comments, insults, mockery, derogatory comments, unwanted compliments, and any attitude that aims to ridicule a person or group.
  • Sexist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language or language that discriminates a person on the basis of their abilities.  
  • Humiliation or abusive use of language or tone of voice.

Personal relationship:

All of us can be an aggressor if we overstep the limits of another person. Yet we live in a system of patriarchal socialisation that generates power relationships in which men receive rights over women that place them in a position of superiority. This is not to say that all men exercise the power that is given to them but it does mean that they may believe they have the right to exercise it. Therefore we should pay special attention to prevent men from being aggressive to women.

  • “Drooling” over somebody and being insistent is not a technique to get off with someone, it’s sexual harassment. Even when out partying, NO MEANS NO. Even if she said yes earlier on. Even if you’ve already started.
  • Sexualise a woman's body. Comment on or criticise their body or physical appearance without being asked. Comment on or criticise their sexual behaviour or attitude. The same thing goes for a person’s cultural, religious or economic situation.
  • Unwanted physical contact. Touching, encircling a woman or a group of women, that embarrasses or displeases the person or group suffering them.
  • An aggression is when someone feels attacked: Everyone has their limits, which vary depending on the experiences of each person. We should not question those limits. Aggression is an abuse of power by one person over another. It is not a misunderstanding or an exaggeration.
  • Malicious jokes or comments about the intimate life or the sexual condition of a person.
  • Trying to have an undesired relationship (sexual, emotional, friendly, professional) and asking third parties to mediate on your behalf to achieve such a relationship.
  • Attitudes that imply extraordinary and continuous surveillance.
  • Request/Order or attitudes that attempt to promote the isolation of a person and to prevent them from communicating.
  • Unequal treatment based on sexuality, transsexuality or gender identity.
  • Any unfavourable or adverse treatment due to the sex, race, economic status, religion, etc. of the affected person.
  • Keep in mind that glances and lascivious behaviour, touching someone’s body without permission and degrading or offensive comments are also forms of violence against women.
  • Humiliating or discriminatory behaviour or harassment.

If you witness any of these situations, please contact the Medialab team to take action. Co-responsibility is essential to stop this type of behaviours.

In the event of non compliance, Medialab Prado reserves the right to refuse admission to the centre, termination of the contract, agreement, etc, as well as to apply to the competent authorities to denounce the situation.

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