Make Safe Make Space is a collaborative social practice project led by Nsenga Knight while a Southern Constellations Fellow in 2014 at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC. Between August 6th and September 17th, 2014 Knight invited over forty members of Greensboro’s Black community to discuss historical and prevailing issues of safety in “Safe Place”, Leslie Kalman’s fabric fortress installation on a private floor in Elsewhere Museum. These members included students who attended North Carolina A&T and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. These conversations explored connections between physical safety and psychological well being and resulted in the restructuring of “Safe Place” fabric fortress, through the addition of a window, new flooring and resecured walls. This project was conceived in the wake of the Mike Brown police killing in Ferguson Missouri and inspired by the Civil Rights era sit-in movement which began in Greensboro, North Carolina on the same street in which the museum is currently situated.
As an extension of this work, Knight created a series of stitched lithographs that contain text abstracted from documented conversations with Make Safe Make Space project collaborators. The texts weave together language used to guide the physical transformations of the Safe Place installation and to instigate social change.