Workshop: Motherness (starting Otherness Dialogues)

In cooperation with: Representations of the Other, GroundFloor Group and Játéktér/Playing Area

WORKSHOP REPORT

The theme of the first one in the series of Otherness Workshops, organized this time at the Paintbrush Factory in Club in the period 26-27 October 2014 was womanly otherness and the experience of giving birth.

International representatives of several fields (university professors of artistic and scientific disciplines, researchers), students, theatre artists and others participated at the event. The great variety of participants illustrates the multidisciplinary character of the event: our project based on both theory and practice unites several fields, languages and cultures.

Structurally, the two-day workshop was divided into three parts – the future workshop-events will be constructed similarly, adapting in their scale to the always-different target audience. One part consisted of movement exercises, meant to experience both the working of a community and the non-verbal elements related to the theme. The designers and coaches of the movement elements were the actor Ferenc Sinkó and Ildikó Ungvári Zrínyi, university professor the Tg-Mures University of Arts. The second part included the evocation of personal stories about birth and their discussion moderated by Kinga Boros, assistant lecturer at the Tg-Mures University of Arts. The third part of the workshop was a performance lecture constructed on a text by Slavoj Zizek, during which Attila Szigeti, lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy of Babes-Bolyai University lead the active participation of all attendants.

A separate block of the workshop was dedicated to the discussion of feed-back on the event, as well as the precise planning of issues related to the methodology and organization of the project. Imre Ungvári Zrínyi. Lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy of Babes-Bolyai University moderated and summarized reflections on the event. Sándor Sajó, lecturer at the Faculty of Aesthetics of ELTE, Budapest reported about his participation at the IETM meeting in Sofia, where he represented the project. Rita Sebestyén from Babes-Bolyai University and Anikó Varga, chief-editor of Playing Area, moderated the discussion about the future trajectory of the project and possibilities of cooperation with institutions. The discussions resulted in agreements about future themes of the project; about the social sensibilization of artistic tools; the promotion of the philosophy of multiculturalism (about which the core members of the project will give lectures in the future: Mária Albert and Ildikó Ungvári Zrínyi about the role of theatrical tools in social changes, Rita Sebestyén about the possibilities of comparative studies in interpreting otherness), while the periodical Playing Area will organize presentations of the project at their workshops.

The October workshop involved about 40 direct participants, indirectly about 400 others, belonging to the academic communities of the leading professionals, as well as 5,000 further persons, reached through the news items and reports on the website of the project.

We plan 6 workshops and 6 performance lectures in 2015, during which we estimate the number of directly involved and indirectly addressed persons at 30, 000 – reached through media, online and printed publications, including the international audience of English publications.

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