otherness dialogues

Otherness Dialogues: events,  workshops and lecture performances

 

This  programme of the project tackles with otherness through a collection of studies, a collection of stories and a series of events: workshops and performance lectures – from smaller to larger scale, tailored to different participants, aiming cross-cultural dialogue and inclusion.
Importance: Within the large- scale alteration driven by globalisation, the co-existence of different cultural and ethnic groups that engage in dialogues and inspire each other become ever more important. The theatrical expressions and representation of minorities and migrant communities is a susceptible phenomenon that fosters cross-cultural communication and helps in research and theory formation in newly shaped, multifaceted and complex societies.
Aim: raise awareness, foster dialogue in cases of all kinds of otherness (ethnic, religious, cultural, gender, societal issues, migration, etc.) – for social inclusion.
The events are based on cross-disciplinary approaches and methods themselves: philosophy of otherness and drama as a tool for social transformation – they engage many players from the public sector and NGO’s and this way help them engage into a dialogue in order to facilitate social inclusion (education, health, working conditions, etc.).
Through involving decision makers and representatives of NGOs and public institutions the events foster change in proceedings with unprivileged social groups.
Worked out for 3-4 actors (scientists and artists), one of the main aims of the project is to form an international network of events and exchange knowledge, information and experience. Beyond the fact that events are easy to be toured, further actors (scientists and artists) can be trained to hold the events.

  • Target groups:
    • all those working with people who suffer from social exclusion – the poor, the old, the migrants, the minorities – , employees and volunteers working for NGO’s that aim social equality,
    • those working for public institutions: nurses, social workers, clerks, teachers and staff working with socially vulnerable people, police, and decision-makers,
    • the young in order to build a society based on egalitarian values in the future and to prevent prejudice and social exclusion in the future
    • the representatives of vulnerable layers of society (mentioned above) in order to facilitate their inclusion and foster their skills of finding resources and help , for empowerment, assertiveness and to facilitate their successful self-representation and communication of their rights.
    • mixed groups – specially selected mixed groups that include representatives of vulnerable layers of society and people working with them, and the young and also decision makers – selection of participants being conceived according to their representative social group.

Time frame: a series of performance lectures and workshops based on the Otherness Reader:
• pilot workshop: 26-29 October 2014, Cluj, Fabrica de Pensule
• the series of events taking place between January 2015 – March 2016 – during this period:
working out theory, methodology, approach, process of: 12 workshops and 12 performance-lectures in Romania: holding 12 workshops and 12 performance lectures.

  • Topics:
    1. otherness in general – philosophical approach of otherness that come across as close, physical-mental-emotional experiences throughout the events,
    2. a series of otherness: ethnic minorities, immigrants, the poor, the old, women – one event and one workshop is worked out for each issue,
    3. a series of concepts: cultural shame, (re)writing history, representation, assertiveness, etc.
    Partakers can attend events only related to their work or their own social group or community – but also can chose a series of events and workshops.
    Selection of partakers – in cooperation with NGO’s and institutions the project reaches out to all target groups.

THE READER: The Otherness Reader offers an edited and updated reading list of the most significant philosophical texts, with introduction to each of them. The collection is a gap-filling reader in the topic, and it provides material for both academic and extra-curricular activities.
The core texts of the Otherness Reader will be the starting point for academic teaching of cross-cultural encounters and issues on Otherness. In the same time, the project will use these texts to open up a cross-disciplinary and interactive dialogue through the use of texts.

THE STORIES: The Otherness Stories offer you an edited and constantly growing collection of personal stories – told either in words or pictures – to encourage our readers and participants of our events. We think, reflect, and (re)consider points of views throguh these personal stories and reflexions. Besides the event participants, any reader can contribute to this collection – all stories sent to our e-mail address (othernessproject@gmail.com) will be considered by the editorial board.

WORKSHOPS AND PERFORMANCE LECTURES:

Workshops: 2-3 days long events for 10-12 participants – held by 2-3 actors (researchers and theatre professionals) conceived on special topics of otherness. These events are based on body-sould-mind experiences: through physical trainings, personal stories and otherness concepts.

Performance lectures: 50-70 mins long lectures for 25-35 participants – held by 2-3 actors (researchers and theatre professionals) based on the philosophical approach of the studies, made interactive for the participants with the tools of drama and theatre.

In both cases the starting points are texts of philosophy and sociology dealing with otherness. Depending on the specified issue of the lecture, the theoretician – with visual aids from the site conceived especially for the text or texts – introduces 1-3 main notions related to the given topic. The notions are put into dramatic situation by the participants with the help of the three actors, they are discussed upon and they are concluded to a resolution with the active involvement of all partakers: often taking the shape of a forum theatre, or telling and acting out personal stories. The closure of the events is always getting back to the main notions.

Venues:
Events can be travelled to any place invited – a classroom-large venue is needed.

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