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woolwich 2019

Otherness Dialogues Workshop for the EU project: Open European Societies.

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Main partner and organiser

Throughout this workshop we will explore our memories and/or imagination of what we could call a safe space, and take different positions related to it. We will use description, storytelling and some performative elements to experience diverse points of views. Roles, languages and characters we choose will express these positions, which will interact during the proposed games. The methods are based on creative writing and personal storytelling methodologies, stemming from object-, character- and space-related narrative structures.

Photo by Olga Yocheva

Questions:

  • How can we meet in a short time, in an easily accessible way with people speaking different languages, having different cultural background?
  • How can we give voice and empower participants through storytelling to express their individual, personal feelings, while understanding their own cultural, historical, social, economic, linguistic background?
  • How can we create positive, reinforcing discourses together?
  • How can we raise empathy and foster social inclusion through metaphoric-artistic language?

Key notions:

Observing. Space, time, exercises are conceived to allow perception, observation, reflection and self-reflection.

Boundaries. Storytelling uses the sideways technique, never enters spheres of privacy or trauma. The personal stories are related to the participants’ lives in a way that they are in control of their boundaries. 

Metaphor. The workshops often employ the simple and effective use of metaphor as a vehicle between semantics and imagination, which helps the participants express themselves in an artistic framework to protect their privacy and foster their creativity.

Empowerment. Storytelling fosters expression and (re)formulation of own, hybrid, fluid, hyphenated identity, without re-traumatizing or labelling.

Main aims:

  • To inspire storytelling through recollecting quotidian events.
  • To help the participants reflect on and retell their life events.
  • To enhance observation and co-creation.
  • To foster empathy.