Art of adaptation Manual of artistic tools for migrants
Art of adaptation Manual of artistic tools for migrants
2012 Ariadne Project
Main project coordinator: Vera Várhegyi
Christina Zoniou Enikő Tarján Marián López Fdz. Cao Vera Várhegyi Veronika Szabó
Alkistis Kondoyianni Carol Brown Christina Zoniou Edina Tarján Ioanna Papadopoulou Judit Koppány Kata Horváth Lynne Bebb Marián López Fdz. Cao Nancy Hogg Naya Boemi Tania Ugena Vera Várhegyi Veronika Szabó
Graphic and editorial design:
Tamás Hronyecz, Anna Fatér, Zsófia Szolga
Publisher’s reader: Nancy Hogg
Ariadne - Art for intercultural adaptation in new environment project Project number: 510255-LLP-1-2010-1-FR-Grundtvig-GMP Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ariadne4art.eu
Elan Interculturel Momentum Arts Osmosis- Centre for the Arts and Intercultural Education University Complutense of Madrid, Research Group 941035 „Art aplication for Social In clusion” University of University of the Peloponnese, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Theatre Studies TAN Dance Ltd. and Artemisszió Alapítvány Tel./ Fax: (0036 1) 413 6517 E-mail: email@example.com www.artemisszio.hu 2012
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Content Introduction: Ariadne, the labyrinth, art and migration ..................................................................... 5 I. THEORIES OF ART AND ADAPTATION
1. Marián López Fernández Cao: About the uses of art as a medium for human growth ....................... 8 2. Christina Zoniou-Naya Boemi: Betwixt and between: theatrical space and reality ........................... 18 3. Vera Várhegyi: Art is good for adaptation ........................................................................................... 26
II. ARIADNE’S ART WORKSHOPS
1. Marián López Fernández Cao: Towards good practices in intervention trough art with migrants ..... 40 2. Case studies about art interventions with migrants .......................................................................... 49 2.1. Vera Várhegyi: Art of adaptation: art journey through the phases of adaptation ................... 49 2.2. Christina Zoniou - Ioanna Papadopoulou - Naya Boemi: United we blossom with the power of theatre ......................................................................................................................................... 58 2.3. Kata Horváth: Breaking out of social isolation. Theatre-based intervention with immigrants in Hungary ........................................................................................................................................ 77 2.4. Marián López Fernández Cao: Biographies of your territory. Artistic inclusion workshop through situated biographies ........................................................................................................ 89 2.5. Berta de la Dehesa-Tania Ugena: Shelter trough art therapy ................................................ 98 2.6. Nancy Hogg: A better life through arts and language ........................................................... 110 2.7. Laszlo Fodor - Judit Koppány - Veronika Szabó: “Home made” - Community reporting trough creative media ............................................................................................................................ 121 2.8. Lynne Bebb: Home Is Where the Heart Is .......................................................................... 129 2.9. Vera Várhegyi: In dialogue: experimentation with a pinhole camera .................................. 137 2.10. Annex 1: Indicators for the evaluation of good practice of good practice for social action/in‐ tervention projects trough art .................................................................................................... 146
III. RESOURCES FOR TRAINERS
1. Summary ......................................................................................................................................... 150 2. Excercises ........................................................................................................................................ 151 2.1. Creating a net: intercultural communication and empathy .................................................. 151 2.2. Opening to the new environment, Finding new home ........................................................ 153 2.3. Exploring identity and culture .............................................................................................. 155 2.4. Exploring diversity & acquiring sense of empowerment ...................................................... 161 2.5. Understanding challenges of adaptation .............................................................................. 165 2.6. Changing and envisioning a new life project ........................................................................ 168 2.7. Evaluating change ................................................................................................................ 171
Introduction: Ariadne, the labyrinth, art and migration The Labyrinth It starts with a labyrinth. Theseus the warrior must defeat the Minotaur who dwells in the labyrinth. No one has escaped before, and the Minotaur has devoured countless victims year after year. But Theseus escaped the labyrinth with the help of Ariadne, who gave him a ball of thread which enabled him to navigate a way out. An enduring quality of Greek mythology is that these stories transcend time and space and act as fables for our collective experience. Who hasn’t faced a challenge as tough as a monster? Who hasn’t felt lost, as if alone in the middle of a maze? Arriving to a new country resembles in many ways the situation that Theseus faces: we are dropped in a new environment, sometimes with all references lost, where we have to fight many monsters at the same time. These might include learning a new language, un‐ derstanding how we should behave, getting used to a new environment with its different climate, smells and tastes. We must also accept that these variations can mean that we may stick out from the crowd, appear different to those around us. Some of things we take for granted, such as our friends and family, may be gone. We may need to find a new job in a language we have yet to master. Even our hard won qualifications may not be recognized. . Being in a foreign city is very much like being in a labyrinth: not only do we not know where the post office is but sometimes even the way to greet other people alludes us. We don’t know what is thought polite and what is considered rude. We find ourselves in unfamiliar situations, which seem bizarre and contradict our very values, beliefs and understandings. Similarly, being a migrant can find us in need of Ariadne and her ball of thread to guide us through this labyrinth.
The Thread In the domain of cross-cultural adaptation research Ariadne’s thread is a metaphor for con‐ tinuity and the quest for meaning; both powerful motifs in human experience. Continuity links our past to our present, it creates a sense of stability across time and space, much connected to meaning. Meaning is subjective: it doesn’t really matter what it is about – for some it may be about their family, for others their pastimes for others their career. What matters however, is that meaning is connected to the outside environment. We cannot maintain a new life project that does not take into account the external conditions in which we live. For adaptation to be successful the thread must link us to the outside world, just like Theseus we need the thread in order to thrive in our surroundings.
Art interventions enhance our skills of finding this thread in many ways. Art helps us to handle uncertainty and anxiety; it can prepare us for unfamiliar situations by simulating new responses to challenges and making us see connections in new ways. Art also helps to create order; it implies structuring shapes and colours, estimating proportions and creating an individual vision of balance. Finally, art can empower us by making us become actors and creators in the most concrete sense. Art interventions can also give us an opportunity to connect to the outside environment, either through the art form (e.g. photography, film or dance) or by membership of the art group. 5
The Manual This manual presents what we have learned about how art can be Ariadne’s thread. The four chapters chart the process of our two year project developed thanks to the support of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme. The first chapter gives an overview of the theoretical background of how art can be linked to the process of adaptation. It also presents a list of indicators we constructed to guide us partly in identifying good practices, partly in orienting our own work. The second chapter presents our pilot workshops in the form of case studies. Ariadne project partners delivered 11x30 hour workshops across the five participating countries. These ‘pilot’ sessions took place between July 2011 and May 2012. The partners worked with groups of 10-15 migrants including refugees and asylum seekers. Some courses were also made available to members of the host societies to give an opportunity for new con‐ tacts across these groups. The pilot workshops used a variety of art forms such as, creative writing, dance, filmmaking, photography, theatre and visual arts. By using the arts as a tool to engage with the participants a safe space was created in order to reflect on issues such as culture shock, identity, and a sense of belonging. The case studies give an insight into the processes and dynamics of our workshops. The findings informed us on the ways the pilots worked and the impact they had on the participants. The third chapter presents a sample of concrete tools, activities that we have developed and that we wish to share with artists, art mediators and adult trainers interested in en‐ riching their work with arts. We hope that our work with Ariadne will provide the thread needed to engage others in the work we have all found so fascinating.
1. Chapter Theories of art and adaptation
1. ABOUT THE USES OF ART AS A MEDIUM FOR HUMAN GROWTH Marián López Fernández Cao, Complutense University, Madrid
Abstract In this paper we will show how art has been used over time in human evolution as a tool for adaptation in both human development and human growth and also for interaction with the world and other people. Much more than a complementary function, art is a common expression of the human being and has several very important functions in individual growth and social health.
Art, Growth, Human development, Migrants, Social inclusion
1. Toward a diagnosis of Art in Education One of the basic aspects that has emerged from the discussions taken in recent years on art education has been the return to the fundamentals of education and art, rethinking the answers to the following questions concerning areas of an ontological and epistemological character: • What is art? • What is art for? • Why art is practiced, in every country, in every period (even if it is not supported by the ministry of education)? • What is the relationship of art to life? • What is the relationship of art to education? • Who is an artist, why and what for? Each of these questions would cover several pages of reflections, and would probably help clarify some of the discussions in this field. It seems useful to approach two fundamental lines: • One approach includes those followers who have opted to consider art as a language for visual education as a tool to analyze reality which in some cases is closer to visual culture, • The other line is closer to art as creation, metaphor and expression of the reality of the creator, which goes back to some ideas of education as expression or as self‐expression. Many of the studies that have been developed in these two fields are to do with both po‐ sitions. These two trends can be clearly detected in any of the recent international confer‐ ences that have taken place: in INSEA, the predominance of the analysis and visual impact of reality, and the UNESCO, with a more humanist tendency, that underlies the emphasis on the capacity for transformation and innovation of art, in its innovative and regenerative capabilities. However, without resigning to this need for critical observation of the culture inherent to art education, and starting from the knowledge of the emerging field that is art as transfor‐ mation and therapy, there is something really specific in art i.e. the ability to bring into play, beyond space and time, and through the operations of the creative psyche, new ways of 8
seeing. These operations work on us as an act of the transformation of us, of the perspec‐ tive we have on the world, on others and our relation to them. As Rudolf Arnheim says: “Art is the quality which state the difference between being mere spectators or do things and be affected by them, touched by them, as amended by the forc‐ es inherent in everything that we give or receive” (Arnheim, 1980).
2. The values of Art Art, creation, music, dance and theatre remain, regardless of educational systems that sup‐ port or eliminate them from the curriculum. Societies, whether encouraged, educated or not, continue to produce art and, individuals, since they first begin to see their mark on the ground, their shadow on the wall, their bodies in space, begin to be creators, imagining of possible and impossible futures or inventing strategies of resistance to their present. All aspects that we note below are evident for people like us who dedicate ourselves to creation and education through art. However, they usually need to be explained to the majority of professionals from other areas of education who see creation, in many cases, a trivial entertainment which does not provide competences or skills for the future life and work. Let’s see some aspects of Art.
2.1. Relationship with objective reality Reality is rarely observed for so long as when we are drawing it. The sketch made with pen, pencil or any material enables to pay attention to detail and requires attention, detailed observation, and a slow and delicate treatment of reality. Drawing involves listening to the environment, knowing its rules, acknowledging them, un‐ derstanding its structures and sharing them through the action of hands and fingers. Reality, through a process of careful observation, impinges upon us, through our eyes and our body, our memory and our cognition. All memories assimilated and accommodated about reality emerge and are reactualized in the act of drawing; the learned schemas combine or fade with this reality, that unique reality, in space and time, in front of our eyes. As the writer John Berger said, after having drawn a meadow, this never returns to be the same for the creator, “It becomes part of a life experience, of knowledge and attention. Drawing from nature, is an act of knowledge and respect for reality and becomes “our” reality through our fingers, hands, emotion, per‐ ception and brain.“
2. 2. Relationship with subjective reality On the other hand, to draw a fact or an experience is to make appear, from inside our body, traits that bear testimony to it. To draw is to give shape to a fact that has become an experi‐ ence within us. To draw a past experience, rooted in our memory, is an act of evocation and reincarnation, and at the same time, an externalisation of the past and a well‐being because we have the product in front of our eyes, and we are able, somehow, to see it again. Watching the result of our memory, our past perception and of our feeling is somehow to understand the experience, to understand ourselves, to understand ourselves within it. It involves an ability of making a humble mixture of synthesis and forgiveness, of reconciliation with ourselves and our lives. Children’s drawings during the Spanish Civil War, serve, among many other things, to let out the blow that reality had forced on them. To throw it out, slowly and under their own 9
personal styles, gives an order to the disorder of life, trauma, separation and loss. The fact of doing it again on a sheet, by hand and mind that recalls, fits and orders in a new space, adding and/or deleting, helps to give meaning to the past, to see it outside, to share it, to watch it again and to be able, finally, to live with it, to forgive it and forgive adults.
2. 3. Tolerance and enjoyment of ambiguity Art, poetry, theatre, are the spaces of paradox. Having being educated to live and act co‐ herently, without cracks and contradictions, art opens avenues where everything and any‐ thing is possible at the same time, where the contradictory feelings are harmonized or are allowed to live together at their extremes. Art allows for the expression of the being that wakefulness prevents, the incomprehensible unfathomable pain, the feeling of fullness and numbness at the same time. Art allows for the contradiction and the paradox, the excess, and makes possible the human being’s self‐com‐ prehension. The space of creation allows hate and forgiveness, rage and grief, the understanding, in short, of our passions. Art space is a symbolic place, where life tries again and again, and allows testing the pleasure and pain in a safe space. It allows for creation as well as for contemplation, forgetting the certainties, inquiring into polysemy of images and strokes, venturing meaning which can be at the same time, diverse, and in addition, never known as definitive. Art, creativity, does not offer definitive meanings and therefore it makes us get used to doubt and more importantly, to enjoy the ambiguity that is produced by not know‐ ing for sure what we are doing, or what we are seeing. In a society of closed meanings, art is a space where the limitations of a closed life open, unfolding in a multitude of possible meanings. That is, therefore, a symbolic field where the possible, open and ambiguous are constant and a vital feature.
2. 4. The body Art rejuvenates the space of playing. In it, our body and hands flow trying to adapt to the environment, trusting and establishing a dialogue between us, space and others. From the theorists of drama in schools we can point out how through the main games, personal games and projective games, boys and girls vested their bodies or what they projected onto society, in culture. Through the personal game, children transformed their body into airplanes, superheroes, monsters, small animals, or machines that sail the space of their home and their neigh‐ bourhood, now transformed into the universe, in a cave or in unexplored spaces. The movement whereby the body runs, stops, collects, opens, displays... involves all modes of being in the world, with the pleasure and the risk that this implies. See how children play in an autumnal park, with the fallen leaves, to watch them use their sense of smell with dry leaves, to hear the sound of crackling, dancing with their hands, legs and their whole bodies, collecting, piling, and throwing themselves onto the ground... is participation of a multitude of symbolic movements that bind them with life and its processes. The pedagogy of Reggio Emilia, developed by Loris Malaguzzi, immediately recognized the importance of the body of the child in the education for life, providing the time and space to experiment with all latent possibilities. Dance, like theatre, recalls our body in space trans‐ forming all our movements in relation to one another. When Jerome Bruner visited schools in Reggio Emilia he described it as “a special kind of place, in which the young human be‐ ings are invited to grow in mind, sensitivity and belonging to a wider community”. A space where the “mine, yours, ours,” and the community as “a learning community where shared 10
mind and sensitivity” is combined. A place to learn together in the real world, but also of the world of imagination. “It must be a place where the young woman and man discovers the use of the mind, imagination, materials and learn the power of working with all of this together” (quoted by Abbot, l., 14). Projective play makes our being project to an object all our wishes or fears that we want to express or fight against. The heuristic game of discovery and experimentation through objects projects all the necessities and characteristics that we wish or need. The object, built or found, ceases to be a lost object in the crowd to be what we want it to be: a cone becomes a spyglass, an amplifier, a horn, a weapon or a shield. A ring is a wheel, a safe space, a crown, a deadly weapon..., through the projective game we are indirectly, everything and nothing at the same time. The visual arts, heirs of the pro‐ jective play, invite us as well to be everything and nothing, to try possibilities in the safety of the creative space.
2. 5. Coping conflict. New adaptive strategies All anthropologists agree that the creation of instruments and tools by humans meant the possible survival of the human species in a hostile environment. The condition to make instruments is, first, imaging them. The creative process is a part, as we say in the previous heading, of the projective game: we are not only interested in what a stick on the ground is, or a natural fibre, or a stone, but what it can be, what it is for us. The capacity of making strange the common, which involves creativity, together with the ability to think of other uses, futures and options, makes us think that the imagination is not merely a place to escape from reality, but on the contrary, a necessity for survival and a highly adaptive need. If humans had imagined a safer and warmer world, they would have not created objects and environments that allowed it. The fact that we are born with unprotected feet when we walk barefoot and suffer pain after long walks in the woods over sand and stone, to thinking about the idea of joining veg‐ etable fibres to a surface where we can put the foot and make a shoe, decisions to exclude, include, or review have taken place. However, since the beginning, there has been present an imagination that has existed to be able to think about a foot without injury and to be able to connect elements which, in principle, had no apparent relationship. This imagination requires attention, observation and willingness to change. It was a creative action that made possible the transformation of vegetable matter into a shoe. From the hollow made in a leaf that allows human beings to drink, to containers of ceramics to store liquids, shows a knowledge and understanding of the matter, which is clay. There has been a process of natural observation which has developed the materialized idea, from the wet malleable matter can be transformed into dry, hard material through firing. Art and science are connected. Imagination connects present and future. It checks out the present and invents the future. Creativity adds possibility to the present, so that it becomes a real future. Psychologist Fernando Cembranos noted how creativity has a social dimension and how all people have invented ways of survival in difficult life situations. The ways in which different peoples have escaped from disease and misery are examples of creative strategies, alternative ways of dealing with the harshness of life.
2. 6. Standing before the conflict There is a type of creation linked with repetition that has been criticized by the theory of creativity and the basics of the creation in modernity. However, the repetition is a constant 11
in our life cycle and helps us to sustain ourselves in our continuous existence. From the identification by repetition of children, that make us adults to tell the same story with the same words over and over again, to repetitive chants that hold us or signs as rituals that anchor us in life Repetition is a motor that gives us a sense of safety. The recovery of the homeostatic balance through ritual and repetition insert us in a safe time, and at the same time makes us equilibrate a changing, fragmented and troubled reali‐ ty. The rhythm, the patterned repetition gives the feeling of a story, of continuity, that there is a thread woven through our lives, and gives us direction and holds us. Many of the stories about difficult and harsh circumstances tell us about how people through the repetition of names, numbers and exact memorizations, managed to glide to a place where it was possible to bear the unbearable. The art of the thread, through the fabric, the stitching or embroidery; the gestures of the potter, of one that repeats an action in order to create something, compensates the external imbalance by imposing a pace and an order to life and offers, as a result, creation in front of destruction. At the same time, the repetitive dances moves to another state, another level of existence which helps to resist the life we are living. On the other hand, the art, through its ability to imagine the future is capable of creating parallel lives, desires that compensate the lack of desire of everyday life. As Herbert Marcuse pointed out, art open our eyes to reality be‐ cause it indicates the possible existence of other much more interesting living. Like the delirium of the mentally ill who argue an explanation to explain the inexplicable chaos in which they live, art has the ability to move to other bodies, other environments, other experiences. It is somehow the Aristotelian catharsis that offers us, for a time, the illusion of living another world that is worth living, or the passion of those who never lived it,... or the pain of one who has never suffered. Art allows us to participate in emotions and feelings by pointing out ways to envisage a future among the ruins or to withstand the present among the ruins. Just as the Celtic bards, with the rod of Cedar, made a circle around themselves, so art allows the temporary suspension of the penalty, pain and sadness. Art helps the recovery of the soul, that is if the soul exists.
2.7. Tolerance to frustration Working with art materials confronts us to the qualities of matter and to our own limita‐ tions. Used to a society based on consumption, where the acquisition implies immediate satisfaction, to address a dialogue and understanding with matter (be it stone, wood, clay or any other matter) is to recognize not only the rules of the game, but our capacities, to adjust our rhythm to the rhythm of the matter and to know from the very beginning that this is a game where not only the human being makes the rules. Facing our inability can be, at times, a great moment of humility in learning, and can make us know more about ourselves, how to tackle difficulties, limitations, or our clumsiness. It can help us to raise new strategies, and, above all, to tolerate ourselves as humans and give us time through patience.
2. 8. Learning how to choose Very few activities offer us the possibility to choose so many times and in such a short time as artistic creation: material, support, technique, internal or external reality, how to trans‐ late it, when to start, stop, reflect, or to terminate. These are all actions that depend on oneself if performed individually, or requiring the achievement of continuous consensus if performed collectively. 12
Learning to make decisions, is at the same time the need to take responsibility for the con‐ sequences of the decisions of the artistic process, and paradoxically, losing the fear of the consequences of our choices, having the chance to test them.
2.9. Learning to make mistakes Assuming the mistakes made in the symbolic and fertile space of creativity, help us to rec‐ ognize ourselves as mortals who are vulnerable and fragile. The ability to admit mistakes in this area helps to mitigate these errors, to minorize the severity of real life, and helps us to assume the “force for life” needed to correct them, and to correct us again and again. It makes us separate the action from ourselves. Somehow the errors made on an artistic object helps us to separate ourselves from the errors and understand them as rectifiable. It helps to separate subject and object and at the same time to see their ties and relationships.
2. 10. Learning how to plan The sculptor and teacher Angel Ferrant wrote on the walls of his workshop in the Auxiliary Association of the Child, created in 1935 where he taught until it was closed in 1939:
“The work to be done here will be like a game. You will succeed if you get done well what you proposed to do. The reckless one who thinks that it is not necessary to reflect will lose or fail. To win in this game you are interested in, you must know in advance the following: 1. What do you want to do. 2. What materials do you need to make it. 3. Before you make the artwork it is convenient to do the study with drawings, patterns or cuts of cardboard, which can help you to avoid possible mistakes. In this workshop everyone can build what comes to mind. Here there is no master, but anyone may ask whatever they do not know. It is forbidden to destroy anything, unless you need to build something that’s worth more than what it will be destroyed.” With few and wise words, Ferrant summarizes a portion of the values of art. It implies the autonomy and responsibility of the child or the adult in the process of creating. It involves something very important: the ability to plan, to sketch, to try a thousand times, thinking to choose and taking responsibility for our own creation.
2. 11. Another conception of time The process of creating transforms the rhythms of the work, the kingdom of homo faber, makes them different. Creation, creative thinking, implies not only active thought (vita ac‐ tiva) but also contemplative thought (vita contemplativa). Thinking solutions requires us to feel alien to the process, to externalize the set, to see it again and these imply a time of no action, out of the process, an incubation period in which humans allow themselves to be permeated by external and new elements. Therefore, the time of creation is different from the mechanical working time, imposed by a productive‐oriented society. The creative process is an event, a transformative time, an 13
action that links humans with themselves and with the medium, with the others, weaving past and present, present and future. It involves a suspended time where anything and everything happens simultaneously.
2.12. Another conception of space Creative space immerses us in a space out of everyday space. Art has the ability to mark, in the manner of the Celtic bards, as Robert Graves stated in the ‘White Goddess’, a circle that leads us to a new type of relationship and transformation. Space becomes a potential space, as noted by Winnicott, full of possibilities, an area of security and freedom. The pedagogy of Reggio Emilia, as previously mentioned, focuses its attention on space as a place where chil‐ dren are prepared for life: the game, central in childhood, inaugurates the creation and art.
2. 13. Another conception of feeling A friend, after an operation for cancer, pointed out to me about the real possibility of death as one of the things that she suddenly became aware of and that cost her to resign: the aesthetic contemplation. She told me how she had left a dance representation, full of tears, terrified and thinking that perhaps she may not be able to see that ever again. The sense of elevation, of transcendence of daily life, the feeling of being a participant of beauty are aspects that renews our ability to fly over the petty, superfluous and banal and renews in us the hope that life is worth living.
2. 14. Capacity of habituation As a result of all ideas mentioned above, art makes common the unexpected and on the other hand, art makes the unexpected common. To build a story of a painful fact is to learn how to integrate it into our lives, shredding to rebuild after it, new forms of coexistence. One of the basic psychological functions of the act of photographing is, without any doubt, trying to interject external reality, when it is often difficult to assimilate: make it ours to see it, then, sieved and objectualized by our own vision.
2. 15. Capacity of de‐habituation Similarly, art and its processes enable us to see reality with new eyes. Film director Nestor Almendros quoted that directors of photography should be always foreign to the place where they should film, because that will provide them the vision of one who is able to ap‐ preciate the luminous nuances that a native wouldn’t ever be able to do. The estrangement of the vision does recognize in the same sight, in the same landscape, different qualities, unpublished functions, unexpected possibilities. This ability of de‐habituation has been key in the adaptive capacity of human beings. Through it the human has seen a shoe in a natural fibre, an instrument in the piece of a branch, a home in the cavity of a rock. The artists are an example of this capacity of re‐adaptation in the same way children are prone in their endless games with an object: in a few minutes a box goes from being a vehicle to a house or a building block. This capability allows us to tackle conflicts from diverse points of view when the old modes are not possible anymore, and this not only re‐starts a new relationship with the world but renews the relationship with each other when old modes are exhausted and allows us to see, again, new qualities in ourselves and in others, which had been overlooked previously. 14
2. 16. Creativity as a union: the individual and the common With the creation, we call upon other human beings. Contemplating a work of art, is par‐ ticipating in the privacy of its creator, through aesthetic empathy. Indeed, in many cases, the more intimate the process is, the greater the call for capacity. Artwork derived from dev‐ astating economic or political regimes, such as the missing people in the Spanish Civil War, in Chile’s or Argentina’s dictatorships, have led to tremendous and very beautiful artworks that have emerged from the pain of irreplaceable loss. These individual feelings call again for the common sense of loss, the shared intimacy and the pain felt in solitude. In turn, artistic expressions like theatre, dance or music as mediums involving bodies and mind, imply the feeling of a common project, of responsibility and interdependence, items that have been lost as objectives in productive‐oriented education. The ability to get in‐ volved when we are part of a theatrical, musical or dance project, is in knowing each other as part of the group and how the group the identity, against the prevailing individuality of our society and contemporary creation. The artistic group teach us to be humble, to share the common project, in a responsible and accountable way, and beyond that, in the experience and pleasure of the shared process, that is, the exhibition of a product made by a community towards the community. In all these processes we learn to recognize errors in front of others, to exchange critics, to sup‐ port and sustain, to contain the group, and we learn how to be helped and how to maintain individual levels that form together a whole.
2. 17. Creating is to bet for life Creating binds us to the instincts of living, is eros betting for the vitality of the human being? Viktor Ullman, a musician killed in Auschwitz, who worked tirelessly with other creators in the ghetto of Terezin, noted that “the ability to create is similar to the ability to survive”. Creating, in its broadest sense, is to bet for being in the world, with others, making this an event through the inclusion of the beautiful, which confers our existence, a hallmark of “something special”, as Ellen Dissanayake quoted. Recognizing oneself in the mirror every morning, combing, washing one’s face, is to renew the body every morning for something special, and all of these has to do with creation. Setting a table with a special tablecloth ‐ previously embroidered with tenderness ‐ placing cups of breakfast, bowls and spoons purchased with aesthetic intent, setting napkins,... are acts of everyday creation that renews every day life. At the opposite extreme, the abandon‐ ment of oneself, begins by abandoning the concept of aesthetic event. Primo Levy and Liana Milu, both survivors of concentration camps, quoted recalling their stay in them, that it was easy to know the ones who had been dispossessed of the impulse of life, who had left eros: their figures decay, their scruffy appearance showed that they had ceased to opt for life, they were the untermensch, that left themselves close to death. Creating summons us to life, to feel the life project, to make it walk. Creation involves body, cognition, emotion, in our individuality always crossed by others and the world. This com‐ plex network that is life, manifests itself through art renewing thoughts, affects and cultural and social trends. Art is therefore an excellent way to deal with change, with the capability of rethinking iden‐ tity, personal and interpersonal trends and new forms of comprehension of the World and the human being. Artistic activity is part of growth, of human development. Artists have used this capability to symbolize, to think and feel the world and to imagine new worlds. Art, therefore, is an area of possibilities and freedom. 15
Bibliography ABBOT, L., NUTBROWN, C. (2001) (...) Experiencing Reggio Emilia. Implications for Pre‐ school Provision. Open University Press. BERSSON , R. (1986); “Why Art Education lack social relevance: A contextual analysis”. Art Education, 36(4), p. 41‐45. BROUDY, H.S. (1987) The Role of Learning. The Getty Center for Education in the Arts, L.A., California. BRUNER, J. (1971, castellano1987); Importancia de la Educación. Paidós, Barcelona. BRUNER, J. (1973); El Proceso de Educación Revisitado. Paidós, Barcelona. CASSIRER, E. (1957); The philosophy of simbolic forms. Harcourt Brace Jovanivich, Nueva York. CHALMERS, G.F. (2003) Arte, educación y diversidad cultural, Buenos Aires: Paidos. CLARK, DAY & GREER (1987); “Discipline‐based art education: becoming students of art”. Journal of Aesthetic Education, n. 21. pp. 129‐197. CLARK, R. 1998: “Constructing the Postmodernism classroom: doors and mirrors in Art‐ Education”. Art Education, november, 6‐11. DISSANAYANKE, E. (1988) What is art for? Seattle: University of Washington Press. DORN, C.M. (1981); “Separate but not equal: The unfulfilled promise of art curriculum”. Art Education, 34(6), p. 28‐34. EISNER, E. W. (1982); Cognition and curriculum. A basis for deciding what to teach. Long‐ man, New York. (En castellano: (1987)Procesos Cognitivos y Currículum. Martínez Roca, Barcelona). FELDMAN, D.H. (1986). Nature’s gambit. New York, Basic Books. FIORINI, H. (1995) El proceso creador. Buenos Aires, Paidós. GARDNER, H. (1983). Frames of mind: the theory of multiple intelligences. New York, Basic Books. GARDNER, H. (1993). Art Education and Human Development. The Getty Center fot Education in the Arts. GOODMAN, N. (1968). Languages of Art. Bobbs‐Merrill, Indianapolis. GOODMAN, N. (1978). Ways of worldmaking. Hackett, Indianapolis. LÓPEZ FDZ. CAO, M. (2011) “Reflections on the matter”. In SCOBLE, S.; ROSS. M.; LA POUJADE, C. (2011) Art Therapies: the space between. Plymouth: Plymounth University Press. LÓPEZ FDZ. CAO, M. (2011) Memoria, ausencia e identidad. El arte como terapia (Mem‐ orie, absence and identity. Art as a therapy). Madrid, Eneida. LÓPEZ FERNÁNDEZ‐CAO, M et alii. (2010), ‘Social functions of art: Educational, clinical, social and cultural settings. Trying a new methodology’, International Journal of Education through Art 6: 3, pp. 399–414, doi: 10.1386/eta.6.3.399_1 LÓPEZ FERNÁNDEZ‐CAO, M. (2006), Creación y posibilidad (Creation and Possibility), Madrid: Fundamentos. - (2009a), Educación, creación y equidad (Education, Creation and Equity). Madrid: Eneida. LOWENFELD, V (1947, en castellano 1980): Desarrollo de la Capacidad Creadora. Buenos aires, Kapelusz. MARIN VIADEL, R.(1988):”EL Dibujo Infantil: Tendencias y Problemas en la Investigación sobre la Expresión Plástica de los escolares”. En Arte, Individuo y sociedad, n.1, pp.11‐17 MILTON C. NAHM (1948). “Structure and the Judgment of Art”. Journal of Philosophy 45 (25):684‐694. READ, H. (1982) Educación por el Arte. Barcelona, Paidós. SCHWEDER, R. y LEVINE, R. (eds.) (1984). Culture theory. New york: Cambridge Univer‐ 16
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2. BETWIXT AND BETWEEN: THEATRICAL SPACE AND REALITY Christina Zoniou, University of the Peloponnese, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Theatre Studies Naya Boemi, University of the Peloponnese, Centre for the Arts & Intercultural Education
Our theoretical background for the implementation and evaluation of the Ariadne project comes from the scientific disciplines of social anthropology and critical pedagogy, since we believe that a dialogue within the humanities results in an exchange of ideas and methods, where the centre piece is human. We try to approach the relationship between individuals and theatre from an anthropological standpoint, concentrating on individuals and their ac‐ tions. Theatre is the focal point as it affects groups of people. This approach gives us infor‐ mation about participants, about their relationship with theatre and its impact on everyday life, as well as the meanings it has for them. The approach requires that theories be built on data to ensure accuracy and workability. According to “multi-sited” ethnography, sub‐ jects cannot be studied ethnographically by conducting intensive fieldwork in a single loca‐ tion. “Mobile” ethnography follows non-predefined routes, often unexpected, and requires studying processes in motion (Marcus 1998:79-80). Theatre serves as both a form of the educational process and as a methodological research tool. It is an art-based research method, which enriches the qualitative paradigm, broaden‐ ing the notion of research design. It is related to all phases of the research endeavour: data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Moreover, theatre-based practices have allowed us to posit new research questions and to cast recurrent questions in new ways. This form of holistic, participatory and embodied research aims to link theory to practice. This article is divided into three parts: initially, information is given about the Theatre of the Oppressed, which is the predominant artistic and educational tool used in the pilot work‐ shops that took place in Athens (Greece), conducted by Osmosis and the University of the Peloponnese. Then follows a text about the pedagogy of empowerment, intercultural ed‐ ucation and intercultural competence, the theoretical background to our educational pro‐ jects. Consequently, we explain the analytical tools we used to evaluate the project, based on Beeman’s separation of the theatrical species: the content of theatrical performance, the public’s role-participation or viewing, and the performer’s role (Beeman 1993:381), as well as our focus on body, emotion and mind. Finally, bearing in mind that in theatrical performance a person is involved emotionally and physically, we make reference to the corresponding theory about emotion and the body.
Our artistic tools The Theatre of the Oppressed Our team selected the Theatre of the Oppressed as the main method from which to draw techniques from for the implementation of the Ariadne project in Greece. Techniques were also drawn from other methods of social theatre, such as Theatre for Development (Pam‐ menter & Mavrokordatos 2004). The Theatre of the Oppressed is an umbrella term coined by its founder Augusto Boal for a variety of theatrical techniques, inspired by political thea‐ tre and by student-centred and participatory pedagogy (Cohen-Cruz 2006). The underlying principle of this theatrical method is that theatre can provide a space where strategies for 18
1 See the official site for T.O. www. thetheatreoft‐ heoppressed. org . 1
empowerment, the fight against oppression, and dialogue can be rehearsed, in order even‐ tually to be applied to real life (Boal 2000). With the Theatre of the Oppressed (Teatro do Oprimido) one can refer to and confront various problems that arise in a community or in both formal and non-formal educational settings, such as conflict, oppression, power relationships, emotional difficulties, and lack of communication. Indeed, the Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O.)1 is nowadays used world‐ wide in a large range of social, political, educational, and therapeutic actions, often involving excluded and vulnerable population groups (e.g. urban youth, immigrants, minorities, and drug-addicts). Some examples of uses of the Theatre of the Oppressed are found in in‐ tercultural education, community work, cultural activism, conflict resolution, youth work, adult education, in-service teacher further education, to name but a few (Alkistis 2008). It can also be a highly effective method of making citizens aware of social issues, such as con‐ sumerism, environmental destruction, gender issues, the generation gap, racism, and war. T.O. is a theatrical method that was born in Brazil in the 1970’s. It was developed by the Brazilian director Augusto Boal as a reaction against the rise of dictatorships in Latin Amer‐ ica and as a means of empowering oppressed, landless people and the underprivileged in‐ habitants of the crowded favelas (Babbage 2004). After T.O.’s spread across Latin America, the method reached Europe at the end of the 1970’s. Since then it has been increasingly used by Applied Theatre operators (e.g. in Community Theatre, Popular Theatre, Theatre for Development), and by activists, educators and social workers in various contexts.
Theatre in context Since our main goal is to find how art can facilitate the intercultural adaptation of immi‐ grants, theatre is approached as a social act inseparable from socio-political contexts. Any theatrical activity cannot be understood independent of the broader historical context. It should be considered within a historical context of specific economic, social and political formations and transformations. Theatre Forum is based on real stories, referring to an intense period of oppression and injustice that individuals have lived. Thus, people’s experiences derive directly from so‐ cio-political reality. It is important to bear in mind the historical circumstances in which the artistic action of participants is developed. The purpose of historical analysis is to show how participants’ actions and choices are formed by social order, how historical reality is experi‐ enced by participants, and how theatre can enhance the process of adaptation.
Pedagogical aspects Adult Education We consider the process of intercultural adaptation to be an educational process. The im‐ plementation of Ariadne by Osmosis and the University of the Peloponnese was based on the principles of adult education and it belongs within the traditions and critical paradigm of intercultural education and the pedagogy of empowerment. Adult Education is defined as “organised training programmes which are tailored to the needs of people outside the for‐ mal educational system, usually over 15 years old (…). Adult training is designed to impart a combination of knowledge, skills and understanding, valuable assets in all life activities” (UNESCO 1975 in Rogers, 1999:55). The characteristics of adult learners that we took into consideration when designing our program (Kokkos 2005; Roggers 1999) are: • They come to the training with specific objectives. They have wide and different ranges of experiences 19
• They have preferred learning styles • They have a tendency for active participation • They face several barriers during the learning procedure (lack of time, lack of confidence, lack of motivation, scheduling problems) Our adult education program was founded on the following aspects of the theory of learn‐ ing: • Learning is a basic human need • Access to learning is facilitated by practice, implementation, acquisition and development of one’s experiences • Learning brings changes to human behaviour (the way we think and act, the adoption of new beliefs) • Each individual learns in their own particular way (depending on age, personality and personal history) • Learners should have an interest, a need, a desire for the subject of learning in order to commit to it (learning becomes more effective when responding to real problems) • Learning becomes more effective if learners are actively involved And on the following principles inspired by critical and person-centered pedagogy (Karalis & Papageorgiou 2012): • Thought is associated with action • Educational process is focused on the learner • Knowledge is attained through heuristic processes • Critical thinking is developed • Interactive relations arise between trainer and learner Intercultural Education Our project is based on the practice of education to enhance Intercultural Competence. There are many different definitions of Intercultural Competence. Intercultural Compe‐ tence is a term that has been applied by different people for different reasons. As a result, definitions vary according to people’s different perspectives or from the context. One defi‐ nition that has been useful to us is the following: “Intercultural Competence is the ability to negotiate cultural meanings and to execute appropriately effective communication behav‐ iors that recognize the interactants’ multiple identities in a specific environment. There are 3 perspectives: • Affective or intercultural sensitivity – to acknowledge and respect cultural differences • Cognitive or intercultural awareness – self-awareness of one’s own personal cultural identity and understanding how cultures vary • Behavioral or intercultural adroitness – message skills, knowledge of appropriate self-disclosure, behavioral flexibility, interaction management and social skills.” (Chen & Starosta 1996).
Pedagogy of empowerment Intercultural Education is inextricably intertwined with the social discourse of power and with the empowerment of the oppressed due to class, race, and gender (Sleeter 1991). Empowerment is not a strategy for the discharge of the anger caused by discrimination. The concept of empowerment means strengthening people’s capacity for self-determination of their cultural identity and increasing the confidence of minority group members (McLar‐ en 1989). Pedagogy of empowerment treats people as being able to take action to solve their own problems, without “illumination” and “charity” from the ruling classes. According 20
to the critical paradigm (McLaren 1989, Sleeter 1991, Cummins 2005), empowerment is not only seen in individual psychological terms; it does not only mean self-determination, self-realisation or emancipation. Alongside individual empowerment, collective empower‐ ment is sought in order to achieve a critical view of the world, analyses of power structures, collective action, and social change. Empowered individuals accept their cultural background identity, but also have the ability to examine themselves, both against their background and against the dominant culture, and thus to negotiate their identity. Pedagogy of empowerment consciously takes account of the past, i.e. where individuals come from, and of the future, i.e. where they are heading (Cummins 2005:60). In order to make this process possible, a framework of respect, trust and active listening (ibid:50) is needed and this is where theatre comes into its own.
Research issues Observation and Analysis: the descriptive dimensions of the Theatre of the Oppressed The study of the arts is a major component of social life. The performative arts of a society are especially important aspects of the broader cultural system. Theatre is taken to be a social act, separate from everyday life and yet inseparable from prevailing perceptions and socio-political reality. According to this approach, theatre gives pleasure, relief, release, but it also voices claims, interventions and protests. Theatre is used because it affects groups of people, in this case a mixed group of African and Greek women. The analysis of the effects of theatre on the participants is based on Beeman’s distinction of the theatrical species. There are three descriptive dimensions: a. the content, b. the public’s role, c. the performer’s role (Beeman 1993:381).
The content of theatrical performance Groups and participants deal with social issues concerning a neighbourhood, a city, a social group: immigration, racism, health care, unemployment, poverty, bureaucracy, human ex‐ ploitation, physical violence. T.O. operates as a place where empowerment strategies and the shaking-off of oppression are rehearsed, potentially to be used in real life. Oppression, according to Boal’s ideology, is defined as a monologue and a ban on freedom of expression (Boal 2000). Through the practice of theatre, people engage in actions to bring about changes in social status. We can consider T.O. as a social drama, as used by the anthropologist Victor Turner to analyse and describe intense and confrontational social situations. In Turner’s view, the social process is performative and theatre is the best tool for presentations of social drama. T.O. is analysed as social drama, consisting of four phases: a) the phase of breach, as people react to laws, hierarchy and oppression by expressing their views through dramatic action – the participants of T.O. are all socially oppressed, marginalised and stigmatised; b) the phase of crisis, as the people are divided, challenging the established political and cultural order; c) the phase of adjustive and redressive mechanisms, where the state changes social policy, taking into account positions that emerged from the dramatic action; d) the phase of reintegration, which incorporates the offending group or perpetuates the rupture (Turner 1982:7-27, 61-88). In the phase of crisis, the participant is somehow outside society and has an ambiguous status. Turner’s term “liminality” defines one’s status as marginal (Turner 1977:95). The “li‐ men” is the boundary between “inside” and “outside”. Individuals participating in this pro‐ cess are led to a situation called “communitas”. They eliminate their social determinations; they are “betwixt and between”. This phase is called by Turner ‘anti-structure’ – not a re‐ 21
versal of the current system, but a reconstruction, where new meanings are created (131132). Boal calls this phase ‘metaxis’, explaining that the phenomenon corresponds to “the state of belonging completely and simultaneously to two different worlds” (Boal 1995:43); the social world, i.e. the oppressive reality in which the oppressed live; and the aesthetic world, i.e. the artistic reconstruction of oppressive reality by the oppressed artist (42-44). What occurs during a theatrical performance2 is directly related to the experiences of the participants, but it is not something finished and complete. It is defined by how the partic‐ ipants handle the social situation after the theatrical experience (Turner 1986:33). What emerges after every theatrical performance may be the subject of social action. The chang‐ es that occur during the theatrical performance lead to a questioning of the rules and a re-elaboration of the structure of local communities. This is a move to reorganise relations within the community. In Turner’s terminology, theatrical performance is considered suc‐ cessful only if there is a gradual transition from structure to “anti-structure”. The fact that a theatrical performance takes place publicly demonstrates its social character and the need to recognise this transition. The intent is a new ideology, a new way of living, the shaping of new social conditions. 2 We prefer to use the term ‘“theatrical performance” rather than ‘’per‐ formance”, indicating not an everyday performative action, such as a those performed by every member of a cultural community in the workplace, in the family, in sport, etc,, but rather an organised and conscious artistic action performed on stage, with a broad sense of place. We include in this term both the theatrical workshop as a performative event in progress, as well as the forum theatre show in front of an audience.
The public’s role: the spect-actor In some of the techniques (such as Forum Theatre) actors can be replaced by spectators, so the latter become spect-actors. Spect-actors can try to rehearse social change (Boal 2001:309-310). No idea is imposed and spect-actors: they have the opportunity to try any solution they have in mind and to verify it with the help of theatrical practice. Boal’s meth‐ odology is based on the interaction between actors and spect-actors. Spect-actors do not necessarily know each other; they aren’t friends or acquaintances. They are located for some reason of their own in a particular place. They share a common time and a public space. One is involved in the biography of another; they interact directly (Geertz 2003:355-356). Through interaction a set of responses among individuals who do not know each other is created. These responses are located in a specific place at a specific time, expressing cultural positions on a social issue. People expose their personal socio-political positions in direct correlation with other peo‐ ple’s positions. Everyone relies on the reactions of others. This interaction is “a field of in‐ terpersonal tensions, conflicts, divisions and disarray” (Goffman 1996:39). T.O. is a theatre that can be performed by anyone, anywhere, to resolve conflicts through a dialogue involv‐ ing everyone present. This reflects the theatricality that governs social life. Participants act as spectators without anyone telling them what to do and how to do it. The interaction is not independent of social conditions and influences. However, through theatrical perfor‐ mance people are active participants in shaping social conditions – they are both influenced and influencing.
The performer’s role Performers create a role by which they can reflect their social acts. This role includes the ways in which “the individual in ordinary work situations presents himself…, the ways in 22
which guides and controls the impression formed of him, and everything that may or may not can do during the theatrical performance” (Goffman 2006:55). Individual behaviour is approached as “performance” (18). To perform means to present the socially constructed self in front of others, in a sense to “argue” for the self (not only in words but in convincing ways), and thus to persuade others and make them recognise one’s position and one’s sat‐ isfactory performance of the role. In other words, it is a creative effort (Dubisch 2000:257258). Schechner describes performance as “transportation”, during which someone who acts is “transported”, so as to return to himself and his everyday life (Schechner 1985:125127). Theatrical performance creates the need for the public performance of self as a work‐ er, immigrant, man or a woman, or unemployed person to react socially. According to Boal, a citizen is not someone who lives in a society, but someone who transforms society (Boal 1995:13). Also, “performance” transforms (Seremetakis 1999:2). The performer is an agent of the social reality which is being experienced. He does not transform himself into anoth‐ er, he does not play a different social role, but he plays himself discovering his potential in various fields. His actions do not differ from those present in everyday life, beyond the fact that the actions are defined as theatrical. Through “performance” the performer makes statements and demonstrates resistance in the context of everyday life.
Expression of emotion According to the theoretical framework of socio-cultural constructivism, emotions are con‐ structions, ideas set up differently in different cultural contexts, and are therefore culturally specific (Papataxiarchis 1994:5-6). A central theoretical concept which occurs in this kind of approach is the culturally shaped form of self. Ideas about emotions arise as a language of self: a code of intentions, actions and social relations (Lutz & White 1986:417). Emotions are integrated through the “habitus”, influencing the thinking of the individual (Bourdieu 2006:88). Habitus is “an infinite capacity to completely free (controlled free) production (thoughts, attitudes, expressions, actions) that have as boundaries the historically and so‐ cially specific conditions of production” (92). Cultural management of emotion directly re‐ flects beliefs about what a self does and what it should do in relation to other selves.
The body as an agent of action The body acquires ‘hexis’ (habits) which reproduce themselves through action. A central aspect of Bourdieu’s habitus is its embodiment: Habitus does not only, or even primarily, function at the level of explicit, discursive consciousness. The internal structures become embodied and work in a deeper, practical and often pre-reflexive way. According to Has‐ trup, the theatre of self is the body which performs. “One does not have a body, one is the body. There is no manifestation of the body outside the body” (Hastrup 1985:90). The ways we present our bodies are neither arbitrary nor biologically defined, but culturally formed (Csordas 1993:140). The participants’ bodies carry personal cultural and social dimensions. They reflect both their culture and a culture that leads to integration. Through the use of T.O. we aimed at highlighting the body of each culture and integrating it into the local community, but not at changing it. There is no way to hide the encultured body from one’s actions. The body is the locus, the rationale, and the manifestation of the act. There is no pre-text for action outside the motivated body inhabiting the ethnographic present (Hastrup 1985:98).
Epilogue The “theatre of self” has no front or back stage. It is a unified space, with no boundaries. It has only one centre: the performing self (Hastrup 1985:91). People are considered as active facilitators and not passive receivers who reproduce culture. People change their circum‐ stances through their actions. And theatre is a medium, a ‘key’, which helps people to act.
Bibliography ALKISTIS, 2008, Black Cow, White Cow: Drama in Education and Interculturality. Athens: Topos BABBAGE, F., 2004, Augusto Boal. Abingdon: Routledge BEEMAN, W. 1993, The anthropology of theater and spectacle: Annual Review of Anthro‐ pology (369-393) BOAL, A., 2001, Hamlet and the Baker’s Son: My life in Theatre and Politics. London: Routledge BOAL, A., 2000, Theatre of the Oppressed. London: Pluto Press BOAL, A., 1995, The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal Method Of Theatre and Therapy. London: Routledge BOAL, A., 1992, Games For Actors and Non-Actors. London: Routledge BOURDIEU, P., 2006, Theory of practice. Athens: Alexandria CHEN, G. M., and Starosta, W. J. (1996). Intercultural communication competence: A synthesis, in B. Burleson (ed.) Communication Yearbook, 19 (353-383). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage CSORDAS T., 1993, “Somatic modes of attention”, Cultural Anthropology (135-56) COHEN-CRUZ, J., 2006, Redefining the private: From personal storytelling to political act, in J. Cohen-Cruz & M. Schutzman, (eds.), A Boal Companion: Dialogues on theatre and cultural politics. New York: Routledge CUMMINS, J., 2005, Negotiating Identities: Education for Empowerment in a Diverse Society. 2nd edition. Athens: Gutenberg (in Greek) DUBISCH, J., 2000, The religious pilgrimage in modern Greece, an ethnographic aproach. Athens: Alexandria GEERTZ, C., 2003, The interpretation of cultures. Athens: Alexandria (in Greek) GOFFMAN, E., 2006, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Athens: Alexandria (in‐ Greek) GOFFMAN, E., 1996, Encounters, Two studies in the sociology of interaction., Athens: Alexandria (in Greek) HASTRUP, K., 1995, “The motivated body”: A passage to anthropology. Between experi‐ ence and theory, London and New York: Routledge KARALIS T. & PAPAGEORGIOU I., 2012, Education of staff in Adult Education: Planning, Implementing and Evaluating of Programmes in Long Life Learning. Athnes: Institute of Labour KOKKOS, A., 2005, Adult Education: tracing the field. Athens: Metechmio (in Greek) LUTZ C. & WHITE G, 1986, The Anthropology of Emotions. Annual Review of Anthro‐ pology 15 (405-436) MARCUS, G., 1998, The following critique of ethnography, in Madianou-Gefou, D. (ed.) Anthropological Theory and Ethnography. Contemporary Trends. Athens: Greek Letters MCLAREN, P., 1989, Life in schools. New York: Longman PAMMENTER, D. & MAVROKORDATOS, A., 2004, On being and becoming in someone else’s world. Who calls the shots?, in N. Govas, (ed.), Theatre/Drama and Performing Arts 24
in Education: Creativity and Metamorphosis. Proceedings from the 4th Athens International Theatre Education Conference. Athens, March 2004. Athens: Hellenic Theatre/Drama Education Network PAPATAXIARCHIS, E., 1994, Emotions and Alternative Politics of Autonomy in Aegean‐ Greece. Mytilini: University of the Aegean ROGERS, A., 1999, Adult Education. Athens: Metechmio (in Greek) SEREMETAKIS, N., 1999, The last word (Europe Joined the edges): Intuition, death, wom‐ en. New Border, Athens: Livanis (in Greek) SCHECHNER, R., 1985, Between Theater and Anthropology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press SLEETER C. E., 1991, (ed.), Empowerment through Multicultural Education. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press TURNER, V., 1986, The Anthropology of Performance. New York: PAJ Publications TURNER, V., 1982, From Ritual to Theatre – The Human Seriousness of Play. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications TURNER, V., 1977, The Ritual Process. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press
3. ART IS GOOD FOR ADAPTATION Vera Várhegyi, Elan Interculturel, Ariadne coordinator
Abstract The text takes under scrutiny what happens during adaptation to a new cultural environ‐ ment. The first part looks at the threats, challenges inherent in the situation, but also the opportunities for personal and professional growth that unfold in the experience. The sec‐ ond part looks at what are the psychological processes mobilized during the transition pro‐ cess, which eventually determine whether to what extent the transition will really become an occasion to unfold the person’s potential. The final third part looks at how this process can be helped through training, and what is the potential of art in such trainings.
Keywords cross-cultural adaptation, psychological adjustment, socio-cultural adaptation, dialogical self, motivation
Introduction The text takes under scrutiny what happens during adaptation to a new cultural environ‐ ment. The first part looks at the threats, challenges inherent in the situation, but also the opportunities for personal and professional growth that unfold in the experience. The sec‐ ond part looks at what are the psychological processes mobilized during the transition pro‐ cess, which eventually determine whether to what extent the transition will really become an occasion to unfold the person’s potential. The final third part looks at how this process can be helped through training, and what is the potential of art in such trainings.
What is cross-cultural adaptation? Asylum seekers, expatriates, global nomads, international students all embark on a jour‐ ney which at first seems geographical, but soon becomes evident, that all journey is also a journey to the self, and the exploration of new landscapes, new cultures inevitably brings about the discovery of our own cultural baggage and our inner landscapes. The context matters tremendously: fleeing persecution with all our life packed in a small suitcase to the neighbouring country’s refugee camp cannot be compared to moving to Paris to open the brand new branch office of our company. Yet, there are common elements even in these very different journeys, for the simple reason that humans are much more “open systems” and much less isolated than the individualist western conception suggests. We construct the self in interaction with a specific cultural environment, concrete interaction partners, institutional frames, and when these disappear or become virtual, the self loses its context and a whole new construction process begins.
Challenges, threats Crosscultural or intercultural adaptation refers to how we feel, think, behave when we find ourselves in a foreign land. A new continent, a new country, or a new region or city can all seem like a whole new planet. Adaptation is about how we react to its newness, and how we change to be able to connect to it. The difficulty of the exercise is that changes are ought to happen simultaneously on many different levels, as if we were inscribed to a psychological gymnastics competition trying to handle vault, uneven parallel bar and balance beam all at once. Being a stranger in Paris for instance, implies that I have to become familiar French grammar, what’s worse, an over‐ complicated orthography, which uses eight letters to write down a word of four sounds. And beyond the formal rules of grammar there is the big set of less precise rules of polite‐ ness, that come with a culture where a much more formal communication style dominates than in my own, where I am addressed as “Madame” which I still find a but funny even after five years. Replacing my usual direct communication with subtle circumvention of the mes‐ sage still feels mannerist, unspontaneous and distant. At the same time I have to adjust to a very different kind of bureaucracy, which often reminds me of hunting for a mouse with a cannonball. Also, I realize that most of my favourite jokes are lost in translation, and the colours I like to wear become disturbingly flashy against a backdrop where women express subtlety by wearing greyscale. All in all, the trick is not only that there is a new set of rules, norms but that there is an old one (or maybe even several older ones) with an old sense of what is friendly, funny, and nice. The new norms, values, practices do not arrive into an empty space, but to a space already formatted with the norms, values, behaviours of other cultures. We contemplate, interpret and evaluate the new culture from within the cultures we already inhabit. And from that perspective, the new culture’s certain premises, preferences may seem obsolete, unfriendly and ridiculous. And then we face a curious choice: either we adopt behaviours which (again from the vantage point of our cultural vocabularies) seem unattractive, or even wrong, either we do not adopt them, but then risk of being perceived unattractive and wrong in the eyes of the host society. In the coming section we’ll give some examples of the challenges that this “choice” brings upon us.
Making meaning out of uncertainty and chaos “All those changes, those novelties made me tired and I was fed up trying to understand the customs and habits of American people” (Respondent from France, 4C project) 3 Intercultool project (2007)
If the human brain is usually a potent meaning-making device, immerged in a new cultural environment it faces a variety of difficulties. First, there is the language: without it there is no interface, no hope of contact and mutual understanding. And to our astonishment, learning the vocabulary and grammatical structures of the other only reveals an unsuspect‐ ed range of further riddles. In an exploratory study with people living international mobility3 we have found the following difficulties: • uncertainty relating to the proper attributions (explanations) of the behaviour of other people (e.g. “are these men holding hands because they are lovers, or such physical contact is acceptable between friends amongst Venda men?”) 27
• awareness of differences, going beyond the universalist idea that we are all the same to realize real differences in needs • reflecting on one’s own stereotypes, becoming aware of how our associations ex pectations influence how we perceive the other • handling dissonance – contradiction (e.g. “Nothing I saw in reality matched my ex pectations”). All these challenges add up to make immersion in other cultures a task with unprecedented cognitive effort, often leading to a sensation of fatigue and being ignorant. Moreover, the cognitive uncertainty triggers feelings of anxiety, and when we estimate the task at hand is to difficult we experience a state of emergency marked by high level of stress. Handling emotions thus becomes the second challenge in adaptation.
Handling distress According to the first theory of culture shock, proposed by Oberg in 1954 the first period of the installation to new country is replete with fascination, good feeling, and excitement. He called this phase the “honeymoon” phase. Nevertheless recent empirical evidence points to the contrary: it is precisely in the fist period of our stay that we experience the most discomfort and distress. In fact, stress is a usual travel-mate in life abroad. Why is it so? First of all, because inter national transitions imply life-changes that are typically stress provoking (Ward et al 2001:73). Indeed, life changes themselves are considered inherently stressful, even without any trans-cultural element4 (48). A new environment is by definition not decipherable, not predictable, and not completely foreseeable. If life changes are replete with potentially stressful factors, cultural distance adds to the distress, thus making the emotional aspects a core theme in cross-cultural adjustment literature (Chang 2007). And it is at the beginning of our stay that we experience the most uncertainty and ambiguity. Our exploratory studies3 revealed, that even if positive emotions can surface, generally the uncertainty inherent in intercultural encounters tends to provoke negative emotions: un‐ comfortable, attacked, consumed, depressed, disappointed, disheartened, lonely, confused were emotions often reported. Being able to “manage” these emotional reactions in order to overcome them and not be‐ ing trapped in them becomes the second main challenge in the adaptation process. It is for this reason that theories of cross-cultural adaptation often focus on emotions (e.g. Ward, Matsumoto) and that tests focusing on depression or life satisfaction are considered as reli‐ able indicators of being adjusted. 4 Researchers often measure life changes with Homes’ and Rahe’s (1967) Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) that identifies standardised Life Change Units (LCU) to 43 specific life events. The life change experiences of the individual are examined for a given time, and hence can be estimated the level of stress. 3 Exploratory studies realized within the Intercultool (2007) and 4C (2011) projects
Behaving “comme il faut” Even if we are fabulous stress managers, if we go on breaching the same taboos, shocking and getting shocked over and over again with the same behaviours, we’ll waist lots of en‐ ergy on coping and feeling ashamed. Indeed it seems dull not to try to adapt to the behav‐ iour of the locals. Long before our scientists came to talk about stress, old wisdom already phrased the prescription: ‘when in Rome…’ Furthermore, ignoring behaviour adaptation 28
would be really awkward, as it often happens automatically, effortlessly. Four times you’ll be greeted with four kisses; it is likely that the fifths time you’ll be used to it. At the same time ‘behavioural adaptation’ is a shaky ground. Are we adjusted in Japan when we bow exactly the same way as Japanese? But how to learn the proper degrees of bows corresponding to each relationship? And are we sure all the Japanese bow the same way? Socio-cultural adjustment occurs, when we are able to participate in the new environment: interact, make friends, but also work, get entertained, do whatever is needed for a full functional life. No wonder, many models were drawn up with the ambition to summarize the complexity of behaviours into a couple of basic dimensions. In our own exploratory study, we focused on behaviour within interactions, and identified four critical aspects such as: • Participation in facework and politeness rituals “When doing business with Arabs, you need to know that the Arab businessman can never completely lose, if he loses you make an enemy, and you too can never always lose because you will just seem stupid. You need to let him win but also let him know that you know that he is winning and you don’t hate him for it” (Respondent from Italy, Intercultool project) • Being aware of communication style “I was shocked when I saw people in the buses quiet. In Chile people talked to one an other regardless of people’s anonymity in relationship to me. They did not know me and I neither knew them but we talked still” (Respondent originally from Chile living in Sweden Intercultool project) • Being aware of communication efficiency Talking across cultures implies being able to push a message through the wide range of cultural differences characterizing communication seen above. It implies being aware of the added difficulties and becoming more attentive: “I realized that it is not enough to make the things clear beforehand, we have to tell everything again and again…” (Respondent from Hungary Intercultool project) • Being aware of social rituals “…the English appear to be very cold, detached, closed, not direct people. Then at 5 o’clock they shake off the world of work and everyone goes off to the pub, which is a source of life: the Anglo-Saxons open up in front of a pint of beer, they become them selves, they throw off their inhibitions and become likable” (Respondent from Italy Intercultool project)
Feeling connected A fifth critical aspect of behaviour reported by the participants of our exploratory study concerned the very personal domain of establishing relationships. Indeed, the loss of the social network is one of the critical challenges people settling in a new country must face. If the social network is important as a daily – logistic support system, it is also crucial from the perspective of basic psychological needs. Baumesiter and Tice propose that a social re‐ latedness is actually the main valid factor of happiness (2001). Accordingly, the constitution of a social network in the new environment is a key competence for all strangers.
“…some of the most problematic aspects lie in the difficulty of creating a network of foreign friends.” (Respondent from Italy, Intercultool Project) “Interpersonal relationships take a lot of effort, because Switzerland and Germany have a colder nature. Everyone gets on with their own lives, they feel no obligation 29
to make you feel at home” (Italian respondent with experience in Germany and Switzerland Intercultool Project) To serve as a link to members of the social surrounding is actually one of the functions of our identity, the so-called “pragmatical” function (Camilleri). This leads us to the next challenge of adaptation, which is the maintenance of positive identities.
Being ‘oneself’ If the change of cultural identity is well documented and researched in the cross-cultural literature, little is said on how the entire self-system is challenged during transition, despite the fact that cultural identity is only one aspect amongst several that are at stake here. All psychological constructs exist for a reason, to satisfy specific functions, and so does identity. So far there is no consensual exhaustive list of the functions or principles of identity, different researchers have proposed different lists. Because the self system is an inherently open, interactional construct, the change of social environments affects profoundly its pros‐ pects to satisfy the different principles: • being away from friends and family implies that the relational / pragmatical function has to be rebuilt from scratch or reorganised to overarch distance • unless the change of country is within professional mobility or study plan, our capacity to fulfill the functions of competence are jeopardized by not being able to find a job in our profile, not having our diplomas recognized etc. • our collective self image is threatened by the stereotypes, prejudice prevailing in the host society concerning our cultural identities (i.e. our ethnicity, our nationality, our re ligion etc.)
The opportunities If settling abroad is a challenge in many respects, it is also an opportunity for learning and development on a personal and also professional level. We can look at the opportunities from three different perspectives: considering competence development, focusing on per‐ sonality development perspective and finally taking the point of view of positive psycho logists and look at how the transition can become an opportunity to find more happiness in life.
Learning outcomes: expanding knowledge, developing skills “I can get myself off the centre of the Franco-French way of see things. At least I try all the time. And this decentration I try to implement it in all areas of my life, family, friends, work… How? Whenever there is a dispute, a misunderstanding, I make effort to find the logic of the discourse of the other, I think there is one still” (Respondent from France, 4C project). International mobility has been considered as a means to acquiring knowledge for a long time: the tradition of the “grand tour” as a big step in the education of young men illustrates well this idea. In our own research sojourners abroad reported learning a lot about the host culture (language, institutions, cultural products etc.), but also about one’s own culture thanks to the change of perspective. Newcomers also gain precious experience in the pro‐ 30
fessional domain by getting acquainted with different variations of their professional skills. Finally better intercultural communication skills, adaptability and flexibility are also often re‐ ported by sojourners. In fact the transition is not only a means of acquiring new knowledge and cultural skills, it can also induce more general personality development.
The transitional experience brings growth In 1975 Adler proposes that culture shock should be interpreted as a “transitional experi‐ ence” ultimately leading to a deep change of the whole identity, the whole functioning of the person. His argument begins with a duality of the modern individual. Our life is charac‐ terized by a multiplicity of life spheres, environments, activities roles and identities, leading to a fragmentation of our experiences. At the same time there are psychological tendencies towards “integration, gestalt and wholism”. He defines culture as a “perceptual frame of reference” and an environment of experience”. Movement into new dimensions of percep‐ tion and new environments brings to awareness the usually non conscious predispositions and beliefs, and triggers “personality disintegration”. Disintegration is considered a neces‐ sary component in the development process.
“At the perceptual level, it represents the movement of personality through a symbiotic state of single reality awareness to a differential state whereby there is an awareness and acceptance of the interdependence of many realities. Emotionally, the transition marks the change from dependence on reinforcements to independence, while in the largest sense of self-concept, it is the change from a monocultural to an intercultural frame of reference.” (Adler 1975). Kim moves beyond Adler’s proposal, to claim that the outcome of adjustment is not only a ‘transformed’ but an ‘intercultural’ identity. She constructs a stress-adaptation-growth model of the intercultural interaction, characterized by a “dialectic, cyclic and continual” “draw-back-to-leap” pattern. The individual is considered “an open system”, that cannot be isolated from its environment and its interactions. The natural tendency to resist change comes to contrast with the desire of changing behaviour to reach harmony with the other (383). The identity conflict unfolds into disintegration, which is followed by reorganisation and self-renewal. The process in‐ cludes the integration of “changes in the habitual patterns of cognitive, affective, and behav‐ ioural responses” which result in increased “functional fitness” with the new environment and may lead to the development of an ‘intercultural identity’. This is a condition where “the original cultural identity begins to lose its distinctiveness and rigidity while an expanded and more flexible definition of self emerges” (391). Once this stage acquired, the individual reaches a “heightened self-awareness and self-identity” and engages in a “continuous search for authenticity in self and other across group boundaries” (392).
Can transition make us happy? Despite the main concern of psychology being the study of what goes wrong and how it can me remedied, a group of researchers dedicated their efforts to the exploration of what makes people “happy”. This line of research developed under the label of “positive psy‐ chology” proposed operational descriptions of happiness, which make it possible to explore how happiness is connected to cross-cultural transition. 31
According to Seligman (2002), pleasure is the first level of happiness. It is the capacity to experience positive emotions, linked to pleasant activities such as absorbing tasty food, visiting aesthetic sceneries, interacting with agreeable people etc. The two characteristics for which pleasure is not the main attraction is that the capacity to experience positive emo‐ tions is partly hereditary, and also the fact that we get habituated to pleasure very easily, and then it looses its impact. Moving to a new country often implies discovering many new pleasures in the gastronomic, artistic, natural landscapes of the new country just as when one discovers a new place during holidays. However, the positive emotions entailed slowly fade out as we get used to these features. For this reason, pleasure is not the centre of at‐ tention of positive psychologists. A second level of happiness consists in the capacity to experience flow – a state that Csiksz‐ entmihalyi (1990) described as intense concentration on the task at hand, regardless of what the task is. People experience flow in their work, in physical activities, in creating our receiving art. According to Csikszentmihalyi, the flow occurs when the delicate balance be‐ tween the persons’ capacities and the skills required by the task weighs slightly in favour of the skills solicited, i.e. the person’s existing capacities are slightly exceeded by the demands of the activity. When the demands of the activity largely overweigh the existing compe‐ tences, the person experiences anxiety, rather than flow. Cross-cultural transitions can be a source of flow in two ways. First of all, learning the new context, new systems, building new networks can add just the sufficient level of challenges to life to bring about more flow. Finally, the ultimate layer of happiness according to Seligman is finding meaning in one’s life, which he described as organising one’s strengths in the service of something bigger than oneself. Choosing a destination in accordance with one’s purpose in life is a luxury that most migrants cannot afford. Partners, spouses that follow another person don’t have this luxury either. The struggle for recreating meaning from scratch can be a long one, often going through long period of search and stagnation, the re-evaluation and modification of the professional path, and re-entering education. However, the transition can also be an opportunity to take a break from a professional practice that may have become a routine, take a step back and re-craft one’s work life to include more of what gives meaning to us.
What are the processes of transition? If the transition to a new cultural environment is a series of challenges, it is because step‐ ping out of the usual social context poses a threat to different layers of our identity and triggers the alarm of our defence mechanisms. But humans also possess unprecedented potential of growth and development, thanks to psychological capacities linked to learning, accommodation, and adaptation. The reaction to the challenges unfolding in the transition process will be negotiated between the need for defence and growth through a dialogical process of opening and closing, selecting, accommodating and integrating bits of the outside world into the self system. An approach of personality psychology that places this process of negotiation between outer and inner worlds is the approach of the dialogical self (see Hermans 1992). The approach is based on the recognition that far from the metaphor of the “island man” symbol of the individualist conception well spread in the western world, depicting the per‐ son as cut out from its environment, separated from his fellows, the borders between inside and outside are much softer and more permeable. Even the physical body that is supposed to mark the frontiers between the individuals has as big a job in linking them together through the delicate game of engaging in each-other’s rhythms, the mimicry of the gestures and movements following the embodied automatisms of interpersonal coordination5. Nash (1998) proposes the concept of reflexivity to capture this embodied capacity to react to 32
5 Bargh et Chartrand 1999 ou Bernieri, Rosenthal 1991 To m a s s e l ‐ lo1999
another person or a cultural environment: the person is not isolated outside of space but is part of space, bodies and places are continuously engaged in mutual constitution. The approach of dialogical self proposed by Hermans (2001) models the self as an inventory of internal and external positions. The internal positions are aspects or “voices” of the self that have taken form during past experiences and dialogues: me the researcher, me the cu‐ rious, me as stranger, me as French, me as wife, etc. The external positions are individuals and groups that can be real – a father, a wife, a teacher etc. – or imagined – “the French”, Captain Picard of the spaceship Enterprise – and that took part in the dialogical construc‐ tion of the self. It is dialogue that connects the external and internal positions; it is dialogue that frames external and internal into one system. Fogel (1993) differentiates creative and rigid frames; the creative resulting in a change, a movement in the positions, the rigid leaves our positions unaffected. Moving to a new place implies a drastic change in such a self-repertoire, as it imposes an array of new external positions, which trigger the creation of new internal positions. For example, in Paris suddenly I became a stranger, an Eastern European, also a trailing spouse. And when I’m home, I’m the “expatriate”, the explorer, and even the “Parisian”. Neverthe‐ less, the constitution of the new positions is neither automatic nor random. It is not entirely automatic as there is always a margin of freedom for the dialogue: I may become a stranger, but what kind of stranger? What does it mean to me? How do I wear this strangeness? I have at my disposal a whole toolbox of identity negotiation techniques, which encompass a wide range of more or less conscious manoeuvres: modification of the appearance (making my‐ self more similar to other or playing on the difference?) selection of activities (inscribing into a French course or rather frequenting folk dance classes of my native culture?) choice of friends and acquaintances (do I want French friends or will I prefer an international ghetto, maybe the safety zone of my own co-nationals?) etc. All levels of the psychological function‐ ing are involved in this exercise: emotions, behaviours, and thoughts. So, the rearrangement of our repertoire is far from determined and automatic. However, we do not have entirely free will either: we follow the needs – motives (Fiske 2004) – or principles (Breakwell 1988) that underpin the construct of identity. Up to the present there is no consensus amongst researchers on an exhaustive list of identity motives, rather each researcher has his/her own favourites, here is a selection: • autonomy, competence, belonging – Self-determination theory (Deci, Ryan) • relatedness – Sociometer theory (Baumeister, Leary): • balance between growth and symbolic defense, protection – Terror Management Theory (Pyszczynski, et all 2003) • optimal distinctiveness – Brewer 1991 • continuity, distinctiveness, self-esteem – Breakwell 1988 What is important to retain is that we are indeed motivated to satisfy some of the needs listed above. As such, they act like built-in compasses during the adaptation process, ori‐ enting us to take action in the domains that are neglected. It is this process that effective cross-cultural trainings should help.
Training for cross-cultural adaptation A first wave of culture-specific trainings In the youth of the genre of intercultural trainings the focus was on offering as much infor‐ mation and as detailed as possible on the other culture. The ambition of these culture-spe‐ cific trainings was to equip the expatriates (in the first stages, rather Peace Corps volun‐ teers) to all possible situations and encounters with otherness. 33
It is an ambition that also proved to be futile: it is impossible both theoretically and prag‐ matically to pin down a culture into a set of descriptions and prescriptions. Nevertheless we can still find traces of this genre of intercultural trainings. Recently I ran across a list of “do’s and don’t”-s for Englishman traveling to Italy published in a cross-cultural training booklet. Amongst others Englishmen were strongly warned against wearing white socks with sandals. A more elaborate continuation of the tradition focusing on content and information trans‐ mission offers cultural models – such as for instance Hofstede’s (1997) model of the six dimensions of cross-cultural differences – and compares the target culture and the culture of origin along the dimensions of the model. Still in the similar vein cross-cultural trainings often provide practical and logistic information on the host society, its administration, its economic system, the resource organizations etc. For us, this would be similar to offering information on where you can by the paper, the canvas, and the paint as a means of teaching art. However, this first wave of intercultural trainings has often proven ineffective, sometimes even having adverse effects (nicely described in Cohen-Emerique 2011). The main reason for failure is that when people are equipped with concrete palpable information (say, on the values and behaviour patterns of collectivist Asian cultures) we form similarly concrete expectations based on this information, expectations that will unavoidably fail us if we meet a Chinese entrepreneur graduate of an American College. There is no description that can be punctual and general enough to cover all members of a given society, because cultures continuously change, because people bear a variety of cultural baggage and they absorb each of them through their own specific life path. What’s more, once we’re given concrete cultural descriptions we become less open to the surprises intercultural encounters persis‐ tently bring.
Development of intercultural competences through art This recognition led to a shift of attention towards the development of skills necessary for the adaptation process (e.g. Pusch 2004, Fowler and Blohm 2004). These skills sometimes collected under the label of “intercultural competences” include the following three main categories: knowledge, skills and attitudes. • Knowledge about the dynamics of culture as well as about the psycho-social challenges of adaptation • Skills of intercultural communication, creating connections, developing networks • Attitudes of cultural relativity, curiosity, orientation towards the other Additionally, in our own research we have found that even people with very highly de‐ veloped intercultural competences can have a painful adaptation process. This led us to the questioning of the role of preexisting intercultural competences that are independent of the context. In particular this seemed to be the case of people who arrive to a new country to accompany their partner. The dynamics inherent in the situation seemed to raise the need for self-defense and closure towards the host environment, often leading to quite paralyzing self-blame or the scapegoating of the host society. This observation made us focus some of our trainings on the motivational factor behind adaptation and the management of emotions. Together with the content of the training the range of methodologies also shifted from dis‐ cussions and seminars to more inclusive techniques such as structured exercises, simulations, role-plays. Art forms started to appear in the toolboxes of intercultural trainers as a means to go beyond the cognitive level of exchange. Without the ambition of exhaustiveness, here are 34
some examples of why art has been/could be integrated in intercultural trainings: • Drama games Theater practice can develop our sense of the micro-dynamics of communication: the interdependence of the three levels of content, process and relation. Dramatizing every‐ day events, conflicts can help to ventilate them, to make a step back and hence better cope with the emotionally charged situations. In our own practice at Elan Interculturel we also use drama elements to facilitate the representation and analysis of conflict situ‐ ations and critical incidents. Boal’s Forum Theater can be a means to work collectively on oppressing situations, in particular for newcomers in a vulnerable situation. As such, it offers empowerment. • Dance Following Nash’s concept of reflexivity, engaging in dance can induce a better awareness of our own body, as well as an awareness of the changes in body sensations in the new environment. Through de-mechanizing the routines inscribed into our body dance can also enhance our skills of interpersonal coordination: our capacity to get tuned on differ‐ ent non-verbal repertoires than our own: on other rhythms, different movements, new usage of physical contact. But more than anything, dance captures particularly well the dialogical process. Indeed, the dancer gets tuned on a rhythm, a melody that is outside of her to integrate it in her body through the movement. Similarly she can connect to and accommodate the move‐ ments of the other dancers. This outer-inner mechanism is the very essence of the adap‐ tation process. Finally the sensual experience that dance offers makes the person become part of space again, as opposed to being the isolated intruder. Contact improvisation in particular can encompass all the above mentioned goals. • Visual arts Video projects: if there is a genre that par excellence compels to connect the inner and outer worlds, it is filmmaking. The narrative comes from the author, and the characters, the scenery are a real (or altered) cultural surrounding, while the film itself is the negoti‐ ation between the two. • Participative arts in communities When including a mixed participant group with newcomers and members of the host community participative art projects can offer rich meaningful connections to newcom‐ ers. And here the emphasis is indeed on meaningful: the shared art activity can drive the relationship to an intimate level that otherwise would require a much longer process. • Artistic creativity in general: the creativity cycle An often cited process model of creativity (e.g. Csikszentmihalyi 1996) involves five steps: 1) collecting a subject – a theme, 2) recognizing a pattern – getting a felt sense of our thread, 3) incubation, 4) selection – evaluation, 5) implementation. What is interesting is that this depiction of a cycle can be made quite parallel to the cycle of changes describing transitions. It can be very easily applied to the construction of our life project in a new environment. Similarly, experiencing, living though the emotions accompanying different stages of the cycle of the creative process can prepare to better overcoming the emo‐ tions accompanying the stages of the life transition: the impatience, the sense of being lost at the phase of collection, being able to focus on the moment of recognizing something important, the chaos and uncertainty of the incubation, the anxiety of the need to select, make choices appear in both processes. All in all the artistic creation process offers a similar cognitive and emotional gymnastic than the adaptation process. The question is whether engagement in art creates skills that are transferable to other life domains. The
assessment of our pilot project has the ambition to bring some conclusions to that ques‐ tion. This brings me to my own local conclusion.
Conclusion The understanding of cross-cultural adaptation that I wanted to present here lays on the recognition that a basic dialogical process permeates all human activity: on the one hand there is an opening to the outer world, to other people fuelled by our innate capacity to grow, our innate curiosity and our innate relational character. On the other hand there is the slow accumulation of content: of values, of norms, our favourite flavours, our pre‐ ferred language, the content of who we are. And as soon as we have some content we are very much motivated to defend it, to preserve it. A continuous dialogue, negotiation between these two needs, these two sides of the coin takes place wherever we go, hold‐ ing a delicate balance between the defence of what is already ours (who we already are) and the absorption of newness, otherness. However, there are situations which shatter this delicate balance by shifting the weight in one side. Relocating to a new environment is such a situation: when the newness and the uncertainty and anxiety that it brings become overwhelming, our motivation of self-defence triumphs over our openness and curiosity. Unfortunately this happens in a moment when our survival – and happiness precisely depend on our capacity to connect to the new environment. This is the paradox of adap‐ tation: we close in the moment when we would most need to open, our openness would be the key to re-establish the balance, but it is openness that is the most difficult. Art can be a valuable training ground in facilitating such an opening, for a multitude of reasons, of which I’ll recall three here. First of all, most art forms are a par excellence simulation of the dialogical process described above. Indeed, doing art relies in the subtle dialogue between the inner intuitions, creative forces and the outer world accessible to us: the tools and materials we can use to paint, the scenery and characters we present in out film etc. This is as much a dialogue between outer and inner worlds as between thought and sensory experience. Second, art “de-mechanises” us: it takes us outside of the boundaries of our usual repertoire of movements, of self-expression, of perception. In fact it is about continuously trying to push boundaries, and as such it prepares for transgressing our boundaries. Finally, the cognitive and emotional aspects of the artistic creativity process prepare well for the very similar cognitive and emotional processes of the adaptation.
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11. Chapter Ariadneâ€™s art workshops
1.TOWARDS GOOD PRACTICES OF ART MEDIATIONS WITH MIGRANT PEOPLE Marián López Fernández Cao, Complutense University, Madrid
Working with art is a rewarding task. It creates a special space out of everyday life, gener‐ ates an openness that allows change and a break from life’s oppression. It is therefore an activity that can be fulfilling for both the facilitator and the participant. However, to ensure that this activity becomes a means of psychosocial improvement, a means that will improve the lives of migrants it must comply with certain characteristics: some from the arena of psychosocial intervention with migrants and others from the very nature of art and the ef‐ fect it can have on all of us. Art as a means of social inclusion must generate a de‐identification with the assigned and sometimes oppressive social roles and provide sufficient trust to rebuild the stories of dis‐ location and estrangement often connected with migration experiences. The field of artistic activity should encourage imagination as a way to open the mind to n possibilities, in order to promote healthy changes. Covered by an affective area that helps attachment, art for so‐ cial inclusion workshops can encourage reflection on the past, present and future the links between them and with the world at large. Making workshops of art with social function requires an ethical responsibility because through them a vulnerable group is invited into a space of openness and risk. Opening the space of the game and the unconscious to a group at risk of exclusion may generate the re‐opening of trauma and psychic wounds. The facilitator must know how to help and accompany the participants in these circumstances. Therefore it is important not only to invite the participants to a space of artistic activity but also to know how to develop it and close it properly. Being a cultural facilitator through art is a beautiful task, but it is not a simple one. In addition to the knowledge of art, a good facilitator must have knowledge, attitudes similar to that of a therapist and a broad knowledge of him/herself, his/her prejudices and cultural differenc‐ es. A good facilitator should know what it is implied in the unconscious processes of art and the creative processes and how to accompany and listen to the other, beyond a particular operational objective. Beyond criteria about some good practices in the social intervention through art – pre‐ sented in this chapter – we would like to point out several basics that all cultural facilitators through art should take into account before embarking in this beautiful but delicate work.
Towards a good art facilitator6 The workshop facilitator should be creative as well as a person who understands the value of personal experiences and the complex emotions these experiences can elicit in the indi‐ vidual. She/he is, in short, an embodied subject and she/he sees from a point of view, which is also cognitive and affective. Collecting the contributions of the A/R/Tography terminology coined by Rita Irwing and collaborators (Irwin & Springgay 2008), the workshop facilitator conforms him/herself as artist, researcher and facilitator from a cognitive and affective lo‐ cation. 6
This section is based on some of the ideas of the chapter “Essential tools in Psychosocial intervention” (“Herramientas imprescindibles en la intervención psicosocial”), Adil Qureshi Burckhardt and Hilda‐ Wara Revollo Squire, inMelero Valdés, l. (coord.) (2010) The person beyond migration (La Persona más allá de la Migración) (ISBN: 978‐84‐9876‐999‐9).
7 His/her state as creator allows him/her to understand the creation of others, their process‐ See the official site es and difficulties. Being an artist has allowed her/him to experience the same unconscious for T.O. www. processes of the users and to have empathy with it. At the same time, the artist knows how thetheatreoft‐ different art techniques can raise different levels of expression. heoppressed. As researcher in the process of participant observation, the workshop facilitator includes org . in her/his knowledge and action the dynamics of evidence‐based research and action‐re‐ search which will influence again the design of intervention and theoretical reflection on fundamentals. As facilitator, she/he understands the dynamics user/facilitator/space of creation that flows through the processes of transference and counter-transference. From that location, with her/his biographies and specific spaces, she/he observes7vvv.
Some items on personal skills The cultural facilitator must have self‐knowledge, the transferential relationship (explained below), and should be able to explore her/his ethnic and racial identity and her/his uncon‐ scious prejudices. Only by knowing her/his own shortcomings may she/he may attain an attitude that is willing to listen to others and benefit their personal development. A key feature in this area is the cultural humble. The cultural humble reminds us that we should not think as immobile truths all of our knowledge of reality. It reminds us of the need to criticise and question our reactions so as not to be guided by our own prejudices over others. It is linked to decentration, the capac‐ ity to reflect on our cultural values, norms and expectations. Within the desirable features of the good intercultural facilitator we can point out:
Knowledge: self-knowledge The first step in the development of oneself as a professional is to identify the various as‐ pects of our personality that we associated with our self‐concept, with the way we see our‐ selves. A review of these patterns must occur otherwise we are likely to perpetuate them.
Skill: self-observation Thanks to this period of self‐observation, the body itself is adapting to a new self-aware‐ ness facilitated by an attitude of humbleness and respect. In this way, one can begin to ask questions that challenge the common patterns of the work: how to report of the rules of a Centre to a new user? What happens when I have to suggest limitations? What help might I need to enforce them? How do I feel when I am in a position of authority? All these ques‐ tions will facilitate this process of introspection.
Attitude: empathy, openness and humility This implies an attitude of openness and humility towards oneself, capable of integrating even our less desired aspects. From this attitude and experiencing personal contradictions the process of self‐observation implies, we can have a more open and humble attitude to‐ wards users with whom we work, understanding from our own experience the difficulties. Empathy involves the ability to have an idea, a “feeling” of what it is like to be that other person, or at least, to feel that there is rationality behind the other’s behaviours. This pro‐ cess is not strictly cognitive but also experiential and emotional. 41
Being able to identify interferences in the facilitator/ user relationship A way of identifying interference is to detect what mechanisms we put in motion to not realize incongruous aspects of oneself when we are with our professional role. The main mechanisms described by Perls (1957), creator of Gestalt Therapy, are the introjection, projection, the confluence and the retro-flexion: • The introjection is characterized by the incorporation of a belief received from exterior without processing it or filtering it with the rest of the beliefs that we have and, therefore, without integrating it with the rest of identity. It usually refers to judgments, values, or man‐ dates on how things should be. These judgments, values or mandates require a process to decide to assimilate them and to integrate them or to reject them. • Projection is to attribute to others what we dislike in ourselves, making the context responsible of what is one’s own responsibility. Those negative qualities that we deny in ourselves are the ones, probably, we will see in others. Therefore, unpleasant or uncom‐ fortable aspects of ourselves are easily exported to exterior, avoiding the apparent “incon‐ sistency” with other positive elements of our self‐concept. A review and acceptance of these elements inevitably leads to greater responsibility of us as facilitators and to a smaller projection of rejected personal aspects. • The confluence refers to the loss of boundaries between the outside world an oneself, therefore, between the other and I. When one confluences, one becomes indistinguishable from the other, and absolves personal responsibility. This type of intervention is a source of misunderstandings and frustration for the user and the professional. A common example of confluence is one in which a professional adapts her/himself fully to the needs of the other without taking into account how she/he is or where her/his limits are. The lack of bounda‐ ries can initiate “burn out” syndrome in the involved and motivated professionals. • The retro-flexion is to put excessive limits between oneself and the environment. Usually the professional retroflects negative feelings. Typically, this mechanism works in a self pun‐ ishing way. To paste a stroke on the table, saying “How can I make so many mistakes?” or “I am stupid?”, are some examples of retro-flexion.
The intercultural skills The defence mechanisms and prejudices develop a central role in the transferential rela‐ tionship. Professional transfer: the transfer of the professional is known as the countertransference, the facilitator’s emotional entanglement with a participant. It can harm the development of the care relationship. A prejudice itself can be transferred to a user in particular, or a bias may be the origin of a transferential reaction used unconsciously to avoid race issues that are uncomfortable. Finally, the countertransference can be, simply a mechanism of self‐ protection to prevent. Racing some painful reality that one unconsciously seeks to avoid. There are some examples, based on ethnocentrism that can make difficult the relationship between professional/participant: • The participant as ‘exotic’ The professional here shows such an interest in the culture of the user that they overlook the individuality of the user. A generalization of this type implies that the user will be re‐ duced to a cultural stereotype. The interest stimulated by the interactions will be simply the fascination of the Professional by the culture of the user rather than responding to the user’s needs. • The participant as a responsibility of the ‘white man’ 42
The user is seen with pity, as a member of a racial or cultural group in a unfavourable situ‐ ation and as a person that needs the help of a provider of a more organized and developed society. In fact, this behaviour could be called “gentle racism”, since the desire of one to help is encouraged in the belief that the cultural group of the client is inferior. • Blindness to colour I., or the universalist ethnocentrism. The importance or relevance of race cultural difference and racism is refused. The motto is “we are all members of the human race” and racism is considered as an element of the past or of other countries. It represents the liberal ideal that everyone is a citizen, regardless of colour, belief or religion. • Blindness to colour II. Unlike the previous example in which the professional underestimates the importance of the race element, in this kind of blindness the professional insists that while racism is a global problem of the whole world, with him or her this is not the case: he/she believes to see the user as she/he “actually” is, not according to his/her race or colour. It has been called “bubble treatment” in which the professional underestimates his/her racial and/or cultural thought. • The participant as ‘the problem’ Here the Professional is a little more sincere and adopts the phrase “I’m not racist, but…”, trying to say that there are some aspects of the racial or ethnic group of the user which are the cause of his/her own distress. It is quite rare to recognize it, since it is a more or less a direct manifestation of the hostility that the other types of transfers try to hide. Reactions from the user: the transference The process of transference is not conscious, and the participant unwittingly projects a needed aspect of a previously experienced or wished‐for relationship on to the facilitator. Participants can have strong transferential reactions towards us as responsible for the work‐ shop or as members of a cultural and/or racial group. If we do not take this into account and make it part of the psychosocial work, it can have a negative affect and distort the care relationship.
Some items on art skills Situated imagination “If I can’t dance to it it’s not my revolution” – Emma Goldman (1931) Stoetzler and Yuval‐Davis in their article “Standpoint theory, situated knowledge and the imagination situated” (2002) point to the imagination as a crucial element that binds simul‐ taneously epistemological and social categories, knowledge and attachment to others. Imagination puts in relation the knowledge with the social and bodily experience. Castori‐ adis (1987) pointed out that each society and each social institution, as well as each specific practice, is based on a social imaginary, reprising the idea formulated by Spinoza that at the heart of the policy is the emotion, desire, affection, which are both bodily and social com‐ ponents (Spinoza 1933). Herbert Marcuse and other authors point out that, to change the reality of a specific society, imagination and fantasy are essential resources (Marcuse 1991). Theodor Adorno is also an advocate of the imagination: the mind needs to transform, not reject, its body, its fear and its desire; fantasy, like the memory has traces of the component of social context of the knowledge and is also the way to a possible change (Adorno 2002:324). As well as the cognitive side of the mental process, the imaginary side is formed by both many aspects of intersection and dimensions of society and by the individual reality of this 43
sensual and corporeal experience. Thus the imagination becomes a basic element of the self and its relationship with her/himself and with the social. The field of artistic activity fosters the imagination, to open the mind to the emotion, the possibility of change and transformation. Covered by an emotional area which contributes to the human attachment, the art for social inclusion workshops offer to think about the hu‐ man being in the past, present and future the links between with each other and the world. The workshops of the project presented here, forged on these epistemological foundations connect directly to located imagination scribing crosscutting issues to the community, from the corporeal as well as from the mental. A community that can imagine a new society has the ability to articulate an incarnate imagination in a here and now, from a singular subject, but from a group with common values. This imagination recovers the emancipatory strength of Marcuse and Adorno and the po‐ tential of Castoriadis. And it seeks to give meaning to the human being inserted in a new and unknown situation.
On the techniques and materials The art techniques are a means to show, understand, express, know ourselves. But, in ad‐ dition, they establish between ourselves and the world and between us and our interior, a way of seeing, representing and feeling the world. To draw, for example, the surrounding reality implies a time to observe, capture, analyse and negotiate the resulting shape and then synthesize it through a material. Of such material relies a result which forces us to be patient, accurate, specific or abstract. Drawing with, for example, charcoal confronts us with a special look and a specific relation‐ ship with the world that is very different from a drawing using ink pen or marker. Dance an emotion, dramatize it, sing it or draw it implicates us in very different ways. It brings us different artistic and aesthetic ingredients. The good art facilitator should know what certain art techniques, methods and materials trigger in human beings. For example, there are techniques that confront us, because of their difficulty, to our own limitations and our frustrations, and these are therefore interest‐ ing to work on the deception, the limits, or the tolerance to frustration. Other techniques or materials provide us the possibility of playing, and gives us immediate satisfaction, a pleasant result, bringing the possibility to feel embraced by the community. The creative time and space is articulated with the use of one or another technique, with use of a material or other. Photography requires us to react quickly, often without a precise control over the outcome. This confronts us, by the way, to a lack of precise control over the world‐ as the work proposed by the group Les Paracommend’arts, offer in the “creative ingredient” that encourages each of the participants find their own method to develop a creative project that can be the metaphor for life project. Choosing a method of performing arts such as dance or theatre, or visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture etc.) involves ways to relate and interact with the World and ourselves, as it can be seen in the workshops proposed by Artemisszio, Elan Interculturel, UCM or MometumArts. In some, we recall the personal play of childhood where our body embod‐ ied the symbol. In others, we project our desires, our fear onto objects, shapes and colours. Another workshop uses situated biographies of migrant artists to empower participants and give them opportunities to develop their personal creative project. The theatre of the Oppressed, as in the work of Osmosis or Artemisszió, provides a space where strategies for empowerment, the fight against oppression, and dialogue can be rehearsed, in order eventually to be applied to real life (Boal 2000). The body involves embodying situations and being put within the gaze of the other, as point‐ 44
ed out by Osmosis in their work on the body as a place you experience and action. The material of work passes directly through our body, a place of pleasure, pain, surveillance or punishment. The creative process, through the different techniques and materials, involves the person in a serious project. In a project involving our full attention and that allows the opening to that located imagination that connects the intimate and the social, the past and the possibility of change. This is the focus of the workshops using the participatory art methods of the The‐ atre of the Oppressed or creative media. Artemisszio, for example, used creative media based on visual communication using manual and digital techniques as well. The aim was to reach a universal approach through visual language, mixing true human stories and playful, humorous elements. The final product of the project has been a film and a video blog. The knowledge of techniques and materials far beyond the instrumental purposes must be part of the training of the facilitator, because it will be the proper use of a specific tech‐ nique inserted in a space and time, which will facilitate reflection and change psychosocial improvement of participants.
Towards a good use of the space of art as social inclusion Art, through the process of interiorization/exteriorization, allows us to work with inter‐ nal and external impositions thus facilitating the expression of emotions that are rejected outside the space of creation. Art allows contradiction, paradox, frustration and anger in the same way that it allows forgiveness, reconciliation, and mourning. Therefore it is an appropriate process for changing and the reflection on it. Art creates a place for the unsaid, where silence and words meet each other. Artistic expression through painting provides a way to express feelings, beyond the memories and dreams, although they are sometimes present in the images. What does the space and time of art offer? Art’s time and space as a “secure base” and the reopening of the attachment. The space where the artistic activity occurs must be a place of testing, experimentation and negotiation and must, therefore, be considered as an area of security which enables the freedom. The workshop offered to others is a space qualified as “special”. For this reason in addition to the importance of the actual artistic activity it is important to consider, in sym‐ bolic terms, the space of art and the time of art. From the theories of attachment it can be concluded that the space of artistic activity in social areas must become or can be transformed in to a space where a person finds him/ herself in a secure space that allows her/him the reflection, introspection, humour and the transforming action. Attachment, a term coined by Bowlby (1969), and widely developed by theories about the affection and the intersubjectivity is defined as an emotional bond that unites the person to a specific figure (attachment figure). This linking behaviour, which results from both an innate need as well as from acquisition, has a dual function: 1. A function of physical protection and emotional security provided initially by an adult capable of defending the vulnerable child from all dangers 2. A function of socialization. The behaviour of the primordial linking, extends to other persons, moves with you through life, to new people coming then to strangers and broader groups thus structuring the personality. Within this model, the effects are used to: 1. Evaluate the internal and external conditions of the individual; 2. Decide on act on and continuously assess its consequences 45
3. Communicating with other people. Bowlby (1969) gives as a basic rule the indication that the therapist must be the person of serene attachment for the patient, a “secure base” from which the long and difficult psycho‐ analytic process will be developed. Taking the concept of safe base, and moving the idea of the therapist to the artistic educator, art therapist or social facilitator through art, we pointed out that this person must provide a secure base so that people can transform a space without specific categories, to a potential space, which generates transformational objects, in the words of Donald Winicott (1971). In cases, the migrant has lost her/his attachment persons, the relationships that contribut‐ ed the minimum security to continue her/his process of human and social development. Instead, she/he finds her/himself in the empty space of uncertainty, mistrust and fear. The workshop space must function as a metaphor that symbolically opens attachment relation‐ ships. The space we try to offer must therefore include some of the elements pointed out by the theorists of attachment: • Communication and communion. Communication has a purpose to inform and influence the other, while communion simply shares. The process of sharing affective states is the more relevant aspect of the intersubjective relationship. • Affective sintony. Daniel Stern (1985) called affective entonement (or emotional empa‐ thy, emotional resonance, affective responsiveness) the ability of the parent to understand and reflect the emotions of the infant. Related to it the companion of artistic activity must provide an “affective intonation” with the group, with the individual who attends the work‐ shop, in such a way that the transformative creation becomes possible. • Meeting moments. Stern et al. (1998), consider that much of the lasting therapeutic ef‐ fects occur within the implicit relational knowledge shared between the analyst and the patient (here it could be replaced by the terms “between the facilitator and the migrant”), as a result of “moments of encounter” that induce changes in this relational intersubjective field, which is non‐verbal and not interpreted. They are different changes to the changes brought about by the interpretation that makes the unconscious conscious. They are chang‐ es that effect the creation, to its relationship with the environment and that subsequently permeate the consciousness levels. • Safety and confidence. Feelings of security and trust allow free associations with the expe‐ rience of the present and the past. Emotional schemes of the self in relation to others that are significant are progressively enabling. • New beginnings. The affective experiences in the here and now acquire a new relevance and become possible “new beginnings” or reorganization of old schemes. New compo‐ nents and emotional settings tend to emerge in new contexts of relations. New beginnings need the emotional empathy of the facilitator with the user. The emotional availability of the companion in the process of creating can allow the migrant to live “corrective emotional experiences” with feelings of “new beginnings”.
What should be observed in the intervention through art The intervention should be a unique case Any psychosocial intervention in the cross‐cultural context should steer clear from stand‐ ardized analysis. The extrapolation is not advisable in this field. An infinite number of con‐ textual personal and circumstantial variables are unique to each person (or group of peo‐ ple), there and then where we are with them. In the same way, the way in which each person gives shape to their experiences of the past, present and her/his fears and expectations for the future cannot pass through a standard‐ 46
ized mould. Each person expresses his/her uniqueness through creative expression. Cogni‐ tive, emotional and behavioural aspects, which together make up the personal identity, are a good example of this. Case-study is therefore, a good observation example.
The meeting in intervention implies an equal and one-to-one relationship. We (facilitators and users) are part of the same psychosocial project. Subtle, imperceptible, in a subliminal way, the user influences the process and questions the identity of the facili‐ tator. It is necessary to make a continuous analysis of identity and identities of the facilitator throughout the different interventions, no matter how long or short the intervention and , despite the experience accumulated or precisely because of these last two circumstances. Supervision is recommended as a way to ensure a good address in the intervention because it allows on the one hand to see the evolution of the identity as facilitators and our transfer‐ ence/counter-transferences in the process.
Diary, grids and open interviews The observation should – as far as possible – collect this intricate relationship of related subjects, the crossing of narratives, the different dramaturgic selves present in each inter‐ action. Each of the forms of recording we choose can contribute to intimidate, activate resist elements in each other and us, reviving old and new mistrusts, feelings of control and deception. The “how” is in psychosocial intervention through art, as important as the “what”, because everything that happens is significant and worthy of observation and analysis. Observation instruments sometimes act as metaphors for the unequal power that migrants have to stand respect to native persons, where only the migrants are the subject of observation and anal‐ ysis. Why are not common pre and post tests on the perception that the facilitator has to migrants before and after making the workshop? Do they open their relationship to people of other cultures after coordinating a workshop on migration?, Does the workshop help to reconsider her/his self‐perception?, are interesting questions that would be interesting to perform. Finally the journal or diary is highly recommended, where to collect traces of evidences and reflections that have to do with the process and the interweaving of the feeling/knowing/ creating/linking of the vital experience with the workshop. If the accompaniment in the workshop must be careful, subtle, delicate, if it should be in emotional intonation, communion, based on respect, the observation and assessment tools must be coherent with these principles of human respect. If the facilitator do not direct, but poses her/himself next to the user and offers a space of security and well‐being, from which to project, to face the fears and to transform, the assessment mode must not become a trial to the other. It must provide elements that help the facilitator to put her/himself in the place of the other and from there, provide elements that help to understand and reconstruct the life project of the participant. Observation, consistent with the above mentioned, must also be marked by the delicacy. We recommend to encourage the visual record of participants and facilitators, to the pho‐ tography/recording of participants and facilitators exposing their feelings about the work‐ shop, and by making, a posteriori, a diary, journal, notebook, made by facilitators and partic‐ ipants which reflect the concerns of the workshop and also constitute itself a new creation. We will invite the participants to the preparation of a video that would account of lived experiences. 47
Following the last, we use the support of a grid of observation (in chapter III.) that helps facilitator to remember aspects that could have been avoided or forgotten in the diary. These indicators of observation function as small notices on aspects that can be overlooked or forgotten and that can be very useful when making a joint observation of the process that does not bypass small parts that sometimes can provide aspects of self‐perception, the perception of the environment and modes of reaction. This, together with a continuous supervision by an external professional, offers a mul‐ ti-method that supplies the shortcomings of one or another method used alone and gives a wide, democratic and egalitarian perception between facilitators and participants. Finally, the use of open interviews, in a life‐story way, can provide an evaluation of the workshop more in detail and crossed by human affect.
Bibliography BOAL, A., (2000), Theatre of the Oppressed. London: Pluto Press BOWLBY, J. (1969), Attachment and loss, Vol. 1: Attachment. New York: Basic Books. CASTORIADIS, C. (1987), The Imaginary Institution of Society. Cambridge: Polity Press. GOLDMAN, E. (1931), Living my life. Downlowded 21 june 2012: http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/goldman/living/livingtoc.html IRWIN, RITA L. & SPRINGGAY, S. (2008), “A/r/tography as practice based research”. In SPRINGGAY, S., IRWIN, RITA L., LEGGO, C. & GOUZOUASIS, P. (Eds.) Being with A/ rtography. (pp. xiii‐xvii) Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Sense Publishers. MARCUSE, H. (1991), One‐dimensional man. London: Routledge. SPINOZA, B. ( 1993), Ethics and treatise on the correction of the intellect. (A. Boyle, Trans.). London: J.M. Dent. STENNER, P. ,BROWN, S.D. (2001), “Being affected: Spinoza and the psychology of emo‐ tion” International Journal of Group Tensions, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 81‐105. STERN, D. (1985), The Interpersonal World of the Infant. A View from Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology. New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers. STOETZLER, MARCEL AND YUVAL‐DAVIS NIRA (2002), “Standpoint theory, situated knowledge and the situated imagination”. Feminist Theory December 2002 3: 315‐333. WINNICOTT, D. (1971), Playing and reality. London: Routledge.
2. CASE STUDIES ABOUT ART INTERVENTIONS WITH MIGRANTS 2.1. ART OF ADAPTATION: ART JOURNEY THROUGH THE PHASES OF ADAPTATION Vera Várhegyi, Elan Interculturel, Ariadne coordinator
SOME INFO ON THE PILOTS: What was its name? Art of adaptation Who was it proposed by (which partner)? Elan Interculturel When did it take place? 16th to 27th January 2012 What was the main art branch (if there was one)? Visual arts, dance, theatre Text prepared by: Elan Interculturel
Abstract This case study describes the workshop “Art of adaptation” organized by Elan Intercul‐ turel in January 2012 Paris. There were three special features of this workshop. First, the workshop was a blend of intercultural training and art workshop. It focused explicitly on adaptation and the sessions were constructed on purpose to tackle different phases and aspects of the adaptation process. Second, what allowed for such a top-down construction was that all four facilitators and artists involved were themselves immigrants in Paris. This meant that the skeleton of the workshop was not built on cold theoretical assumptions on what adaptation should be, but was also backed up by the personal experiences of the facilitators’ team. The third feature is what allowed us to tackle explicitly the themes of adaptation: the participants. The group consisted of 10 women coming from 9 different countries over four continents, which seems to be a highly diverse group. At the same time the level of education was very high, and all participants had a strong command of English – the language of the workshop. Finally most participants were in a relatively safe economic environment, we could focus on how to make the best of the experience of migration and not on survival or complex legal issues. The workshop will be presented chronologically through the eight sessions.
Intro – a “minimal paradigm of cross-cultural mobility” Our departure point was to work on a “minimal paradigm of cross-cultural mobility” that is, to deal with the challenges triggered by the change of culture and context. We believed that even when there are no legal uncertainties, no immediate material, physical needs, questions of safety, adaptation can still open a Pandora box of unsuspected challenges and threats, that are often neglected when hidden by needs seemingly more of an emergency.
Session 1: The creative passport Getting to know each other The opening session was a typical introduction session in many ways: participants got intro‐ duced to each other, we discussed expectations, what would happen in the workshop and what would be the ground rules for a safe collabo‐ ration. As much as possible these tasks were pro‐ posed in a creative frame. The presentations were in pairs, participants were invited to take notes on the other person by drawing, then they present‐ ed their partners through those drawings. To talk about the expectations we invited participants to create icons of what they would and would not like in the workshop.
I really liked about this short interview that it was well-structured and helped me have an insight on a complete strangers life and realize that we have in fact much in common. It was also interesting to see the picture that my partner created based on the things that I told her about my life situation. It helped me to identify the themes on which I would work during the days to come. Visual demechanisation The second half of the session was devoted to what we called “visual demechanisation” exercises. Boal (2004) coined the term demechanisation to embrace a type of exercises he proposed to help participants unleash the body of the narrow set of movements inscribed into it through the repetition of everyday routines. In a way demechanisation exercises pre‐ pare the body and the person for a more creative embodied participation. We wanted to reach the same effect, but focusing on visual activities. Indeed during everyday activities, but also when we are asked to draw or to make art, we may be used to work with our hands, our tools in certain ways that we have learnt, but not in others. Our aim in this first session was to open the doors for creativity and draw, see in different ways. The exercises were borrowed and adapted from creativity manuals (e.g. Szoke 2008).
This is a flower, titled Opposites. The leaves & petals are conceived of words. I’m not a very good poet but I tried my best. This was created utilizing markers & paper. It was of my first impressions of the route from the airport to our new home in France. Spring had come early, and daffodils lined the motorway. Paris was warm, while New York was snowy and cold. I believed it to be a good omen to my new life.
Session 2: Landing, arriving, exploration of a new culture An object that represents our relationship to French culture In the previous session we asked participants to bring for the next morning an object that represents their relationship to the French culture. How they interpret “French culture” and their relationship with “it” was left free. We had a vide range of very different objects (a bottle of Perrier, a metro pass, a huge old key to a cellar, a postcard sent from Paris etc) which were presented, and the choices were explained. In a second round we invited par‐ ticipants to create an art work around their object (or if they got seduced by someone else’s object they could also create an art work around that). This proposition had a double objec‐ tive: on an creative level it proposed the construction of an art piece anchored in a concrete stimuli. At the same time on a symbolic level it was similar to a creative appropriation of an element of the host culture – an element that actually was strong enough to represent our link to that culture.
This is a collage, composed of magazine cut-outs, about my object which was a cellar key. I purposefully chose images of prints & textures that I deem typical French. How I think it relates to being in Paris... Well, perhaps the “key” is to work with what you have here, the things Paris has to offer, to build a life for yourself... to adapt.
What is culture? A more abstract proposition followed: to create a visual representation of “culture” – not one particular culture, but culture in general. This small group task was an introduction to start talking about culture, about how it influences what we think, how we feel and what happens in “the meeting of cultures”. Each group explained the drawing they made, and the facilitators added some further details. By the end of the third drawing, we have talked about the manifestations of culture, the types of culture (not just nations, but also gender, age, professional culture, subculture etc.) the characteristics of culture (dynamic, ever changing, subjective) the mechanisms (transmission and exchange) and we also tack‐ led the notions linking culture to individual such as enculturation, identity, ethnocentrism, reciprocity.
Session 3: first contact Communication is embodied: before we even talk the bodies become the interface of the contact: we formulate a first impressions on each other in less than a second, just based on what wee look like. Before we talk, our bodies tell each other some story about what we want, what the other wants. We cannot not communicate says Watzlavick (1967) all behav‐ iour is interpreted as communicative behaviour, as intention. Then, culture is embodied: the way we use distance, the way we are taught to stand, to sit, to look in the eyes – or precisely avoid the eyes, whether we can smile and cry or we are 51
forbidden the exteriorisation of emotions is all cultural. Yet the body is often ignored in inter‐ cultural trainings, sometimes there is talk about the importance of non-verbal communication in the best case some simple simulation exercises. For this reason it made sense to us to start our communication session with the body. We invited a dancer to work with the group and offer a four hours long immersion into issues that seemed to us keys for understanding what really happens in a first contact with the other. What is really at stake, and what are our resources. Contact improvisation Contact improvisation is a dance form invented in the 70’s by Steve Paxton “based on the communication between two moving bodies that are in physical contact and their combined relationship to the physical laws that govern their motion – gravity, momentum, inertia. The body, in order to open to these sensations, learns to release excess muscular tension and abandon a certain quality of willfulness to experience the natural flow of movement.”11 CI is an improvised dance form focusing on contact and trying to make movement as effort‐ less as possible. It seemed as a good starting point for our work. A series of exercises was proposed that invited participants to meet, to improvise a point of contact and try to work with that contact – as effortlessly as possible. Contact improvisation also shows us how contact changes our possibilities, our equilibrium, simply put: contact changes us. We have played with balance and counterweight to explore how this can happen, comparing what we can do alone, and how another person becoming counterweight can enlarge our possibilities. That contact changes us is true in the realm of cross-cultural studies: arriving to a new place, facing members of the host society we may become “the stranger”, “the different”. If we are not aware of local politeness rules, we can become the “rude”, “the uneducated”, “the impolite”. And we can also become the exotic, the interesting, the one bringing newness. Change happens to us without us deciding to change; the question is how we can handle the changes. Opening up the non-verbal repertoire Cultural differences permeate our non verbal communication repertoire: proxemics (the use of space according to social distance), rhythm, eye contact, preference or avoidance of physical contact, postures to name just a few, all show great cultural diversity. A series of exercises was proposed where participants could test themselves in different non-verbal behaviours and reflect on their own preferences, which they found easier, which felt un‐ natural. 11
http://www.contactquarterly.com/contact-improvisation/about/accessed on September 2012
Stepping out of the comfort zone Another key skill in the adaptation process is to learn to step out of one’s comfort zone. It is often our instinct in a new environment to seek refuge amongst people from our own cultural background, where we can be sure that people will laugh at our jokes, that they will like the food we cook and that we will not embarrass them our ourselves with misunder‐ standings. To ease the efforts of adaptation some migrants would effectively spend most of their time in their communities, the expat colony etc. Contact dance teaches that it is OK to step out of our comfort zone, that it is fine to go beyond our limits just a bit by creating opportunities of very strong physical contact between people but also by offering invitations for movements and postures way out of our usual movement repertoire:
“I came to the class somewhat worrying about dancing, and now here I am in the end of the day rolling over, playing, doing things I would have never thought to do.” “At first I wasn’t confident with the dance session, but it was really an icebreaker that created good contacts.” Session 4: Culture shock This session was devoted to work on participants’ experiences of culture shock, offering them a tool to understand, explore and react to culture shock. We have adopted the ap‐ proach developed by Margalit Cohen-Emerique combining it with visual and drama work. Culture shock as a mirror Culture shocks are concrete experiences, situations where the difference between cultural values, patterns, and behaviours becomes suddenly visible in the encounter. The particu‐ larity of Cohen-Emerique’s approach is that she acknowledges that if there is a conflict between two parties it is not because the strangeness of one or the other, but the relative difference between the two potentially conflicting cultural reference frames.
“Culture shock is an interaction with a person or object from a different culture, set in a specific space and time, which provokes negative or positive cognitive and affective reactions, a sensation of loss of reference points, a negative representation of oneself and feeling of lack of approval that can give rise to uneasiness and anger” (Cohen-Emerique 2011). The aim of all culture shock analysis is always twofold. First of all it aims at opening up our interpretations of our own cultural baggage, becoming aware of the implication of our own cultural values, norms, expectations, how they become threatened by a different cultural position. Second, the 53
analysis aims at offering more elaborate explanations on the behaviour of the other, which at first are often based on simplified stereotypes (indeed under pressure we tend to access stereotypes to explain social situations). The objective then is to find more and more pre‐ cise hypothesis that give back the rationality of the other. Decentration through images To introduce participants to the method of critical incident analysis we use a very simple technique. We provide a series of images representing cultural behaviours from a variety of cultures that are likely to be perceived as somewhat shocking (e.g. a nomad boy washing his hear in the urine of a camel, a Philippine actor re-enacting crucifixion being nailed to a wooden cross, a European body builder man posing for a competition etc.). We then ask participants to chose the image that provokes the strongest reaction. Then they answer two questions: how the image made the feel, what were their own values or norms that were touched by the image. This simple exercise makes people realise the implication of their own cultural positions in their emotional reactions and judgements on others. Working on own culture shock experiences No analysis is as powerful as the one we do on our own culture shock experiences. The analysis – when done properly – can bring new light on the interpretation of a conflict and possibly offer alternative solutions. To help the active engagement of participants we pro‐ posed to work on the critical incidents through the structure of the forum theatre: first of all participants shared their own critical incidents in small groups. Once they selected one incident they wished to work one they created a representation of the incident. The representation had to stop at the culminating moment. Each situation was represented a second time, when the facilitator could freeze the image and inquire about the feelings, thoughts of one or another character from the participants in the audience or the character herself. In a second round participants in the audience (the “spectactors”) had the chance of replacing the protagonist of the incident, and try to change her behaviour to see whether the outcome of the situation would change (see more details on Forum Theater in the next article).
Session 5: Inner landscapes Creative constraints Asking people to create an art work, just like that can be intimidating, and the unlimited freedom becomes a paralysing uncertainty. Asking to create around the first thing they saw in Paris, or the story of the stairway in their building interestingly may become much more liberating. To open our visual arts sessions artist Rafael Valeron devised a series of proposi‐ tions balancing well constraints and liberties.
“The first exercise consisted in drawing myself using two colors (black to represent the emotional, irrational and “hidden” aspects of my personality and red for the rational and conscious side), the eyes shut, only by intuition. We had to draw without lifting up the pen from the sheet. We kept on drawing our portrait this way until the process became completely easy and natural to do. The about ten auto-portraits that I produced show a visible evolution. In the beginning I was confused by being obliged to use two colors. I found it hard to distinguish so clearly the different aspects of my character. It was also difficult to draw without lifting up my pen with one single line so at first I cheated a little in order the create more conform images. Then I quickly started to feel 54
myself more at ease and to enjoy this kind of liberty. I realized that the result got the more and more interesting and expressive as I rid myself of my inner requirement of creating images that are conform and easy to get. Finally I proceeded some auto-portraits pretty surprising in term that I really saw myself in them in a way really unusual and abstract.”
The exercise reveals a fundamental truth about identities: they are constructed through social interactions, with others real or imagined, accommodating each interaction, integrat‐ ing the experience into the self-system. Sometimes we are assigned identities we do not identify with – we may be considered as rude, uneducated, belonging to a despised cultural group. The bigger the cultural distance, the more likely the reflections will send us back a distorted image. Yet even these reflections count, and we react to them. Fortunately we do have some autonomy in the construction process. And our session too followed with a proposition to chose elements from all the portraits with which we identify – the eyes from one drawing, the hair from another, the hands from a third etc. These bits were then reassembled into a new piece.
“I liked in this exercise mixing pieces created instinctively, my eyes shut with drawings made the eyes open in a more conscious way. I used cut-outs to my facial traits. The trainer encouraged us to use our totem animals so I portrayed myself as a deer. For the landscape I draw a big field with a forest appearing in the distance. When I finished it I found this picture very expressive and personnel. It gave me an interesting starting point of reflection about what is given and what is that I create myself in my life.” 55
Session 6: Destinations “This day we created our «dream portrait»” For this we used our totem animal. The aim of the exercise was to imagine and create an ideal environ‐ ment where this animal could feel himself good. As technique we used color pencils, felt-tip pens, painting and cut-offs from magazines. The trainer encouraged me to use many symbolic images that would represent our priorities. I represented myself as a deer again, but this time I surrounded it with a spring forest, a much friendlier landscape for a deer. After this, we took photos of everyone with her dream portrait. We had the liberty to choose our set for the photo. Some girls went out to the street, others to the metro. I chose to take mine in the restroom, in front of the mirror. On the photo, I hide my face with the dream portrait and I look into the camera from the mirror. I found this game with my dream portrait and my real face reflecting in the mirror really inspiring. I liked the most in this exercise the concept of creating my dream portrait by changing and “furnishing” the landscape around me. For me it emphasized my force and my responsibility in creating my own environment.”
Session 7: Creating a home away from home To start, the new place is often just that: a place, sometimes exciting, sometimes scary, and sometimes indifferent. After a while, the newness and foreignness becomes domesticated, the level of uncertainty and unpredictability are reduced to an easy level and places start to become familiar. More interesting then mere familiarity are the emotional connections – anchors that we develop in the new place. These become our points of entry into our new life. “Ibasho” is a concept borrowed from Japanese that grasp the essence of such places. The literal translation is “a place to be”, and it expresses the idea of a space where we are at ease, where we can “be ourselves”. A recent study amongst expatriate spouses showed that our capacity or willingness to identify and create such spaces correlates with lower depression, lower levels of stress, more satisfaction and more social support (Herleman, Britt, Hashima 2008). In this session we proposed two tasks to participants. The first one was to identify “Ibasho” in Paris. We did not give any limits, except one: the place must be a real one, not imagined. We found out that Ibasho could be many things. In fact what it is concretely matters much less than the mere fact of having found it.
“We presented our interpersonal relations trough the image of the solar system. I figured myself as a big planet in the center encircled by many other planets of different sizes and colors symbolizing the people having more or less important roles in my life. I described the nature of the relations between them by their distance and the form of their flight paths. Like this, I got a little map of my relations. I liked the idea of relating the system of my personal relations to the image of the solar system. It helped me to see the dynamics and significances of these relations in a surprisingly clear way.” 56
It could be our readings that we read by the Seine, the Seine itself Or yet it could a space for our spirituality
It could be our readings that we read by the Seine, the Seine itself
The second proposition was a visual version of the social galaxy exercise.
Session 8: Navigating, moving ahead fully equipped The last session was dedicated to reconnecting with the outside world through concrete work on the life projects of participants. The tools we used were a portfolio of skills and competences and a SWOT analysis applied to the life project in the new environment. Both activities were done in collaboration with others, to benefit from an external yet encouraging point of view. In a way the preceding 15 days were a preparation for this very last, seemingly much less creative exercise. But this seemingly less creative task in fact takes a whole lot of creativity, but instead of paper, cardboard, chalk and scissors we work on our own life with the tools of the external environment, whatever Paris can offer.
Bibliography BOAL, A. J (2004) eux pour acteurs et non-acteurs - Pratique du Théâtre de l’opprimé Paris: Editions la Découverte COHEN-EMERIQUE, Margalit 2011. Pour une approche interculturelle en travail social, Théories et pra‐ tiques, Rennes, Presses de l’EHESP H. A. HERLEMAN, T. W. BRITT, P. Y. HASHIMA (2008): Ibasho and the adjustment, satisfaction, and well-be‐ ing of expatriate spouses International Journal of Intercultural Relations Vol. 32 pp 282-299 SZŐKE, A. (Editor) (2008) Kreativitási gyakorlatok, fafej, indigo - Erdély Miklós művészetpedagógiai tevékenysége 1975-1986. Budapest: MTA Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont WATZLAWICK, P., BEAVIN-BAVELAS, J., JACKSON, D. 1967. Some Tentative Axioms of Communication. In Pragmatics of Human Communication - A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes. W. W. Norton, New York Pictures taken by Vera Varhegyi, Susanne Dieing on the works of participants. Many thanks for Rafael Valer‐ on and Carla Forli and to all the participants – in particular to C. and E. who helped the evaluation of our joint work with a generous feedback.
2.2. UNITED WE BLOSSOM WITH THE POWER OF THEATRE! TWO WORKSHOPS IN ATHENS USING THE THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED Naya Boemi, Ioanna Papadopoulou, Christina Zoniou
SOME INFO ON THE PILOTS: What were their names? Forum theatre workshop Who were they proposed by (which partner)? Osmosis together with the african women’s organisation of athens, the department of theatre studies of the university of the peloponnese When did they take place? September – june 2012 What was the main art branch (if there was one)? Theatre of the oppressed
Abstracts In this study we present our two pilot projects that used the method of the Theatre of the Oppressed. The workshops involved migrant women, and took place from September to June 2012. The two workshops had a lot in common: one was the continuation of the other, but with different participants. The first Forum Theatre workshop was organised by Osmosis – the Centre for the Arts & Intercultural Education - in collaboration with the African Women’s Organisation of Athens. It took place in Athens from September to December 2011. In this workshop we focused on Image Theatre technique, which is part of the Theatre of the Oppressed of Augusto Boal. The workshop was facilitated by social theatre facilitators Christina Zoniou (University of the Peloponnese) and Naya Boemi (Osmosis). The group of participants was made up of migrant women from Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Albania, as well as Greek women. The images that came from Image Theatre highlighted the daily life of migrant women in Greek society. Some of the major problems these women face pertain to labour exploita‐ tion, insecurity, excessive bureaucracy, and social oppression. Participants chose some of these images and constructed a story, which became the draft scenario of a Forum Theatre performance. Evaluation of the first pilot project was based on observation and perfor‐ mance-based research techniques using Theatre and Workshop Maps. The second Forum Theatre workshop was organised by Osmosis – the Centre for the Arts & Intercultural Education and the Department of Theatre Studies of the University of the Peloponnese, in collaboration with the African Women’s Organization of Athens. It took place in Athens from March to July 2012. In this workshop we focused on Forum Theatre technique, which is also part of the Theatre of the Oppressed of Augusto Boal8 . The work‐ shop was facilitated by Christina Zoniou (University of the Peloponnese), Naya Boemi and Ioanna Papadopoulou (Osmosis). The group of participants was formed by migrant women from Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Albania, Somalia, and the USA, as well as Greek women. This mixed group of women continued the work done by the group of the previous pilot and prepared a Forum Theatre performance in order to present in public the problems they face in Greece. The performance arose from real stories of oppression that they were not able to handle in real life.
More information on (www. theatre‐ oftheop‐ pressed.org
The Forum Theatre group created by the two workshops of Osmosis continued to operate after the end of the workshops in June and July 2012. The performance was presented by participants from both pilot sessions twice: first in a social theatre in the centre of Athens and then in the 16th Anti-Racist Festival of Athens. Evaluation of the project followed the methodology of performance-based research and a case study was produced based on the Forum Theatre performance. In this article, we are going to present and evaluate the two pilot workshops through three different aspects: by analysing the body as a place of experience and action through the image theatre method, by using the visual technique of the workshop map and finally by looking at the forum theatre performance itself.
Description of contents, aims, objectives and theatrical techniques of the pilot projects Our team selected the Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O.) (Boal 2000) as the main method from which to draw techniques for the implementation of the Ariadne project in Greece. Techniques were also drawn from other methods of social theatre, such as Theatre for Development (Pammenter & Mavrokordatos 2004). We also used a combination of Stanislavski’s acting method with elements of Brechtian theatre as well as some applied the‐ atre methods, such as psychodrama and Theatre-in-Education. In this project, the Theatre of the Oppressed was chosen as both an artistic and a pedagogical tool, as well a research method. The aims of the project were: - the acquiring of knowledge through a heuristic process - the development of creativity and personal expression - the development of critical awareness of the world - the enhancement of individual and collective empowerment -the encouragement of interaction and active participation in the pedagogic process - the promotion of intercultural communication and intercultural adaptation. The specific objectives of the pilot projects were: - developing empowerment and self-esteem - enhancing openness, flexibility, empathy and active listening - constructing multiple and flexible identities - elaborating past and present experiences of loss, oppression and injustice - imagining and “rehearsing” the desirable future - coping with the problems of everyday life, acquiring necessary knowledge and skills - creating connections with people from the host society and other countries, building net‐ works, relationships and trust - developing theatrical skills.
The techniques of the Theatre of the Oppressed During the workshops held by the Greek team there was a combination of the following techniques:
Various warm-up and ‘de-mechanisation’ games The activity starts with simple group warm-up games to create a convivial atmosphere. We then 59
proceed to a second category, “sensorial” games. These aim at creating trust, and at activating “de-mechanisation’, i.e. the activation of hidden and unexplored skills of participants and the awakening of the five senses9. Games for active listening and empathy These are games such as ‘the blind series’ or ‘the mirror’ (Boal 1992) that can be used to enable the participants to gradually develop an empathic understanding of the other’s fears, limits, rhythms, emotions, images, and ideals; and, most importantly, an ability to relax, communicate and find harmony with other human beings. An important element is the training of non-verbal communication skills and the stimulus of emotional intelligence. Games for empowerment These activities are designed to help the participant tell her/his story (Pammenter & Mav‐ rokordatos 2004), reconcile her/himself with what she/he is in order to imagine what she/ he could be; activities that give strength to everybody’s voice; activities such as “the onion of my identity”, “the caricature of myself”, “the story of my name”, “life maps”, and realistic or poetic dramatizations starting from personal stories, fears and dreams. Social mask games In social mask games (Boal 1992: 138-148; Bernardi 2004: 52) participants take on various “masks”, i.e. stereotypical social roles (the teacher, the doctor, the clerk, the immigrant), that are characterised by particular movements, bodily expressions and behaviour. These are analysed and put into categories. “Social masks” meet with each other and communi‐ cate, creating theatrical situations in which we can discover the differences between social positions and behaviour. Then we can move on to exercises that reveal our own social masks, and to status games. Image theatre Image theatre (Boal 1992) is a technique of T.O. that uses body images and tableaux vivants to express feelings, concepts and points of view, allowing a non-verbal debate over conflicts and oppressions that trouble the participants. Images can be ‘dynamised’, that is, compared, interpreted, and brought to life, and they can be enriched by gestures, objects and sounds. As in Forum Theatre (see below), “spect-actors” can substitute a character of the image; or, as “sculptors”, they can change people’s positions, thus altering the situations present‐ ed. This is a very effective method because it concentrates on body language and power relationships, and on how these are transformed into the positions of the body in a specific space. It can be used in multi-language groups, e.g. groups of migrants. Techniques of identification and the construction of scenes These techniques concern improvisation and games for helping “actors” to enter into their role - to live the feelings, contradictions and contrasts of their role. At the same time, par‐ ticipants learn techniques to obtain the emotional distance which enables actors to move in and out of role as they wish. 9
Boal refers to 5 categories of activities: 1. feel what we touch; 2. listen to what we hear; 3. dynamising several senses, 4. see what we look at; 5. the memory of the senses (Boal, 1992: 62ff.).
Forum Theatre This is a technique (Boal 1992) based on a short theatrical scene (“model”) that represents an unresolved conflict or oppression, i.e. a scene that ends badly. To construct these scenes, participants are inspired by personal experiences. The audience watches the scene once. Then the scene is repeated and members of the audience can change the course of the sto‐ ry by saying “stop” and substituting a character with another with whom she/he identifies. She/he becomes a “spect-actor” and does and says what she/he would do and say in an 60
analogous situation in the given circumstances. The Joker (the Forum Theatre’s facilitator / animator) coordinates the game and the substitution of characters, trying to deepen the discussion by questions and avoiding leading, interpretative or supportive opinions. Techniques of emotional closure, de-roling and reflection These activities are useful to bring workshop sessions to a close, especially when they are particularly “charged” and emotionally intense. Techniques of relaxation and massage are also used as “farewell games”. According to our pedagogical principles, it is very important to integrate each group of activities or each session with reflective activities, which lead participants to elaborate on their experiences and stimulates their critical thinking - the con‐ scious knowledge of specific subjects and the exploration of potential actions. This is when performative action becomes a “transformative action” (Baron-Cohen 2006).
Evaluation methodology Our evaluation method was based on the research paradigm of qualitative research meth‐ odologies. More precisely, our method was a combination of critical ethnography, used in contemporary cultural anthropology (Carspecken 1996), with arts and performance–based research method (Mienczakowsk, 2001; Denzin 2003; Conrad 2004; Knowles & Cole 2008; Dennis 2009; and Barone & Eisner 2011). In fact, we included theatrical and other artistic techniques in all the phases of research: the production and collection of data, analysis, and interpretation. Research based on performance is holistic, participatory, and embodied, and links theory with practice, allowing the widening of the research field to areas that concern not only verbal discourse but also emotion, body, self-perception, and the imaginative re‐ construction of reality. Evaluation activities: • Image Theatre • Workshop maps • The Garden of Desire and other visual activities • Focus Group / Group interviews • Individual Interviews • Role games Assessment tools: • Participant observation / Researchers’ field notes • Visual documentation / Photo Journal / Videos • Pre-tests and post–tests by means of games • Handwritten texts and sketches • Visual documentation • Self-reflection of the participants, trainers and artists
Results We are going to analyse and present the results of the two pilot workshops by using three different aspect: the body as a place of experience and action analysed through the Image Theatre, by using the technique of the workshop maps, and by presenting the Forum The‐ atre performance.
The body as a place of experience and action Image Theatre is part of the Theatre of the Oppressed of Augusto Boal and we used it as both a supplementary and a preparatory technique for Forum Theatre. The technique of 61
Image Theatre uses the human body as a place for the expressive representation of emo‐ tions, ideas and relationships (Alkistis 2008: 59). This process aims at the personal and collective exploration of a topic, penetrating personal stories that we have created of our social environment and ourselves. It helps to reveal deeper concerns. The resulting images can be compared, interpreted, enlivened and enriched by gestures, objects, sounds and short phrases. This technique allows the creation of a ‘theatre community’ with a ‘common language’ (Govas & Zoniou 2011: 14). “Words express something common to everyone and at the same time something personal for each individual… Image is one way of mak‐ ing everyone understand the same thing …. Words sometimes hide more things that they reveal. Images can hide things too, but if you combine images and words then you have a deeper understanding of what people feel and what they want to say” (Boal 1998: 2). During the forum theatre workshop we included exercises such as: the sculptor and the sculpture; illustrating an issue with my body; illustrating an issue with the bodies of others; still images; dynamic images; multiple images of oppression; and group images (Boal 1992, 174-217). Once the images were constructed, we proceeded to objective, general descrip‐ tion and observation of details by the audience, and then to interpretation: who are we, where are we, what are we doing? The theoretical analysis that follows takes into account the interpretations of both the spectators and the people who created the images. The daily life of African women in Greek society is represented by images. Images can be realistic, allegorical, surreal, symbolic or metaphorical, but true, as the sculptor-protago‐ nist felt them. The images that arose during the workshop briefly highlighted the daily life of women in the field of work (illegal status, labour exploitation, insecurity, intimidation), their contact with natives, some institutional issues that migrants face, paperwork, issues of everyday life, and social oppression.
The body as a product of power relations or “Be careful, the wood is from Africa’!” Power starts from each tiny activity of the body, in each institution of the political body (Foucault 1989). The French thinker approached the body as a construction of the dis‐ courses of power in each historical period.
An African woman works as a house cleaner. The lady of the house has made her clean the wooden floor by hand with a piece of cloth rather than a mop. While the African woman is cleaning the floor, the lady of the house says, “Be careful, the wood is from Africa!”
This image was particularly striking to the participants. Ira, a Greek participant, remarked:
“Wood comes from Africa, having been treated with care and having been beautifully packed. Lauretta, who also comes from Africa, doesn’t matter. This image is funny, but unacceptable.” 62
The body is transformed into a historical object, the understanding of which relies on the framework of ideas and circumstances of a particular society. A critique of the biological, “objective” bases of the human body leads to a “political history of the body” where “disci‐ plinary power exists to the extent that manages not only to control and enclose the body, but also render it productive for the society itself” (Foucault 1989: 11). The point at issue for the reproduction of authoritarian relations is control over bodies. Dimitra, a Greek par‐ ticipant, was impressed by
“the obscenity of cleaning with her hands...the obsession, the absurdity”. Within this context, “a policy of coercions is formed that involves the treatment of the body, the calculated manipulation of its elements, its movements, its behaviour” (Synott, 1993: 232). The body is everywhere and it is not neutral. It clearly has a political side. Interaction between bodies or “At the queue in the supermarket” Social relations are registered in the body, but that does not mean a body can be “read” in isolation from the rest of the human entity. On the contrary, some of the body’s expres‐ sions emerge only when bodies interact with each other, that is, by the relations established between different shareholders (Goffman 2006). Goffman is interested in how the body affects the type and outcome of social interaction in everyday life. In a supermarket an African woman carrying several shopping bags receives critical looks from Greek women waiting in the queue.
Guided by the principle of visibility, the body is placed at the centre of reading techniques, control and surveillance. The ruthless control exercised by the human eye inevitably trig‐ gers processes of observation, recording, evaluation and categorisation of the outer surface of the other. The gaze is not neutral, but is charged with moral judgments and criticism. The gaze cannot exist outside the subject and its mental functions, nor can it be understood outside a social context (Goffman 2006). We see others and others see us, during which process information emanating from our bodies is exchanged. In everyday life, faces and behaviour are exhibited to the eyes of others. As Click, who played the sculptor, said, “the shopping was for the people I work for. They were surprised that an African woman can carry so many shopping bags.” In Goffman’s view, the embodied person is not independent, but is subject to restrictions and social stigmatisation. The pervasive, persistent and ratify‐ ing gaze is a cultural idiom that interprets the interaction of personal attitudes and social relations. Physical experience or “The sealed mouth” The phenomenology of the body highlighted by the subjective, direct and personal dimen‐ sions of the human body as an element that forms social relations (Alexias, 2003). The body, according to Merleau-Ponty, is not an object but a condition and context through which 63
each person lives, gathers experiences and knowledge, understands and accepts informa‐ tion from the outer world, and interprets them. The individual places her/ himself in the world through the body. Reality is presented as a product rather than as something that pre-exists (Merleau-Ponty 2004).
An old Greek lady is in the care of an African woman. While the two of them are walking on the pavement and the African woman is helping her employer along, the latter starts commenting when they pass another African woman. When representing the image to the group, the African woman chose to put a sticker over her mouth.
Csordas makes a distinction between the body and embodiment. The former he calls a “biological, material entity”, while the latter is “in contrast, an indeterminate methodolog‐ ical field defined by perceptual experience and the mode of presence and engagement in the world” (Csordas 1994:12). This distinction between the body and embodiment shows the ways in which both are understood and exposed, according to interpretation. The ways we present our bodies are neither arbitrary nor biologically defined, but culturally formed (Csordas 1993: 140). Lea, a Greek participant, commented on the attitude of the African woman: “It seemed as if she wanted to react but she couldn’t, as if it was beyond her strength.” By placing the sticker over her mouth, the African woman makes a physical statement. She wants to speak, but she cannot because she realises she might lose her job. During subsequent discussion, Awa (the African woman who presented the image) said,
“I wonder how the elderly woman could speak like that when it’s an African woman who takes care of her!”
The body is the way of being in the world, the way we experience reality, the way we be‐ long to the world (Merleau-Ponty 2004). Monica, an African participant, commented on the image.
“Although she cannot walk without help, she’s got money. She’s got power in her hands.” According to Foucault, there are powers - multiple, diverse and historic - which constitute the phenomenon of authority. Power is considered as a grid, which eventually shapes both its agents and its objects (Foucault 1989). Embodied oppression as a social practice, or “I’ve got my bags” Learning aesthetically, Boal argues, involves understanding with both our minds and our bodies. Boal’s work is primarily concerned with oppression, which he regards as fundamen‐ tally unjust. Oppression, he argues, is embodied; it is experienced not just intellectually, but also physically and emotionally. So the struggle to overcome oppression necessarily involves an engagement with the physical and the embodied (Boal 2006). Boal’s theory and methodology seem to be aligned with Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of hab‐ itus, which refers to the embodied systems of dispositions that are reflective of our indi‐ vidual and collective histories, and the structures in which we are embedded. We may not normally be aware of habitus, but Bourdieu argues that we can become aware of it through conscious reflection (Bourdieu 2002). These unconscious, normalised and embodied dis‐ positions are at the root of the social reproduction of inequalities, such as those based on race, class and gender. 64
In the bus, a Greek woman places her shopping bags on the empty seat next to her when an African woman moves towards the seat. Before the African woman can say anything, the Greek woman exclaims, “You can’t sit here, I’ve got my bags.”
Both the gesture of the Greek woman towards the African woman and the non-reaction of the latter are embodied practices that should be examined within the specific historical and social conditions of their production. Bourdieu has analysed social inequalities in terms of four different types of “capital”. The levels in the social hierarchy include: economic capital (money, wealth, poverty); cultural capital (education, knowledge of the arts and high culture); symbolic capital (presentation of self, types of behaviour); and embodied capi‐ tal (body shape, beauty, ways of speaking, ways of walking) (Bourdieu 1986). The African woman has a status which includes all kinds of capitals: immigrant, poor, from a primitive civilisation; and a “physical shape” that is thickset, with cheap clothes. The habitus of the Greek and African women show that they come from different social classes, even though they tend to act in similar ways. The importance of the production of embodied capital is the fact that the “style de vie” of people from different social classes has been “incorporated”. In this context, social differ‐ ences are embodied and become “natural” differences which are erroneously identified as such. It becomes self-evident and unconsciously natural for people to behave and “bear” their bodies according to their social class. Thus, a space of “class bodies” is formed that reproduces the structure of society (Bourdieu 2006). Habitus is a person’s personal history written in her/ his body. By exposing the habitus of individuals’ being and attempting to transgress it when needed, Boal aims to stop the cycle of social reproduction. By treating images as metaphorical rather than realistic, Image The‐ atre leaves them open to transformation by actor-participants, who have the opportunity to experience and then the choice to “transgress” their limitations (Boal 2006).
Conclusion Based on the idea that “a picture is worth a thousand words” (Boal 2002: 174), Image Theatre enables participants to use their bodies to create collectively static group images that represent their stories. Alternative ways to change relations of power are discussed through an interactive process. The process of the experience leads to reflection and that produces proposals for solutions, which are ultimately tested by new images and lead to new experiences and new rounds of possible actions. Secreted in our corporal memory, learning becomes more tangible. Recalling these embodied moments makes them available for deeper exploration in the future (Boemi 2012). “The whole method of the Theatre of the Oppressed, and particularly the series of Image Theatre, is based on the multiple mirror of the gaze of others - a number of people looking at the same image, and offering their feelings, what is evoked for them, what their imaginations throw up around that image. This multiple reflection will reveal to the person who made the image its hidden aspects. It is up to the protagonist (the builder of the image) to understand and feel whatever she wants to or is able to take from this process” (Boal 2002: 175). Image is an embodied language that emerges from our interactions with/in the world. Par‐ 65
ticipants create images of their experiences, they give us a sense of their reality, and extend their perspectives through a “visual dialogue” that is shaped by the many images shared among them. This allows people to understand the reality they live in, and the social con‐ struction of their bodies. Dimitra, one of the Greek participants, said,
“You see the truth of the other in an image. You are not guided. We can see both sides. I want something and you want something else.”
Social meanings are inscribed in our bodies. During the building of the images, these mean‐ ings are rewritten by those who ”carry” and “experience” them. Hawa, an African par‐ ticipant, said, “Our bodies send messages that can be read by others, and understood by others”. In this respect, bodies can be read as elements that articulate issues of social ex‐ perience. Through theatre, participants can enact a public performance as immigrants, as women, as workers, in order to locate themselves in society and to respond socially. They are not transformed into someone else, nor do they take on a different social role. They play themselves, discovering possible extensions of their being, where embodied oppression becomes embodied change.
“United we blossom!” A workshop map is a visual evaluation technique. It is a variation devised by the Osmosis team (Zoniou 2012) of a famous exercise called “Life Maps” (Govas 2009: 138-139), also used during courses. It is a pictorial representation of someone’s life, an autobiography re‐ cording significant events, which uses pictures and symbols to represent events and goals. In workshop maps, participants and trainers use symbols, drawings, words, short phrases and so on to draw the route and experience of the workshop. About 15-20 minutes are required for each individual drawing. Then each participant talks about her drawing and the others can ask questions. The idea behind the use of this technique lies in the qualitative evaluation paradigm, which inspired us. Accordingly, researchers are allowed to evaluate the outcomes of a course basing on the personal narratives of participants’ experiences. The workshop maps produced a lot of useful data. In this part we try to categorise and analyse it. Using Grounded Theory Method, meaning that we let the categories of analysis derive from open analysis of the data, we came up with the following categories: • Performativity • Raising self–awareness • Individual to collective/ social transformation • Empowerment The account that follows is divided into these categories. Performativity Performativity is defined as a tool for self-awareness and empowerment, a process of per‐ sonal and collective development that leads to social intervention and change. Hawa from Sierra Leone described her map of life in this way:
“Here I start with theatre, with all the everyday suffering, with the tiredness, that’s why I’m grey here. These are the other women of the group and I am among them in the colour grey. Gradually I start getting higher emotionally, I started seeing meaning from theatre, and I started getting something out of it, to become fulfilled, to blossom. I started with 3 fruit. We get better and better, although we have difficulties in our lives, with the law and everything. I see myself blossom. I have left 66
grey behind. Most of us blossom, more fruit grow, 5-6-8, we learn things.” According to Boal, every human being can do theatre, as theatre is a natural means of ex‐ pression: “The Theatre of the Oppressed is theatre in this most archaic application of the word. In this usage, all human beings are Actors (they act!) and Spectators (they observe!)” (Boal 1992: xxx). Performativity is an inher‐ ent human quality that al‐ lows an individual to ob‐ serve him/herself in action. In this way the acting spec‐ tator, the spect-actor, is not transformed into someone else, is not acting a different social role, but rather en‐ acts him/herself by discov‐ ering his/her potentialities. The Theatre of the Op‐ pressed states that you are, not that you make. It does not offer something alien to your being. It is a theatre that invests in artistic es‐ sence and in the creativity of each human being. Focusing on performativity also signifies an essential paradigm shift in human and social sciences: pluralism, hybridism, multiple and changing identities, and potential self-determi‐ nation are the centre of attention. Theatre anthropologist Richard Schechner suggests that only human beings have the ability to possess and express multiple and controversial identi‐ ties at the same time. Such multiple identities, as well as the multiple personalities of human beings, exist in a dialectical relationship (Schechner, 1985). This affirmation echoes Boal: “on its most archaic sense, theatre is the capacity possessed by human beings – and not by animals – to observe themselves in action. Humans are capable of seeing themselves in the act of seeing, of thinking their emotions, of being moved by their thoughts. They can see themselves here and imagine themselves there; they can see themselves today and imagine themselves tomorrow. This is why humans are able to identify (themselves and others) and not merely to recognise” (Boal 1992: xxvi).
Raising self-awareness Click from Zimbabwe said of her workshop map,
“This workshop made us realise what we go through, when, for example, we walk on the street, sit on the bus, or try to obtain our papers. We face all these things in our daily lives.” With the little Greek she speaks, and without being aware of the concept, she has en‐ tered into a process of “conscientization”, according to the term by the educationalist Paulo 67
Freire (2007), the achievement of critical awareness of the of the social reality one lives, in which all participants were driven up to a point. Critical self-awareness in a theatrical workshop is attained through meaningful contact with others, whose eyes function as a dynamic mirror in which we can reflect and realise many things about ourselves that we were not previously aware of. Fotini, a Greek participant, said, “The flowers I draw here are the goals that have been achieved and these eyes are the eyes of the group. Every time I came to the workshop, I saw eyes everywhere! They were the eyes of people I used to meet here.” Sylvia, another Greek participant, said,
“In the beginning I saw this workshop as a forest - a forest I would go through in order to explore it. And in this forest I discovered little treasures for each woman of the group.” She explained that through being part of the group and through the games and activities we performed, she discovered things about the others and was helped personally.
“In the positive outcomes I’ve placed the trust building exercises we did, which were very important for me as they helped me trust the others and relax.”
The participants’ experiences help them reveal aspects of themselves to others as well as to themselves. Lauretta, a participant from Sierra Leone, reflects this.
“During the workshop you had the chance to think of your life, your experience, your past, your future. Many images come to your mind about your past, about why you are here, about what you want to do and what you can actually do, why we discovered what we haven’t done yet, and what we really want to do.” From individual to collective/ social transformation The Theatre of the Oppressed is theatre for the oppressed and from the oppressed, that is, people who feel the need for and wish for change. This is not the outcome of a charitable initiative in order to help the oppressed. The Theatre of the Oppressed does not talk about others, it talks about us. The change that is achieved – or may be achieved – by means of TO occurs simultaneously at both individual and collective levels. Hawa from Sierra Leone said,
“My feelings right now are negative with what is happening around, with the financial crisis that has blocked everything. But what I gained here, the path I took, made me blossomed, full, hopeful, because I can see the sun and its rays.” And she explains, “The sun, the rays here, are the things we are going to show to other migrants. To those who are still lost, who don’t know what to do, who just stay in their homes and cry.” Although the team starts off with a personal problem, a personal story of oppression, the aim is not to find individual solutions, but to explore the social dimension of the problem; to indicate the structure of oppression and to activate collectivity. Lauretta from Sierra Leone said, 68
“When I find myself at migrants’ reunions I always suggest that we shouldn’t focus on things that have happened to us. On the contrary, we should try to find out how to cope with them. It’s time now to show people this theatre because we are in the middle of a crisis!” Participants express the feelings created by the social oppression they are subjected to. This expression initially raises the sense of being part of a group. People feel more familiar and more comfortable with each other. The group is based on common feelings that have been shaped by various forms of oppression. Thus, feelings become the motivating action. They are not considered simply as “thoughts on how I feel”, but rather as thoughts related to social situations. A powerful feeling is translated into social action. Participants live in the same cultural reality, they develop similar feelings which foster spheres of both individual and collective action (Boemi 2010).
Barbara Santos, a Brazilian T.O. facilitator (joker) of the Theatre of the Oppressed, de‐ fines oppression as “an imbalance” of power”. She gives a dynamic definition of the term oppressed, different from the meaning of the “victim” characterised by indifference and depression: “Oppression is created when there is no balance of power. This imbalance causes injustice. Those who have the power try to keep others powerless. But this oppres‐ sion is not equal to depression. The oppressed is not the helpless victim of oppression. The oppressed is the one who is aware of the oppression that he/she is experiencing. It is the person who feels both the need and the will for change.” (Zoniou 2010). According to Brecht, the primary condition for social transformation is to de-familiarise what is presumed by common sense (Brecht 1964). Reality through theatre can be shown to be unfamiliar, so it becomes a subject of social criticism (Brecht 1979). Social transforma‐ tion can be achieved through people’s actions (Boal 2000). Hawa said,
“And what we are going to show the Greek people in order to make them understand that the problem is not us, the migrants. We can all live together in solidarity and harmony.” On her workshop map, Click drew scenes from the improvisations that took place. One of them shows a pregnant foreign woman waiting in the queue at the town hall to obtain the papers she needs for her residence permit. None of the employees is willing to help her because “she was foreign”. Click said,
“If Greek people see this scene they might recognise it. I’ve been through all these difficulties, going there with the wrong papers, without translations, and nobody pays attention to me”. Indeed, some of the migrant participants talk like they are “oppressed”, but not as victims. Mariola from Albania seemed to become stronger because of the team and the activities of those who participate in the United African Women’s Organisation. Describing her map of the workshop, she said,
“This tree here, the cherry tree, is the team which has sunk very deep roots and I feel that I have reached the point I wanted to reach: to be able to create relations with the girls and to learn things. And because I admire very much what they do, I’d like to be that way myself, to fight even more for the things I want to achieve, 69
whether it’s citizenship or anything else. I truly admire these women. This helps me and I hope I will be able to do things the way they do. Here is the sun, the light, and we are all united.” On her workshop map she wrote: “Always there is hope! I have to fight for this!”
Empowerment Many surveys have shown that the Theatre of the Oppressed increases individual and collec‐ tive empowerment (Alkistis 2008). The purpose is not to “cover up” the contrasts between individuals that form a group or to lead the team to “catharsis” by achieving harmonious coexistence. Nor is it to share our everyday problems with other people, which could lead us to accept the oppressive situation as it is. The aim is to reach empowerment as defined by critical pedagogy. Julian Boal claims that ‘It is too easy to pretend to be democratic. You create a space in which you let people talk. If this space helps people talk and not act, not to put their words into action, then you have created a space where people are relieved by ex‐ pressing themselves in public. Then you have relief instead of emancipation” (Zoniou 2010). Hawa from Sierra Leone has three children and faces many problems because of the bu‐ reaucracy required for her children’s nationality to be recognised (although they were all born in Greece). She believes that through theatre she will be able to talk and act in a dif‐ ferent way about the issues that concern her:
“I see my kids growing up without a future. They see their parents running around with papers in order to make them legal (…) People like us who wait legally, who are correct, end up by being discriminated against by the law. What will happen to my children? Will they be migrants for the rest of their lives? I want to talk about this through our performance.” Although the Theatre of the Oppressed aims to bring about a debate on issues of social injustice, this debate is not carried out in words, but through and for action. Click from Zimbabwe spoke about the empowerment she got:
“This workshop gives us the strength to talk about our problems. ( …) We have to do something about it.” Ira, a Greek participant, says of her workshop map,
“The purple is me and this orange door is the door of the workshop. And while outside there are grey darts pointing at you, once you go through this door we all blossom together, each one separately, but we are united to form a beautiful big flower.” 70
The promotion of cooperation and communication in the theatrical workshop creates a sense of solidari‐ ty, as well as contact between people that is more direct than usual. Fotini, a Greek participant, started the workshop reluctantly, not know‐ ing what she would face:
“In the beginning there is a boat, because I was prepared to see the workshop as a trip, and here there is a closed envelope, because I didn’t know what I would meet. Here I am smiling. These are some obstacles I met when during the sessions.” Thereafter, by means of games and activities, safety and trust were developed, allowing the creation of a friendly and safe atmosphere, and a sense of fellowship: Fotini says
“The premises of the African Women’s Union is a sunny tree house. Here are the hands of all of us, the welcome. Here are the gifts I received: what was created among us, the bonding of the group, the social interaction, Image Theatre that always is very creative; what someone wants to say with her body. I like it and it interests me, all this went very well, this means that (the tree) blossomed.” When the African participant Hawa asked,
“Why did you put the African Women’s Union up the tree?”, everybody laughed. But Fotini answered seriously, “Because this (the tree house) is something I really like. It is a shelter, you are calm, you can relax in a tree house away from bad people.” While describing her progress during the forum theatre workshop, Lea, a Greek partici‐ pant, said,
“Together we managed to get to a tree, which is the goal. The goal is the performance but also the experience I gained from this workshop. It was the first time I came in touch with theatre and other cultures, and I met women from other countries. The sun I drew here was for me, something that helped us overcome obstacles and gave us strength to carry on. Through what I experienced, I learned that being united and not functioning only as an individual creates strength, although I didn’t think that way before the workshop.”
Forum Theatre Performance During the workshops that took place in both pilot projects a lot life stories of the participants were brought up using various narrative, visual and per‐ formative techniques, that had to do with experiences of loss, oppression, injustice, and adaptation in different contexts. At the end, elements from stories, judged to be most important by the participants, were combined in a performance with a title borrowed by an antiracist campaign promoted by African Women’s Organization: “No to racism from the cradle”. Some of the real stories from the group were:
A story about the refusal of housing benefit: a clerk rejects a migrant’s application for housing benefit, although that individual is a legal resident and normally would be entitled to it. However, the law is unclear and the clerk declares, “And how do I know you will not take the money and go back to your country?” A story of a long friendship between Greek and migrant teenagers, who realise that they will be split up because the law treats them differently. A story of a migrant student, who wants to travel as an Erasmus student to Spain with her friends. She loses a lot of time with Greek bureaucracy and finally discovers that she must go to her country of origin for a visa to be issued. To compose the final performance, the group of participants reflected critically on their aims. Through improvisation, discussion and rehearsals, the main aim of the group was formulated as: “To show the problem to other Greeks and, at the same time, to empower other migrant women so that they support us and join us. Also, to enable them to under‐ stand that there can be a solution.” The participants, having reflected on the reality they live in, on the reasons for their prob‐ lems, on how injustice is created, and how their behaviour can be effective in dealing with it, now want to share the knowledge they have acquired in the workshop with the rest of society. In the final performance, the roles of migrant women were taken by Greek participants and vice versa. Firstly, this exchange of roles enabled the performers to take on the role of the other and to experience empathy. Secondly, the group thought that Greek members of the audience, after experiencing the paradoxical sight of an African woman playing the role of a Greek civil servant, would reflect critically on how such impolite behaviour is perceived by the migrants, as well as how a Greek migrant would feel if treated in this way in a foreign country. As Brecht argued in his work (1964), through the V-effect (the Brecthian alienation effect), people are led faster to critical reflection.
Description of the forum theatre performance Two young women, a student called Aisha Camara from Sierra Leone and her Greek friend Katerina, who have been close since childhood, find themselves outside the office of the sec‐ retary of their university faculty, reading the announcements for the Erasmus programme. They decide to participate and go to the secretary to fill in the necessary forms. However, the clerk doesn’t know how to deal with Aisha’s case; although she was born in Greece, she does not have Greek citizenship yet and is also waiting for her residence permit to be renewed. The girls consider this unfair and try to come up with a solution. But the renewal of a permit might take a year and during this time migrant citizens cannot travel anywhere except to their home country. They go to Aisha’s mother, who is moved by her daughter’s determination to pursue her studies and goes to the Athens City Council to try to speed up the renewal of the residence permit. There she faces racism, indifference and a lack of professionalism from the clerks. She feels like a helpless victim, as do the other migrants in the queue. She is also insulted by proposals of illegally obtaining the permit by so called “experts”, for a fee. These scenes illu‐ minate not only the migrants’ problems but also the difficult working conditions of the clerks - regulations change all the time, staff is reduced, and their salaries are cut. Finally, the mother comes back to the girls and tells them she cannot resolve the problem. The girls are an‐ gry because they feel the injustice of the treatment and they are determined to take action. But what is the right action? That is where the audience comes in. Many people (more than a hundred) at‐ tended the performance of 27thMay/2012, in a theatre of the centre of Athens – people from the neighbourhood and from migrant communities and groups, Greek human rights activists, academics, and policy makers, and friends and relatives of the actors. The first performance lasted about 20 minutes. Then there was a discussion led by the jok‐ ers about how realistic the performance’s presentation of the problem was concerning op‐ pressed and oppressors. Then there was a second performance, during which the audience intervened. Some solutions that were proposed were then tried out by the “spect-actors”. Some individual suggestions were: to try to change attitudes towards (or of) the authorities; not to conduct oneself as a loser’s, but to be prepared to claim their rights, both verbally and non-verbally; and to be accompanied by a lawyer. Many different ways were tested, varying from being diplomatic to being aggressive, and their potential effectiveness was discussed. Other proposals were more collective. Instead of acting as individuals, the young women should appeal to the students’ union. The union would take action, collecting the necessary information, involving the univeristy authorities, writing letters to the immigration author‐ ities etc. A similar suggestion would be to appeal to immigrants’ organisations or NGOs, who offer free legal advice and support. Other interventions concerned the Greek girl, regarding what more she could do to sup‐ port her friend. There were also a lot of proposals regarding making the clerks in the office more aware of the effects of their behaviour and increasing their empathy with migrants . A discussion went on for at least an hour and a half between migrants from various coun‐ 73
tries of origin. They spoke in public for the first time and acted on stage. Greeks who, for the first time, played the role of a migrant realised that it is not as easy as they thought to deal with common racist attitudes. Policy makers and clerks working in migrants offices in the municipalities offered their legal and practical knowledge, proposing methods of coping with their racist colleagues. The solutions proposed by the spect-actors gave new insights both to participants and au‐ dience members regarding the problems that migrants face in their everyday life. Greeks too have to deal with multiculturalism and difficult economic conditions. New knowledge, skills and attitudes were acquired as participants tried to find reciprocal ways of coming to terms with this new reality. The liminality - the marginal situation, the “communitas” (Turn‐ er 1982) - which participants, both Greek and migrant, felt they lived in before the theat‐ rical workshop and performance, was replaced that night by a fictional reconstruction of reality by oppressed artists as a theatrical community (Boal 1995). Through forum theatre, the performers became public actors, real citizens of this society, acquiring new strength to change their destiny and the destiny of others.
Conclusions In conclusion, we can claim that the outcomes regarding the participants of the pilot pro‐ jects run by Osmosis and the University of the Peloponnese were: • To increase knowledge of laws, rights and institutions. • To enrich cultural knowledge, to raise intercultural sensitivity and to shift from ethno-cen‐ tric world views. • To build relations of trust among members of the multicultural group and to develop em‐ pathic understanding of the other’s fears, limits, rhythms, emotions, images, and ideals. To become more open and flexible. • To develop interpersonal and co-operative skills through the creation of a collective pro‐ ject. To strengthen team work and solidarity. • To introduce participants to the use of body language and the body as an expressive me‐ dium. • To stimulate emotional intelligence. To activate imagination and creativity. • To build self-awareness, self-esteem and confidence. • To deal with personal stories and experiences of loss, cultural shock and adaptation. • To encourage participation in decision making. • To develop theatrical and artistic skills, and performativity.
Regarding Greek society, the outcome was tackling the sensitive issue of multicultural co-existence and the process of intercultural adaptation with an audience from varied social backgrounds through the performances of Forum Theatre. Finally, an important concrete outcome of the project was the creation of a permanent mixed theatre group that contin‐ ues to give such performances.
Bibliography ALEXIAS, G., 2003. Human body from biology to virtuality. The Greek Review of Social Research (327357) (in Greek) ALKISTIS, 2008, Black Cow, White Cow: Drama in Education and Interculturality. Athens: Topos (in Greek) BARON-COHEN, d., 2006, Transformance: Towards the performance of participatory democracy and self-determination, in N. Govas, N. Holeva, Theatre-in-Education: Creating New Roles for 21st Century. Proceedings from the 5th International Theatre / Drama in Education Conference. Athens March 2006. Athens: Hellenic Theatre/Drama Education Network BARONE, T. & EISNER, E., 2011, Arts based research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage BERNARDI, C., 2004, Il teatro sociale: l’arte tra disagio e cura. Roma: Carrocci BOAL, A., 2006, The Aesthetics of the Oppressed, London: Routledge BOALBoal, A., 1998. Interview “Augusto Boal”. To Vima. Athens, 19/07/1998 (in Greek) BOAL, A., 1995, The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy. London: Routledge BOAL, A., 1992, 2nd edition 2002, Games For Actors and Non-Actors. London: Routledge BOEMI, N., 2010, Looking for theatricality: descriptive dimensions of Theatre of the Oppressed- the example of Barcelona. Education and theatre: 11. Athens BOEMI, N. 2012, Social intervention of immigrants through theatre: body as a place of experience and action. Paper-presentation at the 2nd Theatre Conference of Hellenic Scientific Association of Theatrologists: Immigrants and refugees in contemporary dramaturgy and stage. Athens BOURDIEU, P., 2006, The logic of practice. Athens: Alexandria (in Greek) BOURDIEU, P., 2002, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Athens: Patakis (in Greek) BOURDIEU, P., 1986, The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.) Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. New York, Greenwood: 241-258 BRECHT, B., 1964, Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic. New York: Hill and Wang CARSPECKEN, P., 1996, Critical ethnography in educational research: A theoretical and Practical Guide. London: Routledge CONRAD, D. (2004). Exploring risky youth experiences: Popular theatre as a participatory, performative research method. International Journal of Qualitative Methods , 3(1) CSORDAS T., 1994, Embodiment and Experience: The Existential Ground of Culture and Self. London: Cambridge University Press CSORDAS T., 1993, Somatic modes of attention, Cultural Anthropology (82 :135-56) DENNIS, B., 2009, Acting Up: Theater of the Oppressed as Critical Ethnography. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 8(2) DENZIN, N. K., 2003, Performance Ethnography: critical pedagogy and the politics of culture. Thousand Oaks: Sage FOUCAULT, M., 1989, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Athens: Rappa (in Greek) FREIRE, P., 2007, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum GOFFMAN, E., 2006, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Athens: Alexandria (in Greek) GOVAS, N., 2009, Activities, Exercises, Techniques, in A. Mavrocordatos (ed.) mPPACT manifest - the book methodology for a Pupil and Performing ArtsCentred Teaching, Sandy: Authors OnLine Ltd GOVAS, N. & ZONIOU, CH. (eds), 2010, Theatre-in-Education Programmes with Forum Theatre Tech‐ 75
niques. Athens: Hellenic Theatre/Drama Education Network & Osmosis – Centre for the Arts & Inter‐ cultrual Education (in Greek) KNOWLES, G., & COLE, A., 2008, Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research: perspectives, Method‐ ologies, Examples and Issues. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications MERLEAU-PONTY, M., 2004, The world of perception. London and New York: Routledge MIENCZAKOWSKI, J., 2001, Ethnodrama: Performed research - Limitations and potential, in P. Atkinson, S. Delamont, A. Coffey, J. Lofland, & L. Lofland, Handbook of Ethnography (468-376). London: Sage PAMMENTER, D. & MAVROKORDATOS, A., 2004, On being and becoming in someone else’s world. Who calls the shots?, in N. GOVAS, (ed.), Theatre/Drama and Performing Arts in Education: Creativity and Metamorphosis. Proceedings from the 4th Athens InternationalTheatre Education Conference. Ath‐ ens, March 2004. Athens: Hellenic Theatre/Drama Education Network PAPATAXIARCHIS, E., 1994, Emotions and Alternative Politics of Autonomy in Aegean Greece. Mytilini: University of the Aegean SYNOTT, A., 1993, The Body Social, London and New York: Routledge TURNER, Victor, 1982, From Ritual to Theatre – The Human Seriousness of Play. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications ZONIOU, C., 2010, Augusto Boal (1931-2009), Education & Theatre, 11 ZONIOU, C., 2012, Theatrical and drama-in-education techniques for the development of the holistic intercultural competence of educators. Unpubl. PhD Thesis (in progress), University of Thessaly
2.3. BREAKING OUT OF SOCIAL ISOLATION THEATRE-BASED INTERVENTION WITH IMMIGRANTS IN HUNGARY Kata Horváth, Artemisszió Foundation Based on her study “Applied theatre forms a so-called third space, where interaction and convergence become possible. It is a place where memories and tacit knowledge are transformed into verbal form with dialogue and conceptualizing. In this process, knowledge becomes shared and explicit” (Mehto 2008, in Suvi, 2011)
SOME INFO ON THE PILOT: What was its name? Stations – Forum theatre workshops for migrants Who was it proposed by (which partner)? Artemisszio When did it take place? 12 occasions from September to December 2011 What was the main art branch (if there was one)? Forum theatre
Abstract The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how a drama-based intervention can influence migrant people’s life in their Hungarian host society by giving the immigrants the space and tools to articulate and reformulate their social experiences and identities. Experiences of social isolation will be in the focus of this study, similarly to their transformation in the ap‐ plied theatre space. Referring to the findings of the joint qualitative – participant observation and interview-based – research, this report asserts that applied theatre can decrease the social isolation of new immigrants by improving their social skills and competences, enhancing their critical aware‐ ness and self-reflection, helping them to build up social contacts and networks, this by facilitating the articulation of their experiences and by empowering them in their ambition to represent migrant identities.
The context of the program: Isolation of immigrants in Hungarian Society Hungarian non-speaker and ‘racialized’ migrants arriving in Hungary have to face an ex‐ tremely closed, ethnically homogenous society (the Roma are the only visible minority of the country), every-day xenophobia, anti-immigrant prejudices, strict and complicated im‐ migration laws, incomprehensible bureaucracy: a hostile society with hostile authorities. According to local and international opinion polls the level of the xenophobia is one of the highest in Europe: more than 50% of the population rejects newcomers. Hungarians’ an‐ ti-immigrant sentiment is not based on negative experiences with foreigners (only a minor‐ ity of locals have any contact with immigrant people), but on traditional cultural patterns. This negative attitude toward foreigners hasn’t changed over the last 20 years, because of the lack of any broader integration policy, and due to the absence of national institutions and long-term integration programs. As a consequence of this situation, immigrants remain 77
segregated, closed in their own small ethnic communities: there is little communication with the locals and that is superficial and there is no communal activity at all.
Overview of the program General goal The general goal of the “Stations” project was to build up a theatre-based educational pilot program for new immigrants in Hungary which can give them tools to articulate and reformulate their social experiences and identity in order to facilitate their inclusion and participation in society.
Idea The idea behind this goal is that applied theatre and drama workshops could give efficient tools to overcome social isolation by enhancing participants’ artistic and social skills (espe‐ cially their creativity), by raising critical awareness and also by creating social connections.
Contents The project addressed social isolation, starting from the participants’ personal experience. Criteria deemed important for our understanding of these phenomena included both the emotional circumstances of individuals and existing social structures. Another key aspect was the development of new, satisfactory alternatives to deal with foreignness when en‐ countered in a prejudicial and dismissive context.
Objectives In order to facilitate social inclusion of participants, the drama/theatre program was de‐ signed to achieve objectives in four different but interconnected fields. - Improving personal skills and competences: Different forms of drama games and theatrical exercises facilitate the expansion of psy‐ cho-social abilities, improve personal skills and competences. - Enhancing critical awareness and self reflexivity - Making new social contacts and networks: First of all the program was designed to contribute to a group and community building process as a basis for cultural expression and identity development. The joy of playing and acting during the drama workshops, and the common goal to create and present a theatre performance for a wider public could serve this purpose. - Articulating migrant’s experiences and representing migrant identities The whole structure of the program and each activity of the theatre process (both drama activities and final forum theatre performances) were inspired by these objectives
Methodological background Methodologically, the program relied chiefly on “Theatre of the Oppressed” as developed by Augusto Boal, specifically in his “Forum Theatre” concept (Boal ). See you the descrip‐ tion of the method in this chapter in United we blossom with the power of theatre! article.
Drama Process The entire drama process – from the first name-learning games to the presentation of the forum theatre performance in the theatre hall – serves the objectives pointed out above. Of course, at different moments during the process, different as‐ pects of these objectives emerged. Three different forms of drama-work followed each other: dra‐ ma workshops, theatrical rehearsals and finally the forum thea‐ tre performance.
Group building and warming up games based on Boalian and theatre pedagogy technics. During these games the focus is placed on trust and confidence building, body perception and expression. Theses exercises aim to improve motion and spontaneity which enable the participants to have fun, come out of their shell, forget everyday concerns and develop an enhanced sense of their body and gestures.
Games for empathy and trust The aim of these games (see: the blind series, the mirror), is for participants to gradually develop an empathic understanding of the others’ fears, limits, rhythms, emotions, images, ideals, but foremost an ability to relax, communicate and find a harmony with other people.
Living statuses and improvisation.
Dramatic exploration of everyday experiencies The participants’ everyday experiences were staged in the form of images or in short scenes using the scenic methods of theatre pedagogy. Participants were to work on four different issues. Firstly, they were asked to show individually a two minutes long scene about an important moment of their previous week. Secondly, after collecting words on a paper about the issues of “home” and “Hungary”, they created scenes by using some chosen words. Finally the exercise was to prepare a static image about a situation of oppression and one of an intercultural encounter or conflict. Improvised études of these four exercises would be used later on as the base of forum theatre scenes. Forum theatre scenes Key themes and problems encountered by immigrants on a day-to-day basis are processed into Forum theatre scenes. The rehearsal work gives rise to an in-depth exploration and development of the characters involved and their behavior. They are open to discussion and a common-play with the spectators.
The story of the performed play A non-linear story of a bus-trip is fragmented into small episodes which interrupts the journey. The image of the bus returns again and again: the spectator could have the impression that this journey will never end, and these eleven passengers will never leave the bus. Some of the stations seem to be very far away in space and time (episodes about home experiences of dictatorship could be the starting point of the journey in the past). There is no self-evident, straightforward connection between the small stories of each stations’ the relationship between them is very associative. Because of this, the audience can never be really sure which episode represents a passenger’s dreams, their memories or their everyday experiences, and which their fears about an imagined forthcoming situation in the future. Some of them seem to be more realistic than others, some of them present situations of injustice and oppression, some of them seek to represent ambiguous feelings of foreignness. The performance is in fact the sequence of these few-minute stories which are linked as different stations of the same journey.
Experiences of the participants Changing experiences of social isolation in three personal stories “It [the drama workshop] is a very good way to keep foreigners within the country. Because Hungarian language is very hard, and if you don’t understand Hungarian, if you can’t speak in it, than instead of living within Hungary as you would, you automatically get out. You will only go out with people from your country, of your mother tongue. And it wouldn’t be nice, because you are living in a country and you aren’t living in this country. But it really helps immigrants, I mean everyone who is foreigner here, to understand the dynamics of this country, and now, I have more connections with Hungarians.” (Darab, a participant) 80
“When you say or show something personal in a game or during the improvisation, and you know that other people experience the same thing, it makes you feel less lonely. These are good moments.” (Wulan, a participant) After the contextualization and the overview of the program, this chapter will treat chang‐ ing experiences and identity narratives of immigrant participants. Our general question is how they construct their identity as immigrants in Hungary, and what could be the impact of the theatre workshop on these identity construction processes. The phenomenon of isolation will be the focus of our exploration. Both in the interviews and in the theatri‐ cal improvisations the centrality of this issue became apparent. We consider “isolation” a transformable social experience and psychological condition, and we investigate the ways how theatre-based intervention could help people break out of social isolation. The above mentioned two participants’ personal stories will be in the focus of our analyses. The bio‐ graphical and phenomenological approach of the study can give insight into the multifaceted phenomenon of social isolation and into various experiences, feelings and the meaning re‐ lated to it. Darab and Wulan (pseudonyms), the protagonists of these case studies participated in the theatre workshop from beginning to end. As each group member, they were interviewed at the beginning of the process, their activities were followed throughout the workshops, and they were also chosen for follow up interviews after the workshop was closed. They have very different background and migration stories: Darab is a political refugee from Iran. Wulan has lived in Budapest with her family for 2 years: she is the daughter of the Indone‐ sian ambassador. Although differently, social isolation, remains a central issue for all of them. In Darab’s life, isolation means being homesick first of all, it is the distance and separation from his home and family. Wulan’s experience of isolation is linked to her transnational identity and to the fact that she is always on the move. She has a hard time getting to know people and to make friends each time at her new place. Participants mentioned these experiences also in the preliminary interviews, but their meaning became obvious in the theatrical improvisations during the drama workshops. In the follow up interviews we asked them to interpret these improvisations and to relate them with personal life experiences.
Impacts and effects of the program on the participants Participant-observation-based process analyses, follow-up interviews and self evaluations of the participants allow to identify some concrete impact of the drama process on partic‐ ipants: • Experiencing a sense of unity and establishing relationships • Experiencing a positive counter-reality • Expanding an individual’s social skills and self-reflexivity • Improving critical/social awareness especially about the issue of immigration and everyday situations of oppression and discrimination • Expanding the potential for action • Expanding the wish to express their own experiences • Obtaining more knowledge on drama, theatre and especially on forum theatre
Darab: “I realized I have to change my voice” At the beginning of the drama process we knew Darab as a silent, withdrawn young man who seldom speaks. He was very kind with everyone and participated actively in every game, but he was abstracted, remote and reserved, and he connected to the others with difficulty. He arrived in the group with his Iranian friend, a professional dancer much more extroverted than he is, often speaking for the two of them. At this time Darab was very depressed about his uncertain situation in Hungary, and tried to face the fact that within the foreseeable future he wouldn’t have the possibility to meet his family.
“These things were laying heavy upon my mind night and day.” – explains Darab in the interview, “I was always thinking about them. But it was a labyrinth and I couldn’t find how to break out of it. Nothing reassuring I couldn’t find, and I had to realize that I can’t solve this situation, I can only wait. Practically the only thing I can do is not going mad.” • Experiencing a positive counter-reality
“I would share my time with others, I wouldn’t think about these things, I would be occupied with something else”. Thus, for Darab the theatre project constituted a counter reality which could enable him to come out of his shell, have fun, forget for some moments his day-to-day worries and doubts about his situation. “I felt I could loosen up a bit and trust people.” – he says – “Because me, personally, I’m a very pessimistic person, but I learned I should trust people more (…) Before, I was very reserved. But seeing other people, seeing that they are comfortable around this method, pushed me to be more open”. The drama workshop gave Darab an opportunity to not slip deeply into his nostalgic thoughts and not get lost in the world of his fantasies, but to learn to express, play out and share with others his deep sensitivities.
• Expanding the wish to express experiences Image theatre, Darab’s novel and improvisation exercises In a sequence of exercises, participants were asked to ‘mold’ and ‘sculpt’ their own bodies into individual representations of a particular situation or emotion. Once these individual representations had developed, participants could move into the group and re-form the created images in interaction with those of the others. The philosophy behind this exercise, originally developed by Augusto Boal, is that “the body is the first and primary method of expression, and by using the body rather than speech, the normal ‘blockades’ and ‘filters’ of thought can be bypassed”. Following these exercises, participants were asked to write down a short text about an everyday situation witch was somehow touching for them. Darab wrote a moving and overwhelming novel in the third person about a train journey full of anxiety, homesickness and nostalgia. One part of this novel speaks about his isolation from his family:
“(…) Then, shaking his head to get rid of everything in his mind tried to remember their faces. Now, it wasn’t a very hard thing to do for a man being away from his family. He started from the youngest one, his sister, his only sibling, his marvelous seven years younger sister. Remembering her pair of fine eyes, black raven straight 82
hair and sweet smile, his heart started thumping. He was always there for her, a prop, a support a very good brother that she needed. He remembered those days he took his young, all too young, sister to school or the park near school and amused her and her dolls. The days they would go, all the family together, to sit by the bridges on the river and watch the migrating birds flying away and his mother hugging them making him embarrassed. Mother; now that was the topic he did not want to think about at all. His cheeks were already wet and he did not want to see more of the sights he wished he hadn’t missed all those years. He did not want to see more but as he more tried he more remembered his father with shiny soft face, stubby mustache and grey well oiled hairs. He didn’t want to remember a memory a single snapshot. Not in that bare cabin, not now. He just wanted to see their familiar faces and hug them.” On a subsequent occasion participants were asked to create (individually) a one-minutelong theatrical scene about an emotionally important moment of their actual life. In Darab’s short scene he is looking himself in a mirror and surveys his own face. He says only one sentence to his reflection: “You can’t go back” and he leaves the room. In the follow up interview he interpreted his performance as a story about “pain, nostalgia and homesickness”:
“Lot of people has different habits. Me, when I see myself in the mirror, or my reflection in the glass, I would start to talk, and I would say things that I don’t want to think about. I start to talk: «You know, it is a hard situation, you can’t go back to your country and you can’t see your family» – And this was my short performance.” Later on, during the theatre performance, Darab was the protagonist in the forum thea‐ tre scene. He played the role of a refugee from Zimbabwe who is applying for a job. The character (its origin, gender, age, and migration story) was build up by the group during one of the session using “role on the wall” technique. As Darab proved to be a talented writer facilitators asked him to write the introductory monologue for the character on his own. Darab has wrote a poetic text that was appreciated by the company during the rehearsal and also by the public at the performance. Good time of day my Lords and Ladies! Now this is my first Christmas in Hungary, the time I’m in most need for money. I that in Magyarországon am a refugee, I that once was named Tommy, I that originally come from Zimbabwe, I that even studied engineering in Italy, I that never wanted to leave my country I that for political reasons ended up in Hungary. Now, after one year here in Budapesten, I finally got every permission. I even learned the hard language of this nation, and indeed filled in lot of application. But because of my color or for my face 83
I didn’t get a job in any case. From Tommy to Tamás I even changed my name, and believe me, it gives me such a pain. Lords and Ladies, I talk too much, but in order for me to get some bug, dear Audience, wish me luck • Gaining more knowledge about drama and theatre (especially about forum theatre) According to Darab the main goal of the program was to present the problems of the im‐ migrants to the audience on the one hand, and on the other, to bring people together and connect them with each other. He is convinced that the creation of a theatre performance would prove to be an efficient way to achieve both of these goals:
Impact of the “Stations” pro- Intervention methodologies pro- Darab’s main interventions and gram on the participants moting the given effect his interpretation about them Experiencing a sense of unity and es‐ tablishing relationships
Drama games Common goal (performance) Outdoor activities
Experiencing a positive counter-re‐ ality
“The tree and wind game was a sil‐ ly moment but it was the moment I understood that these people are very equal in the group regardless the gender, the color, the national‐ ity…” “I would share my time with others, I wouldn’t think about these things, I would be occupied with something else”
Expanding individual’s social skills and self-reflexivity
“Me personally, I’m a very pessimis‐ tic person, but I learned I should trust people more”
Improving of critical/social aware‐ Theatre of the Oppressed tech‐ ness especially about the issue of im‐ niques migration and everyday situations of oppression and discrimination
Expanding the potential for action
Theatre of the Oppressed tech‐ “And I realized that it’s not only for niques me that I should speak up, but also for the others”
His novels written after the image Expanding the wish to express their Image theatre theatre exercises. own experieces The main role of the Zimbabwean His “Mirror scene” - improvisation refugee in the performance His monologue in the forum theatre performance Obtaining more knowledge on dra‐ ma, theatre and especially on forum theatre
Rehearsal of the performance Discussion on Forum theatre
“With the performance you will feel that you have a purpose in. If you don’t have the performance, the people who come would think that it is to know each other or just spending some fun with each other. But if you put the performance in it, you would have both things, you would gain the two points. People will come and spend time with each other, and in the same time put energy in something creative. The whole idea having the performance really helps.” • Expanding relationships During the final phase of the process, Darab, though a thin, soft-spoken young man, became a central figure in the theatre group. He became the boyfriend of Sylvia, a Scandinavian participant living and working in Hungary for years and speaking the language fluently. This relationship plays a central role in Darab’s current life going beyond the framework of the intervention program:
“I found Sylvia that’s the most important thing I can say. More important than the result of the refugee status”. Wulan –“Ten years up I will proudly say, I’ve been in that small production in a place, somewhere in Europe, it’s a memorable thing”
• Experiencing a sense of unity and establishing relationships Most important to Wulan, the program allowed her to break out of her social isolation. When she joined the program, her main difficulty was a constant sense of loneliness in a country where she doesn’t speak the language and doesn’t “have any idea how people so‐ cialize”. From the beginning, her expectations of the theatre program were to make new acquaintances and have relationships with other foreigners living in Hungary and maybe also with some Hungarian people.
“Vera was building this sort of a community to help foreign people to gather and connect with each other, so they don t feel so lonely in this place. Because, you know, some people who come to this place alone, they don’t have a lot of friends, and I think that by this program people can come and socialize with others, feel that they are not alone in this country, and it helps, it helps a lot.” During the process, step by step, the group became a supportive community, and belonging to this community changed the course of Wulan’s everyday life. In her opinion drama based workshops and the whole idea of the theatre performance are an excellent tool to develop this small community. She is aware of the role of drama and theatre in the project:
“I think it is for the personal development and for community building. If this was the goal then it worked. But if they wanted like a really big production, a perfect setting and everything, I think that they failed. Because we didn’t have enough time to prepare it.” • Expanding her social skills and self-reflexivity Wulan’s professional adaptation was much more an unquestioned acceptance of other’s point of views and wills which was related to her shyness and uncertainty. This shyness and uncertainty also separated her from other people. In Wulan’s case it was evident that her self-confidence and self-evaluation would be improved in the process. Different elements 85
of the program served this purpose. In the follow-up interview Wulan identifies some mo‐ ments of the workshop which helped her gain confidence: moments when she realized she is not alone with her experiences, and group leaders’ and the participants’ positive feedbacks about her initiations and actions. The fact that her three main improvised scenes were chosen by the leaders to be developed in the performance made her really proud and reinforced her self-confidence in the group. Impact of the “Stations” program Intervention methodologies Wulan’s main interventions and on the participants promoting the given effect her interpretation about them “And I joined, I saw other people Working in group who are like me, I felt glad.” Experiencing a sense of unity and Group building techniques “And it turned out that we are such establishing relationships (drama games) good friends now, and we are going Outdoor activities to bars together and watch concerts together, and we have parties in Pierre’s house.”
Expanding individuals’ social skills and self-reflexivity
“I am more confident now that I know more people at this place now.” “Before I was very reclusive when people said me let’s go in this bar, let’s check it, I wasn’t interested.” “I was very shy.” “I am more confident now that I know more people at this place now.”
Improvisation about a situaImproving of critical/social aware- tion in the immigration office “Migrating from one place to an ness especially about the issue of Theatrical scene based on this other is very hard.” immigration and everyday situaimprovisation tions of oppression and discrimi- Group discussions on immi- “I learned that I’ve been having it nation gration easy and now I see that it is not alFormal and informal storytellways easy for everyone.” ing moments “It makes me think that this world Expanding the potential for action Theatre of the oppressed tech- needs to make it more simple to niques every people to move from one place to an other.” “It was nice that I a gave an idea and Image theatre then it was developed into someExpanding the wish to express their The main role of the Zimbathing more than it should be.” own experiences bwean refugee in the perfor- “It makes me proud that she took mance it for me.” “It is important enough to put it in the performance.”
Gaining more knowledge about Rehearsal of the performance drama and theatre (especially Discussion on Forum Theatre about forum theatre)
The bus scene which became a constitutive element of the theatrical performance was originally Wulan’s improvisation: In her one minute long scene she sits on the bus for hours. Her trip is very long and boring: sometimes she looks out the window, sometimes she observes other passengers, sometimes she is just bored and continuously checks the time on her watch. Finally the bus arrives and Wulan gets off, we can see she is happy to end this journey finally and land somewhere, but we can’t see where she is. In the discussion about this scene Wulan insisted that this improvisation has repeated a very concrete episode in the recent past, when she followed her father on a trip to Croatia. But the other participants claimed that this bus trip scene has very symbolical meanings.
“I realized at this point that what I’m showing could be important also for other people. That made me very glad to see this and in the same time that started me thinking about this bus: if my bus is similar to the others’ or how it is different.”
• Improving of critical/social awareness especially about the issue of immigration The work on the issue of home, homelessness and immigration with different drama-based techniques in the group gave Wulan the opportunity learn about the “other side” of migra‐ tion: about situations and life stories where migration is not related to free choices and to global-transnational identities, but to economical and/or political constraints.
“The performance was trying to show that people who migrate don’t always have it easy. I learned that I’ve been having it easy and now I see that it is not always easy for everyone. Migrating from one place to another is very hard. And it makes me think that this world needs to make it more simple to every people to move from one place to another. Because it has been easy for me, because my father works in the embassy. The performance show that it is not easy for other people who don’t have help. That’s why we came up with the idea of papers.” Epilogue Three months after the “Stations” performance, the group decided to continue to work together, to remake the performance and to create their own framework as an amateur immigrant theatre. At the first meeting they would create a self definition and make clear common goals and purposes. After the meeting they sum up the mission of their group in the following way: “Our group, and the idea of our group, is unique, because of the people and also because of diversity of cultures we represent. Besides, we are lovely people who enjoy to be together.
We feel accepted by each other and we have the space to express who are we. We give each other the space to learn and relax. We like acting, practice theatre. We are able to create valuable, good theatre. We have the wish to become visible and show what we have created. We would like to make an impact on people and generate conversation. We would like to make interactive performances. We would like to widen the horizon of Hungarian people and make some effect. We are willing to make a commitment that we want to be part of the group and we will work together on the goal we set.”
Bibliography SUVI, Aho (2011): Drama based methods in urban setting, Helsinki ALTMANN, Peter – WRENTSCHUR MICHAEL: Enhancing cultural awareness and em‐ powerment in multicultural life, http://www.akatemia.org/eca/articles/opressed.html JUHÁSZ, Attila (2010): Anti-Immigrant Prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe, http:// www.riskandforecast.com/post/in-depth-analysis/anti-immigrant-prejudice-incentral-and-eastern-europe_581.html BOAL, Augusto (2002): Games For Actors and Non-Actors, Trans. Adrian Jackson. Rout‐ ledge, London BOAL, Augusto (2000): Theatre of the Oppressed, London: Pluto Press KIROVA, Anna (2001) Social Isolation, Loneliness and Immigrant Students’ Search for Be‐ longingness: From Helpness to Helpfullness, Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the Association for Childhood Education, Toronto, Ontario, Canada SÍK, Endre – SIMONOVICS, Bori (2011): Abena, Sára, Chen és Ali esélyei Magyarországon. Migráns esélyek és tapasztalatok, www.tarki.hu/hu/research/migrans/tarki_eia_ tanulman yok_2011.pdf BOYEMI, Naya – ZONIOU, Christin (2012): Between and betwixt: theatrical space and reality, Ariadne project, http://www.ariadne4art.eu/000_stv_user_files/site_uploaded/6/Own%20articles/ARTI‐ CLE%2004%20Osmosis.pdf “Free Mind – Forum Theatre with Underaged Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers“ http://www.akatemia.org/eca/downloads/mind.pdf TAYLOR, Philip (2002): Afterthought: Evaluating Applied Theatre APPLIED THEATRE RE SEARCHER ISSN 1443-1726 Number 3, 2002 Article No.6 SCHUTZMAN MADY/ COHEN-CRUZ, JAN (Ed.), 1995 (1994): Playing Boal. Thea‐ tre,Therapy, Activism. London and New York.
2.4. BIOGRAPHIES OF YOUR TERRITORY ARTISTIC INCLUSION WORKSHOP THROUGH SITUATED BIOGRAPHIES Marián López Fernández Cao, Complutense University, Madrid
INFORMATION ABOUT THE PILOT PROJECT: Name: Biographies of your territory Proposed by Universidad Complutense de Madrid RESEARCH GROUP 941035: Art applications for social integration: art, therapy and inclusion Dates: February-March, 2012 Main art branch: Visual arts
Abstract This paper deals with the experience carried out with a group of migrant women in Madrid for two intensive weeks in February and March, 2012, four hours a day. The methodology used in the workshop was based on the empowerment of women through the example of women artists, focussing the work on aspects relative to identity, acculturation processes and the creation of social networks. The works by women artists served as motivation, resource and element of empathy, and were meant to trigger in participants a process of personal analysis of their situation, strengthening their capacities and helping them to re‐ build their life project.
The pilot project frames Objectives We first performed a search for theoretic documentation that would give us the security of a solid base from which to face the project of human development through art with mi‐ grant people. These foundations are based on attachment and the space of security that the place for creation provides, and also on situated imagination as a resource that possesses the potential to imagine change. We decided to set ourselves as goals some of the concepts that we had encountered in previous experiences and that had been confirmed by the in‐ vestigations consulted. The objectives that we intended to tackle had to do with: Uncertainty and anxiety The intercultural trainer Vera Várhegyi (2011) points out that a new environment is, by defi‐ nition, indecipherable, unpredictable and not completely foreseeable. If life changes are full of potentially stressful factors, cultural distance adds to the distress. That is why emotional aspects are a central issue in the literature on intercultural or cross-cultural adaptation. The concept of uncertainty, in the sense used by Gudykunst, is especially relevant in the moments of social and individual change, and the creative process can help foster the ca‐ pacities that not only help individuals to tolerate uncertainty, but can also help them profit from the benefits of this tolerance. 89
In the creative act, the white sheet of paper is a challenge to our ability to confront novelty, since it opens up a multiple variety of possible decisions. If we can accept the challenge of facing the void, of not having an immediate and definite answer, of remaining in doubt, accepting that the decisions we take along the way are temporary and not enduring, but that they can also change our fate, we can become beings who acknowledge change and uncertainty as fundamental axes of our evolution, and this change will not provoke in us the anxiety of not being in control of our own destiny. To draw is to know that every line mod‐ ifies the previous one and that every stroke changes those already made. Drawing implies taking the risk of failure and having to start anew. Enduring the anxiety of the creative chaos and getting accustomed to uncertainty are qualities that may extend to a different mode of acting in life at large.
Resilience, stress and vulnerability Resilience refers to the ability to face difficulties and to the resistance to trauma and ad‐ aptability (Sayed-Ahmad Beirutí, 2010). It is the ability to maintain a process of growth and development that is normal and healthy enough despite adverse life conditions. It is a concept taken from physics, where resilience is the elasticity of a material, its propensity to withstand breakage by collision. Resilience implies the conjunction of feeling and courage to adequately elaborate difficulties, at the individual and the interpersonal levels. According to Cyrulnic, it is “the ability of a person or a group to develop well, to go on projecting herself into the future despite dest‐ abilizing events, difficult life conditions and sometimes severe traumas”9 (Cyrulnic, 2003, quoted in Sayed-Ahmad Beiruti, 2010:274). The protection or resilience factors in the face of trauma, violence and loss, are the variables that operate to mitigate the risk of psycho-social exclusion. These variables are internal and external forces that contribute to help the person or the group to resist or reduce the risk factors of personal or social destabilization. Sayed-Ahmad Beirutí (2010) points these out: 1. The satisfaction of emotional needs, that help the subject build relations with the natural and human environment, and of the need to belong to a social network, establishing good quality and stable emotional, family and social bonds. 2. The satisfaction of the need to connect. 3. The acceptance, the consideration and the recognition, on the part of the near significant human environment, that provides the subject with a space of his own, where he feels ac‐ cepted and important and where he can start to accept others. 4. The satisfaction of social demands, the need to feel part of the community, to develop a sense of belonging. 5. Communication. Thanks to communication, individuals receive all the information in‐ dispensable to situate themselves in their own history and in their own social and cultural contexts. 6. The active participation in social structures. The creative process reopens, or may reopen, a space for attachment. In it, by means of potential space, protected by a facilitator who initiates a bond of full confidence and who is there ‘for the other’, the subject can start – through ‘affective attunement’, ‘communion’, ‘security and trust’ and the ‘moments of encounter’ that we have already defined above –, a ‘new beginning’, a creative story that will give meaning to his life. 10
[Translator’s note:] The translation has been done from the text in Spanish. It is therefore possible that the quote may not be completely faithful to the original version in English.
Loss, Grief Grieving is usually understood as the full range of psychological and psychosocial processes that take place after the loss of a loved one or the loss of an abstraction (homeland, objects, landscapes, etc.) to which the individual was actually bound. The deprivation sets on a process of reorganization of the personality and of adaptation to the new reality. Migratory grief implies maintaining and re-elaborating the bonds with the lost objects, and also adopt‐ ing and developing new bonds with the host society (Sayed-Ahmad Beirutí, 2010:270). One of the related disorders is the ‘Ulysses syndrome’, in which the person cannot lead a normal life and clings symbolically to a life that is lost and cannot be recovered. In migratory grief, it is not one sole object that is lost; the deprivation is multiple, of people and of abstractions. The migrant person loses family and friends, social status, a life project, a language and a culture, a group and the feeling of belonging, a country and its landscapes, etc. All this bereavement demands of the subject a process of grief accompanied by intensi‐ fied and ambivalent emotions (ibid., p. 271). It is a mixed grief: for loss (of social status, life project, etc.) and for separation (from family, friends, etc.). The elaboration of grief “will enable to discriminately integrate both countries, both times, the former group and the current group, which will lead to the reorganization and consol‐ idation of the sense of identity, which will correspond to someone who remains the same despite changes and modellings”11 (Grinberg & Grinberg, 1984, in Sayed-Ahmad Beiruti, 2010:273). Through narrative therapies, the creative process allows for the elaboration of grief. In these therapies, the person, by means of elaborate memory, resituates her past life and gives sense – or tries to find sense – to the new situation, trying to give continuity to her existence. The trauma splits the person, hampers the project, and blocks the action. The construction of new stories tries to unblock the project, giving sense to the events or, at least, trying to support it, inserting it into a new life project where the person may leave her mark. 11
[Translator’s note:] The translation has been done from the text in Spanish. It is therefore possible that the quote may not be completely faithful to the original version in English.
Dissonance and disappointment. Tolerance to frustration In relation to grief, one of the aspects that we would like to work on was the grief about one’s own expectations: about the new place, its people, about oneself when one sees that one’s capacities and potentialities do not develop the way one had foreseen, or when one observes that the abilities by which one was valued in another time and territory are not valued or taken into consideration in the host country. Artistic activity is an excellent metaphor for disappointment: the result never matches ex‐ pectations, the hand does not respond to the idea, the brush does not comply with the will, the water runs too fast, or the paper absorbs the tonal gradation that we had intended. To face our work is, to some extent, to also face our limitations: accepting them, embracing them, and living with them.
To feel ‘oneself’ again As Várhegyi (2011) indicates, commenting on Young Yun Kim (2005),
“The identity conflict unfolds into disintegration, which is followed by reorganisation 91
and self‐renewal. The process includes the integration of «changes in the habitual patterns of cognitive, affective, and behavioural responses» which result in increased «functional fitness» with the new environment and may lead to the development of an «intercultural identity». This is a condition where «the original cultural identity begins to lose its distinctiveness and rigidity while an expanded and more flexible definition of self emerges» (Kim, 2005:391). Once this stage acquired, the individual reaches a «heightened self-awareness and self‐identity» and engages in a «continuous search for authenticity in self and other across group boundaries» (Kim:392)”. The reconstruction of support networks Art, in its different varieties – but especially through dance, music and theatre –, contributes to interpersonal communication and to the building of trust and joint responsibility with the others. The group is created along the process in which all of its members are participating in the creation. Imperceptibly, the act of creation summons the collective relation and de‐ bilitates the precautions imposed by logical thinking. The process of co-creation summons us to dissolve the barriers against the other. It is therefore a valuable instrument in the re‐ construction of social and human networks when these have been lost or when they have not yet been found in the new context.
Empowerment Empowerment refers to the process by which individuals, groups, organizations and com‐ munities develop a sense of control over their lives, to act efficiently in the public arena, access resources and promote changes in their common contexts. Empowerment is a pro‐ cess whereby people gain a greater control over decisions and actions that affect their health. It has three dimensions: the individual or personal, the organizational and the com‐ munal or collective. Education for empowerment requires taking into serious consideration the strengths, ex‐ periences, strategies and goals of the group members of ethnic minorities. It also implies helping these groups to analyze and understand the social structure, and to develop the abilities needed to succeed in achieving their goals. Empowerment enhances the subject’s self-esteem, his personal development, his dignity or his self-awareness. The empowerment perspective aims to boost individual participation (as citizens) and collective participation (as active social movements or networks). Art, by way of the handling of ever more refined techniques, allows for the development of a sense of ‘being able’ and also provides a feeling of satisfaction and well-being when the work is achieved. Community art allows for the sharing of a sense of shared control, of achieving a common goal, and can be helpful to that end.
The experience With all this theoretical and methodological background, several pilot workshops were de‐ signed with the aim of putting in practice what we had developed and settled from theory. We gave the whole of the workshops a generic name: ‘Feeling at home’. 92
BIOGRAPHIES OF YOUR TERRITORY. Art therapy with a women’s group at the Hispanic-Moroccan Centre (Centro Hispano-Marroquí), Community of Madrid. Contextualization This workshop took place in the last week of February and the first of March, 2012. It was held on a daily basis, starting at 10 a.m. and finishing at 2 p.m. In the Centre, the space was used for multiple activities. The two weeks that we occupied it – a period between two quarters –, it was empty in the mornings, so we profited to schedule an intensive workshop. The place was clear, well lit, although a bit chilly in the ear‐ ly hours of winter. The space was arranged depending on the women’s creative needs, but always bearing in mind the mission of fostering communication and preserving the privacy of the participant who would require it.
Establishment of the creative process The process of creation was quickly established. The long sessions soon seemed very short and there was even a shortage of time to finish some works. The length of the session brought about a slow pace, working carefully, delicately and with commitment. Thanks to the extended duration of the workshop, we were able to take our time and the works acquired a considerable aesthetic force. Time – essential in the crea‐ tive process – changed the space and the individuals, who, initially unknown to each other, became a group where concerns and fears merged, but also an enthusiasm for life and the wish to grow and develop.
Objectives The specific objectives, beyond the general ones that we had set in the beginning, were adjusted to the demands of the women themselves. These objectives were: • Generating a space for encounter, where new networks could be created. • Fostering autonomy, decision-making and self-knowledge. • Bringing about empowerment: feeling able and present, taking part, as well as boosting self-esteem. Seeing themselves as creators. • Working on uncertainty in the not-knowing characteristic of art; transferring it to the not-knowing of life. • Working on disappointment, the so-called ‘end of the honeymoon’ of the migratory pro‐ cess and of the encounter with the other. • Focussing on the constitution and the reflection on one’s identity.
Framing At the beginning of the workshops, an agreement was made between participants and workshop coordinators, where issues such as confidentiality, punctuality and mutual re‐ spect were set. These were the keystones of a space for personal development, where facilitators and users committed to the path that we were to tread together, in a place of trust, freedom, listening and containment.
Development The work methodology that guided our workshop was a fundamental aspect of its develop‐ ment. In the first hour, we introduced the work of one or several women artists whom we thought could be interesting for different reasons: because the artists had experienced the process of migration, because they had worked with gender stereotypes, because they had made an introspection into their personal selves… The artists’ biographies served, on the one hand, to open the participants’ visual and plastic imaginary; they allowed the women to think in different creative keys, beyond drawing and painting, showing them that the artists were women who also chose topics that had to do with themselves and their vulnerability. On the other hand, by way of provoking empathy, the example of the women artists helped participants, endowing them with a kind of empowerment in their self-concept as potential creators: they were migrant, women and also creators. This methodology came to be very interesting from the beginning, because in most of the cases it motivated the participants to ask themselves about their lives and their motivations, and it somehow allowed them to express themselves freely. In this first session, the prospective goals were presented, and it was made clear that the space belonged to them and that the creative process would foster an improvement in their quality of life and in their own introspection. The workshops began with a time allowed for welcome and encounter. As mentioned, the first hour dealt with the acquaintance with the work of the artist proposed and a group dis‐ cussion on it. During this hour, we tried to reflect together on the artist’s creative process. We used her words, we tried to delve deep into her process, to relate it with the experi‐ ence of migration, loss, grief, reconstruction, always in the context of creation and its per‐ formative possibilities, always implicated in action. From this reflection, a proposal for open action was made. Then followed two hours for tranquil work and its development. The second and third hours welcomed intimacy, but also communication and mutual knowledge through joint work, in a climate of peace and respect. There was room for coffee, rest, for walks around the place contemplating one’s own and other’ works, in a time and a space favourable to reflection, improvement and rectification, the pleasure of making, feeling and sharing. The last hour was dedicated to closure, comments, personal and group feedback. The participants could comment on their own work, and we also invited them to think about the workshop, about the pathways that the experience had opened, and about the paths we were treading. The group experienced a first process of adjustment to the rules, laying out the playground and committing themselves to participate. Once the space of trust was established – this was achieved thanks to the bonds created among the women, the new friendships and the attachment to the art therapist –, the workshop began to function as a place of freedom. More space was dedicated to talk about the events of the week, the women’s feelings and their emotional self-awareness.
Ana Mendieta / Esther Ferrer
OBJECTIVES Reflecting on identity Fostering autonomy Favouring empowerment
The body, an intimate Recognizing oneself in oneâ€™s body; the body as the locus of and personal territory, thought and action the mark we leave Knowing of the body as a trace in space and in our lifes
Reflecting on the ideals about inhabitation: the abandoned house (left behind), the current home (that we have), and the dreamed home (that we look for)
Connecting with the neighbourhood and the gazes Acknowledging the power of our own gaze to name, inhabit, and own the space
Writing / inscribing the body
Sophie Calle / Annette Messeguer / Grete Stern Lygia Clark
Working, on our own bodies, on the written desires and the fulfilled goals
Ironies of heterodesig- Playing with external impositions nation, laughing at What others say about us ourselves Learning to ironize and subvert the statements Inter-relational objects Making objects that compel us to communicate, that will interweave us.
Reflecting on what we have brought with us, what has been useful, what we have forgotten, both materially and symbolically
Exhibition and self-evaluation
Reflecting on the workshop journey, recounting our experiences, summing up our journey and thinking about what this experience can contribute to our life project
Working with the life of a woman: artists as references The various creators gave way to different levels of reâ€? flection and commitment. Each one of them opened up potential works and creative reflections. Frida Kahlo allowed them to be centred in themselves.
Ana Mendieta invited participants to connect with the most intimate parts, tied to the emotional terri‐ tory, and Esther Ferrer prompted them to explore the relation with others. Mona Hatoum opened up the possibility of walking, of recogniz‐ ing, of appropriating the space. “We borrowed traits of your Ma‐ drid streets and captured them in our imprints, now you are the city where we live for countless rea‐ sons or maybe one… to mix them with our life maps, our own creative maps made for daily living and walking.” Louise Bourgeois signalled the way to think of the house as a secure place. The house that we have left behind, the house that we have, the house we long for. Annette Messeguer helped them to introduce irony in their own identity and in external statements. Shirin Neshat meant an exercise in intimacy, a self-discovery and a reconciliation with their own skin and the space of existence.
Lygia Clark invited them to make sensorial objects that put them in contact with the other. Finally, Kim Sooja helped them reflect about what they needed to put in their symbolic suitcase.
Achievements The workshop space and its broad timing brought about a symbolic space where the anx‐ iety of everyday life was left out behind the workshop walls. The unease before the white page, of not knowing, gradually lost importance before the art therapists’ accompanying regard that did not judge, but helped and encouraged to go on, and also allowed the pos‐ 96
sibility of not doing. This, coupled with an active listening, allowed the surfacing of fears, latent feelings, and desires in a climate of trust and calm, an unusual space for those who face the ongoing novelties and difficulties implied in living in a new country. The variety of techniques used helped participants to face creation from perspectives that did not force their artistic abilities. Writing on the body, taking photographs, using the body in space, sewing… allowed for an approach to art from comfortable standpoints, from their ‘own’ places. Step by step, the participants became aware of their potential. One of the women confessed proudly, after looking at her work, that she “had never before felt that I was able to create”; she had seen herself as someone who could only repeat or help in the creation of ‘others’. The work with the suitcases and the house opened the way to work with loss – the lost house, the discarded objects – and allowed to recapture the concept of value, with the object that is still to be made and connects past and present. A link with the past that they cannot or do not want to recover, because they – as the life path itself – have also changed. Through the workshop, participants were able to re-encounter the geography that had been lost when inhabiting the new place. They gradually came to terms with their present and their future expectations. They learnt to recognize their limits of their expectations re‐ garding the host country, acknowledging the disappointment of some of their desires, of the at times disproportionate hopes that originated in their own shortages being compensated by imaginations about new horizons. The network of support and self-confidence was built imperceptibly, with the help and the love of a spongecake brought by one of the participants, a blog created by another, and a friendship that grew among them and still prevails today.
Bibliography CYRULNIC, B. (2003). El murmullo de los fantasmas. Volver a la vida después del trauma (The murmur of the phantoms). Barcelona: Gedisa. FEMENÍAS, M.L. (2007). El género del multiculturalismo (The gender of multiculturalism). Bernal: Universidad Nacional de Quilmes. FIORINI, H. (1995). El psiquismo creador (Creative psyche). Buenos Aires: Paidós. GARCÍA ROCA, J. (2010). Enfoque psicosocial e incidencia pública. Las necesarias tran‐ siciones (Psychosocial focus and public impact). In L. Melero Valdés (Coord.) La persona más allá de la migración. Manual de intervención psicosocial con personas migrantes (The person beyond migration. Manual for psychosocial intervention with migrant people), pp. 27-29. Valencia: Fundación CeiMigra. GRINBERG, L. & GRINBERG, R. (1984). A psychoanalytic study of migration: its normal and pathological aspects. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 32(1), pp. 13-38. HARAWAY, D. (1991). Simians, cyborgs and women: the reinvention of nature. New York: Routledge. GRINBERG, L. & GRINBERG, R. (1984). Psicoanálisis de la migración y del exilio (Psycho‐ analytical perspectives on migration and exile). Madrid: Alianza. KIM, Y. Y. (2005). Adapting to a new culture: an integrative communication theory. In William B. Gudykunst (Ed.) Theorizing About Intercultural Communication, pp. 375‐400. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. MONTENEGRO MARTÍNEZ, M. & Pujol Tarrès, J. (2003). Conocimiento situado y acción (Situated knowledge and action). Revista Interamericana de Psicología, 37(2), pp. 295-207. http://www.psicorip.org/Resumos/PerP/RIP/RIP036a0/RIP03722.pdf. Accessed October 5, 2012.
2.5. SHELTER THROUGH ART THERAPY Berta de la Dehesa and Tania Ugena
INFORMATION ABOUT THE PILOT PROJECT: Name: Shelter through Art Therapy Proposed by Universidad Complutense de Madrid RESEARCH GROUP 941035: Art applications for social integration: art, therapy and inclusion and Master of Art Therapy and Art education for Social Inclusion, UCM. Dates: November and December 2011 Main art branch: Visual arts and movement
Abstract This article presents the experience of a group of migrants carried out in a Migrant Recep‐ tion Centre of the Community of Madrid, from October 2011 to February 2012. During this engagement, workshops of artistic creation and creative therapies were carried out, that joined disciplines of visual arts, theatre, musical expression, dance and movement. The intervention had two main goals: to decrease the levels of anxiety experienced by the participants, due to the uncertainty they were experiencing waiting for the bureaucratic response that would confirm their status in the country, and to generate a space of security and belonging which they could share with others thus alleviating their feelings of solitude. Despite some difficulties recounted in the article (different languages and ages, problems with attendance, etc.), after the assessment we observed that both goals had been met. We have thus verified that artistic creation is a powerful and beneficial tool when working with migrants.
KEYWORDS Shelter, arts, benefit, migrants In the past, to meet the ‘other’, one had to embark on bold adventures that would bring us closer to distant countries with different cultures. However, these days we live in what is often referred to as a ‘global village’ and ‘the other’ is to be found in the supermarket, on the bus, or is your neighbour… To encounter the other, one does not need to travel around the world but merely open the front door. Maalouf (2004) speaks of the importance of starting to work on coexistence and respect, so that we will not feel our identities under threat and respond with violence. Our interest in knowing difference and experiencing diversity as a richness led us to embark in the European Research Project ARIADNE (Art and Adaptation in Intercultural Environ‐ ments). The essence of the approach of our Research Group has been captured in the idea “To Feel at Home”. From the University, several projects developed with various groups of migrants. Ours took place in a Political Refugee Reception Centremigrants stay during the stage of asylum application. These centres aim to contribute to the integral development of their residents by covering their basic needs and paying attention to individuals and groups. 98
According to the Spanish Refugee Aid Commission (Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refu‐ giado, CEAR), the right of asylum is accorded to any person who:
“(…) owing to well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinions, membership of a particular social group, gender or sexual orientation, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country, or who, not having a nationality and being outside of the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.” We were interested in the situation of this group because these people have left a country to which they cannot return and have arrived to another that will not accept them in until their asylum application is approved. This period,that can last months or even years, is in‐ dicativeof not belonging anywhere. In the Refugee Centre reside persons who have applied for asylum and are awaiting the decision, and vulnerable immigrants who may be undocumented. Artistic creation helps to generate a space of security and belonging that benefits these people whose emotional, family, work and social ties have been broken. When we arrived, only 63 of the 116 available places were covered. The population con‐ sisted almost entirely of political asylum applicants. While they await the resolution, these persons have a temporary ID, a health card, a small monthly allowance, the possibility of accessing training courses (due to the budget cuts, the number of courses offered had de‐ screased significantly), and a temporary work permit valid for six months after the date of their application. Due to the arrival of immigrants from the Internment Centres for Foreigners (Centros de Internamiento para Extranjeros, CIES) and the Temporary Stay Centres for Foreigners (Centres de Estancia Temporal para Extranjeros, CETIS) of Ceuta and Melilla, the popula‐ tion has doubled. In contrast to the asylum applicants, these people have serious difficul‐ ties accessing the National Health Service, they are not entitled to financial support, they have no right to training courses and no chance to regularize their status, which is further complicated by the on-going arrests that they are subject to when they fail to produce an identification card. To prepare the research design we carried out a literature review, where the Gudykunst’s article on Intercultural Adjustment Training Theory stands out (Gudykunst 1998:227-250). In it he maintains that managing the levels of anxiety and uncertainty is a key factor to under‐ stand the codes of the receiver culture and thus achieve an effective communication. These variables became the main goals of our project. In line with this, we made an ethnographic investigation to establish the baseline. From the reception of the centre and through participatory observation, we were able to identify their needs, their demands, their schedules inside and outside the centre, their concerns, and their artistic preferences. We chose the reception because of its strategic placement beside the only access door to the Centre, but also because it is the place where resi‐ dents go for other issues such as asking for the canteen card, making phone calls, booking appointments with professionals, or asking for photocopies. We took advantage of these moments to introduce ourselves and interview them informally to know their expectations, desires and needs. 99
We observed that all of them were keen to take part in activities aimed at finding a job, that their artistic interests converged in dance, and that they regarded health as of fundamental importance. To these observations we added those of the Centre staff, who confirmed our impressions, making some additional requests about needs they had observed (which their own work‐ loads often prevented them from addressing) these were fostering play relations between mothers and children, working on self-esteem issues with women (many of them have suf‐ fered episodes of gender violence), and promoting activities outside the Centre to create social networks and sustain their autonomy. The psychologist at the CEAR provided a guideline for the proposals: they should not be focussed on the participants’ past, because most of them had suffered traumatic situations. We therefore oriented the project towards the creation of a workshop where they could work on their shortages and boost their abilities by means of various plastic, artistic, dance and theatre techniques, where we could then raise pertinent issues. ACTION * CREATION arose with the intention of reducing anxiety and creating a place where participants could find a welcoming space, free of tensions, where they could stop for a moment to reflect on who am I, where do I come from, where am I, and what would I like to do; a place to engage with and explore their own emotions.The main goals were to reduce the levels of anxiety and uncertainty and develop various communicative abilities, both verbal and non-verbal. We planned to favour dance over other artistic disciplines since in the initial interviews these had seemed the most popular activities. We decided to group the sessions in modules with different topics and specific objectives, aside from the general objectives of the workshop. We designed a total of five modules comprising three sessions each. To specify the content of each module, we took as reference one of the techniques of creation and compression of character from Drama: I AM, I FEEL, I WANT and I NEED, to which we added ACTION. Our proposal was to explore each module from the perspective of a time for calm reflec‐ tion, where to know who we are, to define where we are going. To identify our desires, so we can organize our actions accordingly. To favour the construction of a life project that will reflect the abilities and potentials of the participants. The schedule that we present under this guiding thread appears in the APPENDIX. In the conversations held with the Centre managers, we explained the importance of pro‐ viding a physical space for the workshop that would be different from the everyday spaces so as to provide a sense of security and freedom specific for creation. The Centre assigned us a classroom that was being used for storage. We stripped out everything we didn’tneed and fitted it out for the activity (linoleum floor, shelves, tables, chairs, lockers to store ma‐ terials, stereo, radiator….). By doing this we achieved a ‘new’ place, free from echoes of other activities carried out at the Centre.
THE WORKSOP SPACE (Ugena: 2012)
In order to encourage the residents’ participation, in the information leaflets we focussed on two aspects: how to approach a job interview suggesting thata relaxed attitude favours success. This period of “waiting” can be seen as an opportunity for a moment of reflection and contact with oneself, to discover one’s own vital interests and set a strategy of action to achieve them. We distributed the pamphlets with the following triple proposal:
ACTION * CREATION The body and the attitude say much about the person who is looking for a job or establishing social relations. An open and relaxed bodily posture transmits self-assurance. Awareness of our own body attitude in the eyes of others is vital to relate successfully in personal and work contexts. Art (dance, theatre, music, visual arts, etc.) is the best tool to enhance the personal qualities that will boost the chances of finding a job and improving social relations. If you would like to participate in ACTION * CREATION, you can sign up to one or several of those workgroups: • WOMEN * CHILDREN A space for encounter and expression, for learning and enjoyment, getting to know ourselves better, in groups, in pairs or individually. The workshops will take place at the CEMI and will have a flexible schedule, to allow any interest‐ ed woman to participate. • AFTERNOONS * To investigate and creatively develop our own resources, to use them as in‐ teresting personal skills in job-seeking. The workshops will be held at the CEMI two afternoons a week (to be specified: from Tuesday to Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m.). • OUR * NEIGHBOURHOOD We propose a leisure space where the people in the neighbourhood can meet, a place for exchange and for discovering how different cultures express themselves through various artistic proposals. This workshop will take place outside the CEMI, at one of the Civic Centres of the area, one afternoon every week. Participation will be open to all the neighbourhood. We hung posters at the entrance of the Centre beside the leaflets and translated them to other languages (English and French). At the residents’ meeting, the representative suggest‐ ed that we speak about the project to the residents. However, at the time we arrived at the Centre the situation was very tense due to the budget cuts that it was suffering. Due to this we were unable to promote the workshops at the residents meeting so instead we decided to deliver the leaflets in person at the reception and during the celebration of the Feast of the Lamb, which took place around this time. Finally, of the three proposals, only one came through. The workshop WOMEN * CHILDREN, although at first we thought it seemed the most viable, was less so. In the mornings, their children were in class and the mothers profited to 101
sleep or to make errands. So, despite the women’s repeatedly stated interest in participat‐ ing, they did not. For this reason the workshop was suspended. In the case of OUR * NEIGHBOURHOOD, although the head of the Civic Centre was very open to facilitating the creation of a space for the interchange of dance and music among groups of local youths, and despite the publicity and pre-organization with the coordinator of youth of the Civic Centre, no one signed up for the proposal. Conversely, the AFTERNOONS * workshop was well received. We agreed with the partic‐ ipants to schedule the sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays, from 6.00 to 9.00 p.m. 43 people attended at least one workshop session, although the main group – that we will call the “stable group” – was made upof six children and five adults. The selection criterion for the members of this group was to have attended thirty hours of workshop activity. All the people of the stable group were asylum applicants (although this was never a prerequi‐ site to participate in the workshops). The stable group was composed of two children of three and four, three pre-adolescents of eleven, and an adolescent of fourteen. They belonged to three families and their origins were Palestinian, Mexican and Kurdish. The group of adults was composed of four men and one woman, all of ages between twenty-three and thirty-eight. Their origins were Saharaui, Russian, Sudanese and Afghan. The reasons why the participants visited the workshop with irregular commitment were diverse: at times, the activity overlapped with Spanish courses; at other times, they had appointments (at the doctors, lawyers, psychologist etc.), and at times they were too tired or preferred to be on their own. However, many came along to try the session once out of curiosity. The sessions were divided in three parts: relaxation, artistic creation and bodywork. In the first, we wanted to facilitate the entrance into the workshop space, stopping for a few seconds and trying to leave outside the rhythm of everyday life and enter a space for reflection, enjoyment and calmness. We, therefore, began each day with relaxation exercis‐ es in a circle. We looked at each other and relaxing as a group imagined that we were each smelling a flower before exhaling as if we were blowing out a candle, this helped the group ot start relaxing and enter into emotional contact with ourselves and the group.
“[…] Come you [both], we had a thing of flower, oh, the flower and the candle, yes. The relaxation, the breathing. The breathing and the relaxation, after, at night, I swear sleep well.” “Do you think the breathing exercises that we did smell the flower and blow the candle, you think that helped you sleep that night?” “Yes, yes. This help me to sleep, I swear to you”.12 We then proposed a specific visual creation. Sometimes the instruction was a topic for reflection; at other times, we did motivation exercises, such as visualizations, massage or games. The themes they enjoyed the most, and that gave them many moments to share, were those where they could show elements from their countries. Spontaneously, the workshop walls became covered with flags from their various homelands, which served as prompts to start speaking of their cultures, families and friends. 12
Original quote in Spanish: ”Vengas vosotras, teníamos una cosa de flor, ah, la flor y la vela, sí. La relajación, la respiración. La respiración y la relajación, yo después por la noche te lo juro dormir bien.” “¿Tú piensas que los ejercicios de respiración que hicimos oler la flor y soplar la vela, tú piensas que eso te ayudó a dormir esa noche?” “Sí, sí. Esto ayudarme a mí para dormir, te lo juro”.
“Before I don’t know for this because this workshop we talk of my country, I too,
I have said that I am from Afghanistan. Afghanistan this country has no sea, this has problem this has things nice this bad. Also all have said this. And new person when 102
come here no, no, no, knows not culture and knows not of country, workshop better when goes out he knew much things.”13 13
Original quote in Spanish: “Yo antes no lo sé para esto porque este taller hablamos de mi país, yo también, yo he dicho que yo soy de Afganistan. Afganistan este país Asia no tiene mar, este tiene problema este tiene cosas bonito esto malo. También todos he dicho esto. Y nueva persona cuando venir aquí no, no, no, no sabe cultura and no sabe de país, workshop mejor cuando va fuera the sabía mucha cosas”.
We ended the sessions with expressive bodywork, by means of dance or movement. In the beginning weguided dynamics: we practiced movements of flamenco dance as a way of showing Spanish culture and invited them to show their cultures by sharing the dances of their countries. As we progressed, we began to encourage a freer expression.
“[…] on dancing I also before like we here says that what do you want to dance, painting? I have said dance, because dance help a lot of the body like sport also… better you move your body very good, because you dance. Dance also sport. Yes, yes much help for health and much for the body, yes yes. Very good.”14
The reflection on each of the activities proposed to the group, the interaction with the participants and our endeavours to respond to the personal needs of the group, support our statement that we follow an action-research method with the aim of uniting theory and practice to foster positive change in all the workshop participants, in an active, dynamic and participatory way. 14
Original quote in Spanish: “[…] sobre bailar yo también antes como nosotros aquí dice que hoy qué quieres vosotros bailar, pintura? Yo he dicho bailar, porque bailar ayudar mucho of the cuerpo como deporte también…si…mejor tu mover tu cuerpo muy bueno, porque tu bailar. Bailar también deporte. Si, si mucho ayudar para salud y mucho para cuerpo, sí sí. Muy bien”.
Observation tools In the workshops carried out in Europe within the ARIADNE project, a common evaluation tool is the administration of a pre-test and a post-test designed to assess each participant’s progress in the workshop. In our case, in applying this tool, we have run into certain difficulties, since – generally speaking – this group felt ill at ease filling in documents, due to their associations of filling in documentation revealing certain datacan interfere with their asylum request process. We have employed various tools for observation and information-gathering. The Research Group of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid created an individual observation re‐ cord, consisting of pairs of indicators (measured from 1 to 5) that we completed at the end of each session, together with the observations that we deemed most relevant. We also made a log book in which we wrote down what had happened in the session and during the time of our stay at the Centre. Applicants of political asylum should not appear in photographs that may be published, because the grounds of their application are founded in the real fear of their lives being in danger. We respected their requests accordingly and only took pictures of their artwork. Due to the possible repercussions and threats of retaliations towards these people, the names and main references of the testimonials included in this article are not mentioned thus preventing their identification. Another tool that we used was the artist’s notebook, where we captured our impressions in a more emotional and subjective manner. In drawings and collages we captured the mo‐ ment that had made a greatest impression on us in our experience of the Centre. 103
To assess the workshops, we carried out individual interviews with the participants of the stable group. We chose to record them in audio. We carried out the interviews within the workshop space so participants could also talk about some of their artworks if they deemed it appropriate. They were open, semi-structured interviews. After a speech by the interviewee, we asked him/her (if the issued had not emerged naturally) about some of the benefits or difficulties that we believed to have observed. Within the Centre, we expanded these findings with the aid of interviews – performed in the same fashion as those previously described – with the professional staff, the residents’ representative and the mothers of the children who attended the workshop. Our joint work enabled us to establish an on-going dialogue about our action and our per‐ ception of the workshop progress. This enabled us to introduce modifications in the ses‐ sions that required changes, as well as in our daily practice. In the academic domain, we received the supervision of the Research Group coordinated by Marián López Fdz. Cao. The main effects of the workshop on the group have been the decline in the levels of anxi‐ ety and the decrease in participants’ negative thoughts. The members of the group of minors attended almost all of the sessions and took great pleasure in all the activities. “There is no bad thing in the workshop” was a generalized comment during assessment. Their mothers pointed out that “before the workshops they only watched television”, and that they had observed a rise in their children’s creativity and imagination. Throughout the sessions, they learned to enjoy themselves in another way, and even in our absence they continued to draw and to model with clay and plasticine. Despite their young age, they said they were more relaxed since they attended the work‐ shop. They expressed that this type of work made them happy. One of the girls told us that before she used to be angry all the time and very nervous, and that this stress had actually found her pulling her hair out; “I don’t do it anymore”, she said. Another point that they attached great importance to was the change experienced in their relations. Prior to this engagement the children of the different families used to insult each other and fight. But, thanks to the coexistence in the workshop space, they spent a lot of time playing together and even created, almost without assistance, a theatre play and a choreographed piece that they performed before the whole Centre. One of the girls said that the relationships with other residents of the Centre had also im‐ proved. Because she had shared the workshop with them – albeit for one day – she lost her anxiety of approaching them and talking to them when she ran into them in common areas of the venue. The adult group deemed the greatest benefit to be the opportunity to leave behind their current problems and the tense and gloomy atmosphere of the Centre. The chance to dis‐ tance themselves from their usual preoccupations was very helpful because, as one of them stated, “eating and drinking are not enough to prevent oneself from going mad”. The opportunity to talk about their countries and their cultures has been emphasized as something very positive. The workshop has been a place of encounter with other partners who paid attention to their utterances and helped them feel accepted. This generated and then consolidated interpersonal relations among them, thus creating a strong social fabric. Futhermore, being acquainted with other countries and their conflicts has helped them empathise and feel less alone in their transition. Outside the workshop, they admitted that the atmosphere had relaxed. Decorating the lounge and the canteen – an activity that engaged most of the residents – united them for one purpose and, for a while, they felt like a group. Moreover, this decoration made the Centre into a more cheerful space, more pleasant and more habitable. In practice, they are happy to have had a space where they could practice Spanish, as well as 104
getting to know aspects of the Spanish culture (they have been particularly fond of flamenco dancing). We transcribe a fragment of the interview made with the head of the Reception Centre, that touches practically all the issues that both the participants and we had observed:
“I have observed that the atmosphere is much more relaxed. I have been surprised by the level of participation, and that is something that you should be credited for because it’s a group that doesn’t usually engage in guided leisure issues. People are more relaxed; you have endeavoured to bring people together and connect with them; I think it is because of you and the way you are (…) Yes, there is a change, of course there is a change and the Centre is happier physically, in the sense of the things you have put up on the walls. People seem to be more cheerful and I think that owes much to you. I have observed a positive change in V and in the children. You have endeavoured a good relationship among the kids of the different families. Before you arrived and started to do the workshops together, they didn’t get along; they used to fight with each other. You have built strong bonds with the residents; I don’t know how they will go on now, especially the children. The attachment with them has been very strong and also with some adults.” Conclusions, reflections and suggestions for improvement Next we present the conclusions, reflections and suggestions for improvement that we have gleaned during the course of the research. During the first phase of the research, in the phase of design and recruitment of participants, we believed we had done right to dedicate sufficient time to making personal contact with the residents and talking with them. The unconditional listening and the friendly treatment we gave them contributed to the establishment of a bond of trust and to their decision to attend the workshops. A first conclusion is that openness and sympathy are key elements to establish a bond with the residents. In their feedback about the workshop and in the conversations held with them, many of them pointed out the importance of smiling and listening. Being ‘on hold’ is a situation that fills residents with a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty. Their mood is very variable and sometimes they can enter depressive states. This, coupled with a very humdrum routine, provoked in them a spatial-temporal distortion and they of‐ ten forgot to attend the workshop or came late because they had lost track of time in their rooms. Our greatest achievement has been to create a welcoming space where everyone was wel‐ come and felt at ease. Their needs, their preferences and their moods were always taken in consideration. They often expressed that “this space is ours and we have to take care of it”.
“A space qualified for creation: containing, non-threatening and without value judgement, that would work as an arena in which to investigate, dare, explore, experiment, learn and grow as artists” (María del Río, in Martínez Díez, N. & López Fdez.-Cao 2009). One thing that we initially perceived as a difficulty turned out to be a strength. Despite the group covering a very wide age span, from three to forty, we discovered that this mix was very beneficial for the group. The adults of the Centre have an important need to express
their emotions. Many of them are alone and deprived of a solid social network. Therefore, the opportunities to give and receive affection through physical contact are very rare. In their behaviour with children, these adults could feel free to show their love and affection. Everybody benefitted from this contact: the children felt part of “a big family” and the adults received the same emotional response from the kids. The variety of languages spoken in the workshop added difficulty to the annotation of the comments on the participants’ collective productions. This is why, although we worked all together, in the course of the session we approached each of the participants individually to monitor their process. When we tried to elicit group feedback, we found that the difficulties and the inability to speak Spanish of some participants distracted the others distracting from an atmosphere of active listening. Bearing in mind the characteristics of the population with which we worked and the func‐ tioning of the Centre, we decided to offer an open workshop, establishing loose margins for entrance and exit and flexibility in the admission of new participants. Despite the initial difficulties encountered in the active listening of the group, as the ses‐ sions progressed, a readjustment took place that allowed for verbal group sharing. Halfway through the project, a group of new participants arrived, as numerous as the stable group, resulting in a stop and even an involution in the active listening of the group. This convinced us of the importance of rationing the incorporation of new participants, to prevent them from excessively distorting the group dynamics. In this specific case we could have created a new temporary group to facilitate a gradual fit. We endeavoured to minimize this impact by proposing a creative, cooperative action out‐ side of the workshop space in which not only the stable group took part, but also other residents with variable lengths of stay at the Centre. This action helped them to value group work; this is reflected in their feedback on these sessions:
“We have learnt that we are all one hand… we are all together… all like family”.
After cooperation we worked on autonomy. We designed sessions for the development of a group project of their choice: the creation of a theatre and dance show to be performed before the whole community of the Centre. The participants in these last sessions were mainly the children, who became the heirs of this space. After the end of the project, they went on to use the room as a place for independent play and creation. The performance was very celebrated by residents and staff, who expressed their desire that this kind of actions would not be isolated events, but would have more continuity. We can affirm that all the community of the Centre benefitted from the creation of a space free of tension that promoted communication among its participants. A fundamental premise of this project was to try to make proposals that would put into play the potential of the whole being which would encourage an opening up of the potential for learning and teaching of each participant. To this end, we committed ourselves to a double listening: to ourselves and to the others. We opted for an empathic observation, in which free floating attention enabled an open regard, sensitive and non-anticipating. This process of support and encounter among different people with completely different universes wid‐ ened our perception and potential for surprise before their efforts to sustain and encourage the others’ searches. Asking questions about their production, we facilitated communica‐ tion and their means of expression. We have also benefitted considerably on a personal level. We have learnt a lot from this experience and from every person who participated, of their culture and life, of the way they interpret the world… Seeing them enjoy their time, forgetting their condition for a moment, has been a tremendously rich experience, facilitated by strong bonds of trust. 106
Appendix: schedule of activities
S e s s i o n Topic/gener- Type of session/ scheduled nr. al objective of activities session
Resources and materials required
Session 1 P R E SE N TA- Dynamics of presentation of NovemTION the workshop and of the parber 9 ticipants. Brainstorming. Therapeutic contract: what would I want to happen in the workshop and what would I not want to happen?
Coloured DIN A4 card paper, chalk, black marker, white and black acrylic paint, wax crayons. White card paper for the creation of the therapeutic contract.
Log book. Breaking the ice. Session re- Change our project cords. in order to enrich it Individual with their ideas. observation records.
Session 2 WHO AM I? Breathing, relaxation and N o v e m - About my culmovement exercises. ber 10 ture. Creating something representative of one’s culture. Group dancing to the music of their countries of origin.
Coloured DIN A4 cards, chalk, felt pens, tempera, pencils, wax crayons, plasticine.
Log book. Session records. Individual observation records.
Generating a common plastic space with the various elements representative of their cultures. Sharing gestures, body attitudes and movements of their cultures.
Session 3 WHO AM I? Breathing, rhythm and Card paper and N o v e m - Someone immovement exercises. various materials ber 16 portant in my Create a three-dimensional (acrylic paint, temlife. representation of someone pera, plasticine, colimportant in their lives. our pencils, chalk, felt pens).
Log book. Making contact with Session re- positive memories. cords. Resilience. Individual observation records.
Session 4 HOW AM I? N o v e m - I pay attention ber 17 to here and now. What is on my mind?
Breathing exercises. Free creation to express the thoughts/feelings elicited during the relaxation. Bodywork, rhythm and movement: ballet and flamenco.
Log book. Connecting with the Session re‘here and now’. cords. Controlling anxiety Individual and reducing physiobservacal tension. tion records.
Session 5 A PLACE IN N o v e m - THE WORLD ber 23 Where am I/ where would I like to be?
Breathing, rhythm and Clay, plasticine, movement exercises. Build a modelling paste. three-dimensional place that is significant to me. Closing group choreography.
Card paper and various materials (acrylic paint, tempera, plasticine, colour pencils, chalk, felt pens).
Log book. Session records. Individual observation records.
Exploring real or imaginary space. Add the personal to the collective. Working on body awareness and reducing anxiety.
Session 6 WHO AM I? Breathing, rhythm and N o v e m - What symmovement exercises. ber 24 bolises me? I Reflecting on the meaning of identify my symbol and identifying the notebook. notebook. Understanding the notebook as a tool for personal work.
Notebooks, coloured paper of various kinds (crepe paper, tissue paper, cellophane), magazines, newspapers and various materials (colour pencils, felt pens, wax crayons).
Log book. Session records. Individual observation records.
Creating a personal symbol to identify their notebooks where they can give expression to the emotional, physical and psychological state they are when they arrive in the session.
Session 7 PA I N T I N G Breathing, rhythm and Kraft paper, colour Novem- S E N S A movement exercises. temperas. ber 30 TIONS: be- Uniting painting, body mastween sensing sage and movement. and feeling Free and guided dance: flamenco and rhythms with the body.
Log book. Session records. Individual observation records.
Working in pairs on body contact and perceived sensations. Creating together from a blot of paint.
Session 8 COLOURS Breathing, rhythm and December What colour movement exercises. 1 reflects my Imagining a colour and capmood today? turing a free creation using that colour with different techniques and materials.
Big sheets of card paper, wax crayons, Crayola crayons, colour pencils, felt pens, tempera, coloured paper, magazine clippings, etc.).
Log book. Working with plasSession re- tic resources on the cords. connection with our Individual feelings. observation records.
Session 9 HOW DO I Breathing, rhythm and December FEEL? movement exercises. 7 E x p l o r i n g Playing movies to guess emoemotions. tions. The participants cooperate to draw a board of emotions. Dancing.
Kraft paper, card paper and various materials (acrylic paint, tempera, plasticine, coloured pencils, chalk, felt pens).
Log book. Session records. Individual observation records.
Discovering, exploring and knowing basic and secondary emotions. Learning emotional vocabulary and practicing verbal, gestural and plastic expression of emotions.
Session 10 WHAT DO I Breathing, rhythm and December WANT? movement exercises. 8 A sky of de- Writing desires on a DIN A4 sires. sheet of paper and stapling it to the other participants’ desires.
Sheets of paper and various materials (acrylic paints, tempera, plasticine, colour pencils, chalk, felt pens, staplers, scissors and nylon thread).
Log book. Session records. Individual observation records.
Reflecting on one’s own desires and materializing them in future actions. Sharing one’s own desires with others.
Session 11 FREEDOM Decorating the canteen walls December I am free with the clouds of desires. 15 when… Breathing, rhythm and movement exercises. Creating a toy to reflect on the concept of freedom, coupled to the concept of responsibility.
Wooden sticks, coloured fabric, coloured rope, stapler, scissors, needles, thread.
Log book. Session records. Individual observation records.
Fostering group cohesion. Generating a space for collaboration and support among the participants.
Session 12 C O O P E R A- Breathing, rhythm and December TIVE movement exercises. 21 C R E A T I V E Making Christmas decoraACTION I. tion for the canteen, where Christmas will be celebrated on Friday 23.
Various kinds of Log book. paint, wooden Session resticks, coloured fabcords. ric, coloured rope, stapler, scissors, needles, thread, glue, parcel tape and masking tape.
Fostering group cohesion. Generating a space for collaboration and support among the participants.
Session 13 C O O P E R A- Breathing, rhythm and December TIVE movement exercises. 22 CREATIVE Making Christmas decoraACTION II tion for the lounge on the first floor where Father Christmas will give out the presents to the children at the Centre on Friday 23.
Various kinds of Log book. paint, wooden Session resticks, coloured cords. fabric, coloured rope, stapler, scissors, needles, thread, glue, parcel tape, masking tape, chalk…
Fostering group cohesion. Generating a space for collaboration and support among the participants.
Session 14 AUTONOMY Breathing, rhythm and December I movement exercises. 28 Working on assembly-making decisions in order to foster autonomy.
Various kinds of paint, wooden sticks, coloured fabric, coloured rope, stapler, scissors, needles, thread, glue, parcel tape, masking tape, chalk…
Log book. Session records. Individual observation records.
Suggesting that the participants create their own artistic project. Fostering their autonomy, generating self-suggested workshop dynamics.
Session 15 AUTONOMY Breathing, rhythm and December I movement exercises. 29 Developing the activity chosen by the participants.
Various kinds of paint, wooden sticks, coloured fabric, coloured rope, stapler, scissors, needles, thread, glue, parcel tape, masking tape, chalk…
Log book. Session records. Individual observation records.
Suggesting that the participants create their own artistic project. Fostering their autonomy, generating self-suggested workshop dynamics.
Bibliography Gudykunst, W. B. (1998). Applying anxiety/uncertainty management (AUM) theory to inter‐ cultural adjustment training. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 22(2), 227-250. Kapuncinski, R. (2007). Encuentro con el otro (The Other). Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama. Maalouf, A. (2004). Identidades Asesinas (Murderous identities). Madrid: Alianza Editorial. Martínez Díez, N. & López Fdez.-Cao (eds.) (2009) Reinventar la vida. El arte como terapia (Reinventing life. Art as therapy). Madrid: Editorial Eneida.
2.6. A BETTER LIFE THROUGH ARTS AND LANGUAGE Nancy Hogg, Momentum Arts ‘What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.’ John Updike
SOME INFO ON THE PILOT: What was its name? A Better Life & Arts and Language Who was it proposed by (which partner)? Momentum Arts When did it take place? September 2011 and February 2012 What was the main art branch (if there was one)? Visual arts and creative writing. Text prepared
by: Nancy Hogg
Abstract This case study describes the pilots ‘A Better Life’ devised and delivered by Momentum Arts project manager Louise Taylor together with artist facilitators, Hilary Cox, Beverley Carpenter and Nancy Hogg, in partnership with South Wisbech Children’s Centre, as part of the Ariadne 4 Art project. It also describes the second pilot ‘Arts and Language’ devised by Momentum Arts and artist facilitators Hilary Cox and Dan Donovan. The primary objec‐ tives of the workshops were to initiate a safe creative space where participants could use creative arts to explore feelings of culture shock, loss and anxiety associated with cultural adaptation. We also consulted with partners and potential participants who expressed an interest in exploring and celebrating local and personal cultural heritage. Here we explain the pedagogical objectives, the methodologies we used, the activities that took place and the outcomes, both creative and emotional, as well the learnings we have taken away from the project.
When was this and who did it? The ‘A Better Life’ pilot took place between September and November of 2011 compris‐ ing of 12 x 2.5 hour sessions. Our partners at the South Wisbech Children’s Centre had prior contact with a group of women affiliated with the centre via the adjacent school. We recruited via the South Wisbech Children’s Centre and the workshops took place there. Unlike the affluence of central Cambridge, Wisbech is in the north of Cambridgeshire and is subject to high levels of deprivation and low levels of arts engagement. It has also seen an influx of migrant workers from Eastern Europe who are attracted to the area due to its high levels of agricultural and seasonal work. Wisbech has received a significant amount of, sometimes negative, media coverage in relation to migrants who now make up nearly a third of the 20,000 population of the town. The group of nine women we worked with hailed from Latvia, Lithuania and Poland; none of them had been living in Wisbech for more than three years. There were also included in the group two women from the host nation. A couple of them knew each other but the majority had not met before.
Pedagogical objectives The pedagogical objective was to guide and encourage the participants to use their cur‐ rent cultural surroundings and their internal cultural landscapes to create art works that worked on a relational and aesthetic level. By taking part in an array of creative activities the participants would be offered space to reflect on, and respond creatively to, feelings of culture shock, and the feelings of loss and anxiety associated with adapting to a new cultural environment. We wanted to initiate, via participation in creative arts activities, a sharing of life stories and cultural experiences. The concrete outcomes would be a selection of art works, pieces of creative writing and reflective journals. The participants would also take part in qualitative research, incorporating questionnaires and interviews, designed to meas‐ ure changes in their personal outlook.
Methodologies Used Harnessing elements of relational art, which describes a body of work that creates a frame and a structure to look at relationships between people and themselves as well as their community and the place that they live, the participants’ were encouraged to create ob‐ jects and poetry that demonstrated their relationship to their own cultural environment. We wanted to create an environment that encouraged a dialogue where the participants reflected on their relationship with their new cultural surroundings and communicated how it felt to the others in the group. Momentum Arts commission artist facilitators to encourage experiential learning with our participants and much emphasis is put on ensuring that the group feel comfortable enough to try each new art activity for themselves, learning creative skills as individuals and collab‐ oratively during group activities. Within this particular project activities were suggested that would investigate aspects as demonstrated in the performance indicators agreed by the Ar‐ iadne partners with regards to feelings of culture shock and the loss and anxiety associated with cultural adaptation. The participants also had suggestions of their own for activities and each workshop operated within a structured but flexible model of delivery. The content of the ‘A Better Life’ Ariadne workshops was broad and varied encompassing portraiture, clay modelling, collage and creative writing. We encouraged participants to keep reflective journals to record their thoughts and emotional responses to the arts activ‐ ities and how they made them feel with regards to their cultural environment. During the research phase of the Ariadne project Momentum Arts had previously offered three examples of good practice that had influenced and informed our continued work of recent years; these also impacted on the workshops we delivered with Ariadne. The first of these projects was Untold Stories, a Momentum Arts heritage project that, over the course of three years, collected and celebrated the stories of Cambridgeshire black minority ethnic communities. Much of this was done during reminiscence workshops during which par‐ ticipants created murals inspired by their home cultures. We used this activity during the Ariadne workshops as a way of stimulating both emotional and visual response from the participants. Another project we had admired was Suitcase of Memories by German arts collective Kul‐ turladen Huchting which was displayed at Durban Art Gallery as part of the Dialogue among Civilisations exhibition in 2010. Within the exhibition migrants had created suitcases of ob‐ jects and memorabilia that told their personal stories. Within the Ariadne workshops we encouraged participants to bring in objects that meant something to them and share the stories with the group. The objects were also used as stimuli to create poetry. We also drew inspiration from another project entitled Take me to Peterborough by En‐ 111
counters Art. Moving across the city by minibus, participants had been invited to take part in a very personal tour – visiting the places in Peterborough that mattered to them and sharing their stories. Each participant was invited to listen to the stories of others in inter‐ esting and unexpected settings. Hence, instead of looking at the city by geographical or community boundaries, the city was ‘mapped’ by individuals and their experiences creating new connections and borders.
Content The first session comprised of a number of activities designed to encourage the participants to relax and get to know one another. The first of these was Feeling Photos which is a re‐ source comprising of a collection of pictures of mostly of landscape and architecture with an emphasis on atmospheric images. Each participant chose a picture that represented how they felt on this first day of the course. Then, taking it in turns, the participants introduced themselves to the rest of the group and explained why they had chosen their picture. One woman chose a picture of the Hoover Dam and said that she felt that she was like the dam ‘trying the hold back the water’ and that she was looking forward to having some time to herself where she didn’t have the concerns of house work and childcare to consider. The value of using an activity like Feeling Photos in a group setting such as this is that although it is not an actual creative activity is does initiate a connection to the more lateral way of thinking as a starting point to on-going creative activities. The rest of the session comprised an introduction to the activities planned by the artists with a discussion on hopes and ex‐ pectations as well as suggestions from the participants for future activities. The Ariadne pre-course questionnaires were also completed at this session. At another session the participants were given examples of portraits of local social reform‐ er Octavia Hill, who was the founder of the National Trust and hailed from Wisbech, as an inspiration for them to create their own portraits. Working in pairs the participants created pictures of each other whilst asking each other questions about their lives and the journey they had undergone to migrate to Wisbech. This proved to be a real bonding opportunity for many of the women; many said that it was a good way of getting to know someone and that asking questions whilst drawing pictures made it a much more relaxing and non-con‐ frontational activity. During this session the participants created and decorated their own journals out of card‐ board and coloured paper that they would use to record their poems, writings and visual reflections of the course. This activity was an excellent opportunity for the participants to talk to the group in an informal way about the personal portraits they had created and the things they had found out about the other participants. Following on from this session the participants visited a local museum celebrating the life and work of Octavia Hill. It was also at this visit to the museum that the participants realized the similarities between themselves and Octavia Hill. As a social reformer Octavia Hill had wanted a better life for the communities she lived amongst in the same way that the partic‐ ipants had migrated to the UK to search for a better life for families. The participants took further inspiration from their visit to the Octavia Hill Museum and worked together to create their own ‘cabinet of curiosities’. The participants created small objects out of clay that they remembered from their childhood or that held some affection for them with regards to their past. One participant made a series of small birds in flight which she said reminded her of her childhood. Another used the clay make a snowman (which she would go on to write a poem about at a later session). Much of the dialogue that took place over the course of the workshops revolved around 112
the ideas of maps and journeys and how this made them feel emotionally. In one of the sessions the participants worked together to create an ‘emotional’ map of Wisbech. Within this map, instead of listing where the town hall or the bus station was, the participants drew pictures and icons signifying where they first met their partners or where you could buy Lithuanian jelly cake. The map was also a way of recording critical incidents in the lives of the participants that had been pivotal in the adaptation process. And so, by taking a map of their new surroundings and integrating their own emotional experiences within it the par‐ ticipants were able to symbolically affirm their identity in their new cultural environment. This activity was particularly popular and many of the participants remarked that it would be good if their map could be printed on the back of the official Wisbech map as circulated by the tourist office to help migrants feel more at home when they arrived in Wisbech. For many of the participants this course was the first time they had written poetry. Starting with a very simple template the participants worked on ‘I am’ poems. The poem itself asks for responses to a list of open statements such as ‘I am’, ‘I see’, ‘I hear’, ‘I dream’ etc. The purpose of the poem is to introduce very simple poetry techniques to people who may not have written it before; as these participants were writing in their second language it also made it easier for them to be given a template. A discussion in the group suggested that the poems could be different each time you decided to write them with regards to how you viewed your identity. Culture shock can also make people view their identities differently, for example the things you dreamt about in your home country might be different to what you dream about in a new country. Following on from some of the themes another session concentrated on creative writing responses to memories. The participants had been asked to bring in objects or pictures from their childhood and write a poem or a short piece of prose on what the images meant to them. One woman wrote a poem from the point of view of a peacock feather follow‐ ing on from her memories of peacocks roaming the streets of her home town during one summer in her childhood. She remarked that although she had never forgotten about the peacocks concentrating specifically on them had made her feel quite nostalgic and connect‐ ed to her past. Moving to another country can mean that all your childhood memories are disconnected to the culture you are now living in. By concentrating on reflecting on these memories the participants were able to feel a sense of empowerment and affirmation of their life histories in their new cultural environment. Inspired by the visit to Octavia Hill on a previous session the participants created English Heritage Blue Plaques but instead of being dedicated to famous people the plaques were dedicated to people that had helped the participants on their own journey to settle in the UK. By reimagining this historically British icon the participants were given the opportunity, in some small way, to not only become part of the collective aesthetic heritage of the host country but to transform it into something personal thus empowering them to see new possibilities for themselves. Elsewhere, the participants wrote haikus inspired by their surroundings with an emphasis on weather and seasonal changes. This simple three line poem (comprising traditionally a line of 5 syllables, followed by 7 syllables and ending with 5 syllables) is a concise and simple way of recording a sense of place and the emotions this conjures. Although the syllable count was challenging to some of the participants for oth‐ ers it offered an opportunity to reflect in a concise way how they felt about their cultural surroundings. One participant remarked that
“I never thought I could write a poem but I did it!”
In the final sessions the participants had a chance to finish off their stories and poems for their journals. It had also, by this point in the course, been decided that some of the arts works and poetry would be collected in a short publication designed by one of the artists entitled ‘A Better Life’. The participants were very excited at the prospect and were keen to feed into plans for the publication. The course had been very popular with the partici‐ pants and, if funding had been available, they would have liked to continue.
Cultural Celebration The final session involved a cultural celebration and showcasing of the art works. Members of the partnership organisation attended and participants and the artist facilitators bought in traditional food such as jelly-cake and beetroot soup. One participant said “I have enjoyed attending this course it has made my life happier!” Another said “Art is not just for the priv‐ ileged, it’s for the people.” Result The ‘A Better Life’ workshops garnered many interesting and positive outcomes. Many of the participants had had limited exposure to creative arts before in their lives, which was reflected early on in a comment from one of the participants as thus: “I think art is for my children and school. Not me.” However, despite these perceptions the group all participat‐ ed in all of the activities. Not long into the workshops it became clear that the participants valued, not only the opportunity to work together but, the space to talk openly about how they felt about moving to Wisbech. Many had left family and friends to come to the UK to achieve ‘a better life’ but since arriving were only now processing how hard it had been to adapt. However, many reported that being separated from their usual cultural environments had impacted on their own self-perception. For example one of the participants, Ausra, had sung as a semi-professional singer in Lithuania but had been unable to find an appropriate entry point for this past-time in Wisbech. However, towards the end of the workshops she explained that she had found a local group to start singing with. Although the creative activi‐ ties within the ‘A Better Life’ workshops were not linked to performance, it may have been that valorising art within her routine had initiated the motivation in the flexibility of identity needed to find this first entry point. During the session where the participants wrote Haiku many had remarked on how they hadn’t realised how much they missed the seasonal changes of their home countries. One participant wrote a longer piece about a snowman using snow as a metaphor for the expe‐ rience of a migrant with the following lines
“I wonder if I’ll be here all my life, I hear that snow can melt.”
The group of participants we worked with as part of the ‘A Better Life’ workshops engaged with all of the creative activities on offer. Indeed, as previously mentioned, although many of the participants had not had access to arts activity before they all expressed an interest in continuing the meet as a group, on her experience of coming to the workshops one par‐ ticipant said,
“I wake up on Monday and my life is full of colours.”
One of the participants, Ausra travelled from her home town of Venta in Lithuania to Wis‐ bech in Cambridgeshire, UK to join her husband. Soon after arriving she got a labouring job in the agricultural industry which attracts thousands of Eastern European migrants to Wisbech each year. However, when her employer found out she was four months pregnant she lost her job. She returned to Lithuania whilst her husband stayed in the UK. However, as the financial climate in Lithuania became steadily worse it became harder to find work. 114
“I couldn’t stay and I had to move and so I started to think of England again and my decision to return to Wisbech in 2009 was made.”
Ausra describes her initial culture shock as stronger than she had imagined it would be. She was surprised at the differences in the way people socialised and felt that there was less emphasis on family activity and more revolved around visiting pubs and restaurants. She was also shocked by the different food available to her at the local supermarkets. A big breakthrough was discovering local Polish shops where she could buy familiar ingredients. By shopping at the local Polish shop she learnt about Lithuanian shops in the area. She was also put in touch with Daina Zagurskiene, the family worker at Wisbech South Children’s Centre, who told her about the Momentum Arts Ariadne pilot workshops. Ausra attended all of the pilots that took place over the 12 weeks. By focussing on explor‐ ing the idea of ‘What is Home?’ to stimulate creative activities and on-going dialogue Ausra reflected that “When I take the train away, inside I feel that something is missing. Then I see that it is Wisbech that I miss now and Wisbech is my home.” Over the course of the workshops it became apparent that moving to another country had been a difficult experience for many of the participants. In her home town of Venta, in Lithuania, Ausra had worked as a professional singer at weddings and events but without these connections in her new home, where there is no arts centre or cultural hub, had not been able to access the same kind of opportunities. Ausra enjoyed the arts activity for what they were but also felt empowered by taking part, allowing her to express her creativity and re-connect with the elements of her identity in Lithuania as opposed to her new life in the UK which had revolved largely around casual manual labour and looking after her child.
The question of ‘What is home?’ was used throughout the pilot as stimuli for the creative activities. Ausra made her own model interpretation of what home meant to her.
“Wisbech is my home, the harbour is my favourite place to think, in Lithuania I used to live near the sea and would wake up and see the sea from my window.”
Elsewhere, Ausra spoke of her surprise at the acculturation process she had undergone since moving to Wisbech and the consequent new cultural associations she had formed. She said,
“I visited my father in Lithuania and watched a big football match of the Champions League. The game was between England and Lithuania and my son was shouting «England! England!»” Ausra feels at home in Wisbech and she sees her future here in the UK. Since attending the Ariadne pilot Ausra has found another artistic entry point and joined a local opera society. She said that, these days, she feels like “I can do anything.” Another of the participants Rasa moved from Vilnilis in Lithuania to Wisbech in Cambridge‐ shire, UK in 2008. Her parents had moved two years previously; the decision to join them was hastened by the worsening economic climate in Lithuania. She found it hard to adjust to her new cultural environment and recalls how she missed her friends in Lithuania terri‐
bly. Her adjustment was also hampered by not speaking English. She enrolled on an evening class to learn English and also worked in a casual job within the food industry whilst her parents looked after her child. She explained that it was hard to work in a factory packing vegetables when back in Lithuania she had undertaken a more skilled occupation. Rasa attended the ‘A Better Life’ pilot where she took part in all of the arts activities. Rasa remarked that it was interesting to be asked how you felt about your environ‐ ment and that it had made her reflect on the past years she had spent in Wisbech. She was especially interested in creating her own self-portrait and expressed that it was good to have time for “no work, just to draw.” Rasa had found moving to the UK had initiated a loss of confidence. The culture shock she felt in her new environment meant she found it difficult to focus on the usual things that made her happy. She described how she had “cried a lot.” The fact that she had a small child to look after helped her keep on an even keel,
“I had a responsibility to my child and my family and that was my motivation to keep my spirits up.”
Many of the women said that their children’s integration into the larger community via their school had been the catalyst for them to navigate local services and communities. Indeed, Krause (1978) observed that children can play a vital role in the settlement of immigrant women. Rasa entered the adjustment phase by focussing on the routine of taking her child to school and attending her weekly evening class. But even as her English skills improved, and she found it easier to integrate, she said that she had felt different – in Lithuania she had a broad social circle of people she had grown up with. She said that she felt that this feeling of security would never be replicated in Wisbech. But by attending the pilot, and talking about her experiences with the other participants, she felt like she had found another com‐ munity, she said,
“You don’t realise when you walk past someone in the street what they have been through to get here.”
Rasa visited the Octavia Hill Museum; like many of the participants, it was the first time she had been inside. The visit inspired Rasa to create a blue plaque which she dedicated to her mother who had travelled to Wisbech 7 years previously. Rasa explained that it was valuable to have time designated to reflect on her journey and share her story with the other par‐ ticipants and that it was only now, looking back, that she realised how much both her and her parents had achieved. It seemed that no one had ever asked her what she felt about her journey, the leaving behind of her friends, her hometown, in search of ‘a better life.’ At another session Rasa created a self-portrait. Using col‐ lage and illustration the portrait represented aspects of the person key to their cultural identity. Rasa explained that this was a new way of looking at a self-portrait and some‐ thing she had not done before. Although she had done a small amount of art at school she had always thought that she couldn’t draw. By giving the participant’s freedom to represent themselves in a very personal and unique way the emphasis to create a perfect picture was diverted to‐ 116
wards creating something that was a representation of on their emotional self and how they felt at this precise moment in time. One of the sessions revolved around the creation of poems using an object of sentimental value that the participants had bought in. Rasa used a wooden whistle, given to her by her father, as a starting point to fuse memories of her life in Lithuania with reflections on her current surroundings. It is fair to say that Rasa has achieved a certain amount of mastery within her new life. Look‐ ing for entry points within her new cultural environment led her to join a singing group at the Rosmini Centre. Rasa was very positive with regards to the attendance at the Ariadne pilot and described her experience as thus:
“In my childhood I always feel safety and I always enjoy it and enjoy the best feeling. And here, in this course, I found this again, this feeling. When I changed my life I somehow lost this feeling and with this course I have somehow found it again.”
The second Momentum Arts Ariadne pilot workshop ‘Arts and Language’ was devised and delivered by Momentum Arts together with artist facilitators, Hilary Cox and Dan Dono‐ van, in partnership with Rosmini Centre. The primary objectives of the workshops were to initiate a safe creative space where participants could use creative art to explore feelings of culture shock, loss and anxiety associated with cultural adaptation. We also consulted with partners and potential participants who expressed an interest in improving their English language skills in a relaxing and creative environment. Here we explain the pedagogical objectives, the methodologies we used, the activities that took place and the outcomes, both creative and emotional, as well the learnings we have taken away from the project and disseminated amongst our partners. When was it and who did it? The workshops took place between March and May of 2012 comprising of 12 x 2.5 hour sessions. Our partners at the Rosmini Centre have contact with groups of Eastern Euro‐ pean migrants affiliated with the Rosmini Centre which remit is to support recent migrants arriving in Wisbech, north Cambridgeshire. We recruited via the Rosmini Centre and the workshops took place there. However, unlike the first Momentum Arts pilot workshop where we worked with a group of Eastern European women, this group comprised a mix‐ ture of men and women many of whom were currently unemployed and seeing employ‐ ment. These demands on their time impacted on their availability to attend all sessions of the pilot and although there was a hard-core of 8 participants who attended most of the sessions this second pilot, at times, acted as a ‘drop-in’ for many of the participants.
Pedagogical Objectives The pedagogical objective was to guide and encourage the participants to use their current cultural surroundings as stimuli to create pieces of art. By taking part in an array of creative activities the participants would be offered space to reflect on, and respond creatively to, feelings of culture shock, and the feelings of loss and anxiety associated with adapting to a new cultural environment. We wanted to initiate, via participation in creative arts activities, a sharing of life stories and cultural experiences. We also wanted to incorporate English language teaching into the format of the workshops. However, the primary emphasis of the workshops would be on the facilitation of creative activities. The concrete outcomes were planned as a selection of art works, pieces of creative writing and reflective journals. The
participants would also take part in qualitative research, incorporating questionnaires and interviews, designed to measure changes in their personal outlook.
Methodologies Used Momentum arts use experiential learning to encourage active participation in all aspects of the workshops. In a similar way to the first Ariadne pilot we would be using elements of re‐ lational art theory in order to create arts works that were influenced by the relationship to the participant’s environment. Within the workshop we wanted to create an environment that encouraged a dialogue where the participants reflected on their relationship with their new cultural surroundings and communicated how it felt to the others in the group.
Content From the outset of the workshops we realized that this pilot would be vastly different from the first Momentum Arts pilot. One of the main challenges was that although much of the group had good levels of English there were many who were struggling to understand instructions from the artists. The participants hailed from Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal and although we had translators it meant that at each stage it was necessary for dialogue to be translated in five different languages. Although it meant that the group could be kept informed throughout the workshops it did hin‐ der the flow of the activities and meant that the group were less likely to bond. Indeed, many of the group spent their time with others from their home countries and when attempts were made for the group to work together in pairs (with someone they hadn’t previously worked with) the problem of communication surfaced again. Moreover, we had anticipat‐ ed that the group would work on collective art pieces together whilst talking about their experiences of moving to Wisbech. However, the participants with more limited levels of English, although keen to work on the art pieces, did not feel compelled to join in so much with the group discussions. The first two sessions were opportunities for the participants to get to know each other. Very few of them had met before and with four different languages being spoken it was im‐ portant to find accessible and non-threatening ways of encouraging the group to bond. The first activity entitled ‘Strike a Pose’ involved the group standing in the circle and, in turns, announcing their name at the same time as striking some sort of pose. This might mean someone said their name at the same time as doing a star-jump or said their name whilst giving the group the ‘thumbs up’. The rest of the group would then repeat the person’s name in unison and copy the pose they had created. This warm up game worked very well as it was simple to follow and its light heartedness meant that the participants were soon laughing thus helping to break to ice. The next activity involved the use of a resource called Feel‐ ing Photos. This time each participant would pick one of the photos that said something to them about how they felt about their cultural environment. This worked extremely well and it soon transpired that many people in the group had had similar thoughts or experiences when arriving in Wisbech. This shared sense of collectivism helped the group to bond and although the language barriers threw up 118
hurdles at every stage it felt very much that the group felt comfortable and relaxed with each other. One of the next sessions focussed on creating portraits of each other whilst finding out about personal links to other parts of the world. This worked in a similar way to how it had done in the ‘A Better Life’ pilot; the participants used the activity as a way of getting to know the other participant but with the activity of drawing as a distraction from simply asking questions. One of the sessions found the participants exploring the idea of maps and journeys. Start‐ ing with a large map of Europe the participants gathered around and each person stuck a coloured dot on the map to show where they came from. The participants talked about their personal journeys to Wisbech. They spoke about where they lived now, the places they liked the best and the emotions you go through when finding yourself in a new envi‐ ronment. Although language limitations meant the dialogue did not flow at all time the visual aids meant participants could point and draw to demonstrate their points. In another exercise the participants mapped their emotional journey by creating a large group painting. Each participant used different colours and marks to represent their journey within Wisbech and where they would like be in the future. The activity initiated a group conversation about how they felt about where they were living, and the steps they needed to take to achieve their ambitions. One participant said,
“I feel like Wisbech is a desert. Everything is the same. Everyday this place.”
In comparison to the first pilot the participants on the ‘Arts and Language’ pilot had less positive experiences of mi‐ grating to Wisbech. A common complaint was that back in the home countries they had once had good jobs and were valued as employees. However, in Wisbech many of them were employed by agencies to work in factories. Although, they said that they were pleased to have the opportunity to earn more money sometimes the long hours and apparent lack of employment rights got them down. However, it was clear that they enjoyed focussing on the creative activities and one participant said,
“When we are here I feel like calm, harmony. I like here.” One of the participants who attended all of the sessions was Velna who migrated from Latvia in Eastern Europe to Wisbech to join her partner in March 2011. Her partner was working in a factory in Wisbech having left Latvia due to the high levels of unemployment. Having left a small rural village in Latvia to live in the market town of Wisbech, Velna had found the transition hard. Many migrants leave their home towns to ‘follow’ their partners abroad and this can initiate a loss of confidence; if the partner they have moved to be with is engaged in a new job it may be that they are left feeling that they have sacrificed a degree of autonomy but have still no entry point by which to find their own empowerment. Another problem for Velna was the language barrier; although Velna started learning English prior to her arrival in Wisbech she found it hard to communicate well enough to find work. She was happy to be with her partner again but missed her friends and family terribly. For many, not working and being on your own all day can lead to a loss of confidence; Velna realised that the sooner she could get used to her new environment the easier it would 119
become for her. The art activities were designed to explore feelings of culture shock and cultural identity using questions such as ‘What is home?’ as a starting point to look at how they felt about moving to Wisbech. The biggest culture shock for Velna was the differences in the food. She said that the bread was the strangest thing to get used to. But there were other things Velna missed about the culture of Latvia. She described how she used to sit by the fire in the evenings and how she would go swimming in the lakes local to her home. She explained how the culture in Wisbech is so different, in her home town they used to go as a family to pick mushrooms in the woods but,
“if you did that here people would think you are crazy! In Wisbech, everyone goes to the pub.”
Elsewhere she described how Easter is a big family event in Latvia with parades involving the whole community but in Wisbech there was nothing; no big parade just chocolate East‐ er eggs. Although Velna is currently looking after her child whilst her partner works, becoming em‐ ployed in some casual work helped her to feel part of the community and meet other people recently moved to Wisbech from Latvia. It also helped her to regain some personal autonomy and soon her confidence levels began to increase. However, although Velna was happy and grateful to have found work she found the agency system challenging,
“Sometimes they say you have work but when you get there – nothing.” However, she continued, “but it is our choice; we can earn more here and it is good.”
Velna also described how attending the Momentum Arts Ariadne ‘Arts and Language’ course had helped her transition. She described how it had been good to come each week; to have her own time and to “try new things.” Velna had had little experience of the arts before attending the pilot and felt that her view on the power of the arts to make her feel better had changed since taking part, she said the following, “Here is good. To draw is good.”
In conclusion It would seem that the ‘A Better Life’ and ‘Arts and Language’ pilots were both interest‐ ing and vastly different experiences for both participants and Momentum Arts alike. The arts activities were varied and initiated differing responses in all of the participants. Many participants had had not experience in adulthood of taking part in creative activities but commented that they had enjoyed them and that they would like to do more. Although the language differences had caused challenges in the second pilot all participants had had a go at all activities on offer. One of the most rewarding aspects of the pilots for Momentum Arts was that the length of the engagement and the research element of the project meant that we were given opportunity to learn about the different methodologies employed by our European peers and, with participatory arts projects often driven by pressure of achieving participant numbers, it was valuable to be given resources to examine the experiences of our participants in depth.
2.7. “HOME MADE” - COMMUNITY REPORTING TROUGH CREATIVE MEDIA Laszló Fodor, Judit Koppány, Veronika Szabó, Artemisszió Foundation
SOME INFO ON THE PILOT: What was its name? Creative Media Who was it proposed by (which partner)? Artemisszio When did it take place? 10/2011-12/2011 What was the main art branch (if there was one)? Creative media (film and animation)
Abstract The aim of the following case study is to present creative media workshops on the adap‐ tation of migrant participants and also assess its impact. Workshops were a thirty hours long video training for 10-15 migrants and asylum seekers. The case study summarizes the context and methodology of the workshop, documents the process, evaluates the devel‐ opment of the adaptation process both on the group and the individual level and provides recommendations for further creative media trainings.
Methodology The methodology of the workshop based on visual communication using manual and digital techniques as well. The aim was to reach a universal approach through visual language, mix‐ ing true human stories and playful, humorous elements. The final product of the project is a film etude a kind of video blog15. The participants worked out and realized the scenario in practice but editing was managed by the facilitators of the group because of lack of time. The video public presentation was on 16th of December in 2011 in the venue of Ariadne project. In the trainings was involved the methodology of another recent project called Isabel. This project tries to utilize the possibilities of social media for empowering socially disadvantaged members of the society. The two approaches worked in harmony maybe because both are communication-orient‐ ed since both projects aim the natural human need of self-expression. The trainers tried to help the participants to capture a consciously formulated message for presenting it the host society. Work was going on in a peaceful and safe environment but it needed some‐ times serious effort for the participants. Every‐ one was a member of a small group and every group member was a special responsibility to strenghten the personal and cultural ties.
(http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=K7r1ZQx‐ Jav4&feature=relmfu)
Theoretical background The theoretical background of the case study was set out in the ARIADNE project; a set of indicators were defined to break down the process of adaptation. These were used as the ‘grid’ against which the processes of individual adaptation could be measured: • Handling the many discontinuities simultaneously, overcoming the grief following the loss‐ es. • Accommodation to otherness, difference: to new behaviours, thoughts, people, context (ecological, cultural, emotional, social). • Handling emotions of anxiety, stress and presence of uncertainty. • Creation of and sustaining bonds and social networks in the new context • Reconciliation of one’s personal history in the new context, contextualisation of one’s life project • Enhanced feeling of autonomy: self-determination and sense of control • Self-esteem • Well-being • Pleasure: experiencing positive emotions • Engagement / involvement • Sense of meaning in one’s life • Attitude towards host country and host nationals Different research methods were used. Pre-interviews were conducted with all partici‐ pants so that the life stories and the context of participants can be thoroughly documented. Field notes of the separate sessions were also written by the two trainers and the research team. An evaluation meeting was used at the end of the workshop, where participants were briefed using interactive methods. Last, post-interviews were conducted with two selected participants.
Participants The background of the participants varied greatly. As for their legal status, there were two third-country nationals and eight refugees. They came from different countries: most of them from Afghanistan, but there were also participants from Iran, Georgia, Indonesia and Nigeria. They had different levels of education, ranging from a couple of years of primary to university education. Approximately half of the group spoke one of the intermediary language of the workshop (English or Hungarian) besides their native tongue. Their profes‐ sional background was also different: some used to work as physical labourers, others used to have a white collar job. At the start of the workshop, however, most of them were un‐ employed. It is also important to note that except for two persons, all of the refugees lived in the reception centre in Bicske, which does isolate them. If we look at the correspondenc‐ es between these factors, it can be stated that approximately half of the participants were disadvantaged in multiple ways, thus, it was a fairly vulnerable group. Besides the migrant participants, there were four Hungarian participants, who came regularly to the sessions16. 16
One of them helped with the Russian transla‐ tion, another one with the documentation of the workshop, and two others had no special role.
The sessions and their pedagogical aim Having outlined the methodological and theoretical context of the workshop, the comâ€? position of participants, it is now time to move onto the description and analysis of each session in order to draw out specific conclusions that are either pertinent to the main aim of the workshop, that is to foster adaptation, or refer to some more mundane, yet, at times, equally important organizational questions.
Session 1, 2, 3 etc/Date
Topic/Aim of the session
Type of Session / Discus- Outcomes/ what will be sion/Planning Activities achieved?
Workshop 1 13 October
Presentation of the workshop Ice breaker activities Knowing each other and the Learning the main elements Trust building workshop, learning the baof the film language Planning and sharing ideas sics of film, taking the first Introduction how to use the shots, trust building. video techniques
Workshop 2 19 October
Create a drafted script, taking the first video contents Using the language of film, and discuss them. Sharing sharing ideas on personal ideas on personal objects, objects, sharing habits. sharing habits. Group building.
Workshop 3 2 November
Workshop 4 9 November
Workshop 5 17 November
Workshop 6 2 December
Planning the film. Taking the first shots.
Learning how to use drawings on film, sharing personal stories and transforming into a bit abstract films.
Developing the script, using drawings on film, explain them meanings, telling stories about their life and fears and desires of a migrant and discussing it.
Creating the first self made videos, reflecting on oneâ€™s personal stories and how to visualize and recontextualize them.
Learning how to use stop motion and green box techniques, working in groups with people that somebody not worked a lot.
Developing the script, cre- Gathering confidence on ating backgrounds, making making videos, exploring interviews about experienc- the experiences on cultural es in Hungary and cultural shocks. shocks.
Making titles, reflecting on Developing the script, using Create profiles, identifying everything what we did till stop motion techniques. themselves, discussing simnow,, socialising. ilarities and differences. Using video editing softEditing the video, evalua- ware. Evaluate trough the Create a whole story of mition. film, interviewing each othgrants life er about the whole process.
Case study 1 – Aref, 26 years old, Iranian Aref’s main motivation was to learn about film techniques. Already in Iran he was involved in an amateur film production and he made another movie in Budapest. As for his back‐ ground, he arrived to Hungary as a student, but after a year, due to political reasons he applied to be a refugee. He is a young man, who is well-educated, outgoing and passionate about philosophy and politics. As to his family background, he comes from a well-educated family with a rather high social standing. Their family library was full of books on philosophy, literature, history. It is through his family, that he became acquainted with philosophers and this became his passion later on. Unfortunately, due to the political situation in Iran, he could not study philosophy so this motivated him to leave the country. He chose to come specifically to Hungary, and already, at the time of arrival, he had sound knowledge about the history of the country and was eager to learn more about the current affairs. His thirst to learn makes him study on its own in his free time, for instance, about Hungarian composers. He has a wide network of friends and a rather stable financial situation. Since he arrived as a student and along with two close Iranian friends, this gave him the possibility to become part of a network quite easily. Even though, as he explained in the pre-interview, among his friends, there were rather few Hungarians. He reasoned that without speaking Hungarian fluently it was harder to establish contacts. When reflecting on the experience of being in a foreign country with new customs, new routines and new behaviours to get used to, he rather saw it as an experience of emancipa‐ tion. The main issue being that as opposed to Iran, in Hungary there is no political and cul‐ tural repression; one is able to express him or herself freely. Of course, he mentioned some things that were hard to get used, such as the inefficiency of the Hungarian postal system or some difficulties such as finding one’s way in the Hungarian bureaucracy as a foreigner. However, all in all, he evaluated his experience in Hungary as a positive one. At the time of the start of the workshop, his career was in transition, he was in the process of switching between university studies (from literature to philosophy), however, the con‐ crete plans were not set out yet. Additionally, there was a possibility of taking advantage of his professional experience in the IT sector, even though this was not his preferred choice. This uncertainty was also linked to the transition in legal procedure. His legislative process went in parallel with the creative media workshop, and it was only evaluated in a positive way towards the ends of the workshop. If we evaluate these dimensions with the indicators of adaptation set out in the Ariadne pro‐ ject, it can be stated that Aref – already at the start of the creative media workshop – was a ‘well-adapted’ person. It is true that he was forced to leave his family and the familiar home environment behind. However, he had time to prepare himself and as a university student, he became part of an existing network. There was also the informal support from the two close friends he came with. This allowed him to attain a wide social network in a short pe‐ riod of time. Of course, this was supported by his personality and strong motivation; he is a curious and outgoing person, interested in finding out about people and things around him. Also it is important to stress that in his case being in a new country was equated with posi‐ tive things, adaptation to Otherness in this sense, was experienced more as self-liberation. His main difficulties could be attributed to the change in his legal status, which also put him in the position that his career decisions had to be postponed to a later point time. During the workshop, he quickly assumed a central position. Logically, as he had the key role of the translator in the Farsi-Hungarian group. This was further strengthened by his ability to act as a coordinator of ideas within the group. From the very beginning, he man‐ aged to foster an inclusive and democratic atmosphere and skillfully involved everyone in 124
the working process. In the post-interview, he reflected on the importance of teamwork as one of the most important, personal learning experiences: “I think I was in the hardest sit‐ uation, if you work in a team in your native language or if everything is planned… but here, it was people coming from different countries. It made it hard, but if you pass this situation, you can pass anything.” These skills can surely be used in other social interactions. It may be stated that film-making – which is a team process, and, hence requires flexibility and the ability to change perspectives- is by default a method to develop adaptation skills. His contributions to the common movie signalled that he was open to share his personal difficulties, but oftentimes he stood a bit apart from the group, as he set a lighter, more playful and ironic tone. These contributions were welcomed by the team; they contributed to a more relaxed group atmosphere. Being professionally motivated to join the workshop, he enjoyed learning new techniques, and as he stressed in the evaluation interview, he con‐ sidered the acquisition of new techniques as the most important benefit for him. This was, however, also strongly linked to the team:
“some of the techniques, I was lazy to study on my own, in the group, it was more fun.”
At the same time, he welcomed the opportunity to share and contrast experiences be‐ tween migrant participants in the group. As he explained:
“If you are an immigrant or a foreigner, usually the circle that you follow is from your country, for instance, I am from Iran and I try to find people from Iran, but then you may find friends or see people that come from different situations and different cultures, and you may find that some of the integration problems such as language, difference of the cultures are more general and you can deal with it more generally… This could support you, it could give you more confidence, that it is not something that happens to you, it can happen to the other people as well.” Working in a team, acquiring new skills, sharing the expe‐ rience of being a foreigner in Hungary were then the most important learning points for Aref. On top of this, through the workshop, he had the opportunity to become involved in social movements in Hungary as one of the organizers of the Ariadne workshop is an activist herself. As Aref ex‐ plained this was, recently, the most important change in his life. This allowed him to find people who were equally en‐ gaged in social issues, with whom long-term relationships can be established. This showed that involving locals into activities that primarily target migrants could be an efficient forum for establishing tighter social networks if the shared interests are strong enough to sustain these bonds beyond the course. As he explained he enjoyed the teamwork very much with other migrant par‐ ticipants, however, these contacts will not be sustained beyond the course due to personal difference.
Case study 2 – Mashal, 32 years, Afghanistan Mashal was the person with an outstanding motivation to attend the workshop due to her professional background. In Afghanistan, she worked as a photo reporter for 4 years and this was a very strong part of her identity. Being a working woman in Afghanistan was imbued with negative connotations, and Mashal had to fight the prejudices of her close relatives and the 125
general community alike. Despite all these hardships, she loved her job. Unfortunately, she was more and more ostracized and the situation became unbearable at one point. She had to flee the country with two of her children leaving three other ones behind. The journey to Hungary was very long, it took them almost a year to arrive. Before that, she did not even hear about the country, so she could not prepare herself in any way. The months that followed were rather painful as well, while waiting for the legal process, her days were characterized by the dull rou‐ tine of going back and forth between her room and the canteen in the reception center in De‐ brecen. The situation was worsened by the fact that her son could not attend the local school. Receiving the refugee status was the most important event during her stay in Hungary, as she explained in the pre-interview. This meant that her legal status was secured and she also had to move from Debrecen to the pre-integration camp in Bicske. Her son now could attend school, and she started learning Hungarian, as well. However, she was very dissatis‐ fied with Hungarian classes and felt that these would not prepare her for the life after the pre-integration camp. Also she explained that beyond the Hungarian classroom she did not interact with any on the residents. Despite all these, she had a rather positive outlook on life. Being in Hungary meant freedom and security for her, she hoped to be able to bring her family to Hungary, and foresaw a career in photojournalism in the future. In this latter matter, however, she did not take any concrete steps. At the start, the situation of Mashal was precarious in many respects. Her social network was very weak; she did not have strong ties either in her own ethnic group or beyond that. She was still in contact with her family in Afghanistan, but to process to bring them to Hungary seemed very long. Although she had a generally positive image about Hungary, the institutional context was unfavourable. The integration services provided in the camp did not seem sufficient enough to smoothen the transition from the camp to the outside world. Her self-esteem and self-determination based on her love for her profession were the basis on which her optimism lie, but it was questionable if she could build a new career upon her previous experience in the new country. Throughout the workshop it could be seen that she enjoyed being in contact with the camera, she was an engaged and active participants. She was proud to assert her professional background; many of her statements revolved around the importance of me‐ dia. However, she commented that she would have liked more time to deepen her knowledge, as she explained time was too short to learn many new things. Basically, editing was a novel experience for her, but there was no time to practice enough. Nonetheless, the workshop was an opportunity for her to regain her sense of professional identity strengthening her self-esteem, goal-orientation and autono‐ my. The fact that she managed to participate throughout the whole process, even though she was the only Afghan woman and a single mother who had to carry her small baby along, made her exceptionally proud. In the evaluation interview, she reflected on the hardship of having to deal with the process of family reunification. She remarked that the sessions were an opportunity for her to for‐ get about her worries. Linked to this, when the group was sharing stories about everyday difficulties, it was comforting for her to see that she is not the only one and this made her feel stronger. She also welcomed to talk about her country of origin as she asserted to be a proud Afghan. This shows that giving the possibility to valorise one’s culture of origin can be an important aspect of raising one’s self-esteem.
When looking at her position in the group, there is certain ambivalence. As she explained at times she felt she could not share all her thoughts and establish a close relationship with the Afghan men who were in her group as it would not have been culturally appropriate. However, if we look at the film material, it can be observed that she was one of the central figures – in many films, she played the role of the protagonist. Nonetheless, in the evalu‐ ation interview, she pointed to importance of having a broader social network due to the workshop that can be beneficial to her in the future. Linked to this, she also highlighted the importance of establishing contacts with Hungarian people (referring to the organizers), and feeling welcomed and supported by them, this had a direct impact on her well-being.
Conclusion Having looked at each session, it is time to analyse the workshop from a more holistic per‐ spective and to draw out general conclusions and recommendations for the future. To start with the indicators of adaptation set out in the ARIADNE project, the development of certain indicators may be easily traced throughout the whole process. These include self-esteem, pleasure, well-being, engagement and the tightening of social networks. It is clear that these have improved for the whole group. Participants, who at the beginning were more observant, than active members, slowly started taking on different tasks. These may have been overwhelmingly technical in nature (e.g. being the camera‐ man) at the start, but as they gained more and more independence, their self-esteem also rose and their whole way of being became more relaxed and they loosened up in other social interactions, as well. Additionally, through the continuous need for teamwork, the ties among participants were also quickly strengthened. By the third, fourth session, par‐ ticipants viewed themselves as a cohesive group; they greeted each other as colleagues. The importance of the group was also highlighted by the participants in the final evaluation meeting; this was the benefit they mentioned most times. As for the indicators of handling loss, accommodation to otherness, re-contextualization of one’s life and increased sense of autonomy, issues related to these indicators also appeared in the individual statements and group discussions. As it was highlighted above, participants were given the room to creatively represent their backgrounds, their current realities and future dreams. When looking at these, there seems to be a set pattern, those, whose sit‐ uation was more precarious, used the opportunity to reflect on concrete losses and gains; those, who seemed more established, took it as a creative exercise, often formulating more theoretical and philosophical statements. In other words, those participants, whose adap‐ tation was ‘less advanced’ formulated statements that did were closely linked to the above indicators. Nonetheless, the specific development of these competences is harder to trace on in individual level. Especially, the borders between future dreams and future realities seemed to be blurred. This is no surprise given the fact that both the institutional and in‐ formal support structures were weak in most participants’ lives. In addition, the facilitators consciously chose to leave the themes open and let the participants freely move back and forth between these two ends. Thus, it was up to each individual participant to reflect on his or her standing and contrast it with the experiences of other participants. Thus, the workshop cannot claim that it helped participants fully overcome these insecu‐ rities; nonetheless, the active engagement in the creative processes provided, on the one hand, an opportunity to formulate and express these negative feelings, and recognize the parallels between the experiences of different participants. On the other hand, the work‐ shop also provided the possibility to forget about these everyday worries, when more joyful activities we realized. Another important fact was the public display of the film, which can 127
be seen as the highlight of the sessions. The film was screened in front of 80 viewers on December 16, 2011, and participants had the chance to publicly comment on their experi‐ ences, and most importantly, they were given an important and socially valued role. As for the organizational matters, these have been described in detail above and now they will be shortly recapped primarily to highlight future recommendations. The need for teaching a variety of technical representations has been emphasized to enable more crea‐ tivity in self-expression. It is suggested that at the beginning of the workshop participants are taught several concrete methods, which they can later combine and experiment with independently. Closely linked to this, is the provision of sufficient technical equipment so that there is a possibility for establishing rotating work stations that ensures the sufficient engagement of all participants. Otherwise, it is impossible to prevent the occasional ‘inac‐ tive gaps’. As for the motivation of participants, it is without doubt that the definition of the objectives needs to be more thorough so that misunderstandings can be avoided later on. Retrospectively, some buzzwords such as common creation, community, self-expression should have been more heavily used during the recruitment and these would have been needed to be stressed even more on the first face-to-face encounter. The duration of the workshop could also be raised; 30 hours seem like the bare minimum. Last but not least, it may be suggested that the formal inclusion of day-care may be important to attract more female participants.
2.8. HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS Lynne Bebb
SOME INFO ON THE PILOT: What was its name? Home is Where the Heart is Who was it proposed by (which partner)? Tan Dance When did it take place? July 2011 What was the main art branch (if there was one)? Contemporary Dance
Abstract An intergenerational contemporary dance project is described that was the first pilot to take place as part of the Ariadne programme to examine intercultural adaptation through the arts. Home is Where the Heart is was devised by TAN Dance to answer the Ariadne brief bringing together over fifty participants including ten from the target migrant/refugee/ asylum seekers community. The underlying pedagogy is described as being grounded in the principles and methodologies of inclusive dance practice. The project and its achievements are described and it is claimed that inclusive dance is a particularly effective art form for the promotion of intercultural understanding and adaptation.
Pedagogy The aim of the project was to capitalize on the power of the arts and in particular, inclusive dance to promote socio-cultural adaptation and psychological adjustment. The project was predicated on the premise that community participation in the arts gener‐ ates social capital that can have a positive impact on social objectives, in this case, intercul‐ tural adaptation. Further, that there are benefits for all the stakeholders including; for the individual, self belief, self knowledge, self worth, motivation, confidence, a sense of achieve‐ ment and a chance to present ones self in a very positive light; for the group, friendship, tolerance, mutual understanding and respect. The project was practice based and informed by sound and well tried models for com‐ munity arts initiatives, in particular inclusive and intergenerational dance practice, where a supportive, secure and safe creative environment allows for, diverse abilities, acceptance, tolerance, mutual respect, empathy, collaboration, professionalism, challenge and achieve‐ ment. The belief is that inclusive dance practice can be particularly effective in promoting intercultural adaptation.
The project Home Is where the Heart is was an inclusive intergenerational dance project spread over six consecutive days. It was the first pilot to take place as part of the Ariadne programme to examine intercultural adaptation through the arts and was devised by TAN Dance, a com‐ munity dance organisation based in Neath Port Talbot in South Wales. The participants worked with choreographer Cecilia MacFarlane to devise a contemporary dance piece that was performed on the evenings of the last two days of the project in two 129
different venues. Cecilia Macfarlane is an experienced community dance practitioner and is highly regarded internationally as an exponent of integrated and intergenerational dance. Fifty-nine people took part, ranging in age from four to sixty four. Ten of the participants were migrants, refugees or asylum seekers over the age of eighteen and the Ariadne pilot was focused upon this group who were recruited through contact with organisations in‐ cluding; City and County of Swansea Asylum Seekers Support Service; Communities First; Swansea City of Sanctuary; The Brunswick Centre; Swansea Bay Asylum Seekers Support Group; African Community Centre, Swansea; Share Tawe; People and Places Project, Swansea; Digital Storytelling and Asylum Justice. There were three children from this group accompanying their parents. The rest of the participants were drawn from the host community who were recruited from the TAN Dance mailing list and on going contacts through TAN’s community work. The host population was made up of participants of various ages and some were from the group: NEET (not in education or employment training). Young people from the Barnardo’s charity and older people, as well as professional people who were retired, took part. Young and old alike were encouraged to support each other and demonstrate respect for others at all times. Some of the participants were experienced dancers or dance students, some had been involve in previous TAN Dance projects but there were a significant number including all of the migrant/refugee/asylum seekers who had never danced before. The theme of the project, Home is where the Heart Is, was carefully chosen and provid‐ ed a creative space in which all participants from both the host and the migrant/refugee/ asylum seeker communities could address notions of identity, home, family, love, friendship and belonging, primarily through contemporary dance but also through visual art, creative writing and music. Contemporary dance is an art form that has many advantages for promoting cultural ad‐ aptation. It is a physical activity that generates feelings of wellbeing that can dispel the neg‐ ative feelings caused by the isolation and loneliness of the migrant/refugee/asylum seeker. Appropriate physical contact breaks down barriers and promotes trust. Working towards a final performance bonds the participants as a group who rely on each other and who all share in the excitement of a successful outcome. Dance as a non-verbal art form can over‐ come language barriers A volunteer with a professional educational background and experience of working with Asylum Seekers stayed with the group of asylum seekers from the moment they arrived. She spent time communicating and working with them and sat with them at break and lunch times for the first 2 to 3 days until they became more confident. This relationship was maintained throughout the whole project. The Pilot took place in the theatre and rehearsal room of Swansea Metropolitan University with a performance at the university in the evening of the fourth day. On the sixth and final day a second performance took place in Neath College’s Arts Centre.
Methodology Each day session ran from 10. 00am to 4.00pm with an hour for lunch. The first day began with circle time when all the participants introduced themselves using movement and voice, led by the choreographer, Cecilia MacFarlane. She then introduced the theme, outlining her plans for the project and explaining how she proposed to work towards the final per‐ formance outcome. This was followed by some movement exercises that were designed to warm up the body in a non-challenging lighthearted manner. All participants were encouraged to take part 130
and to interpret the exercises to suit their own experiences and the capabilities of their own bodies. Cecilia maintains that even the blink of an eye can be considered as dance and encourages even the most reluctant, inexperienced or physically challenged individuals to take part. Short choreographed sequences were embedded into these warm up exercises that Cecilia explained would serve to link different parts of the project together for the final perfor‐ mance. The first day ended with a cool down session with movement, and time for everyone to reflect upon the day’s progress. All the participants were encouraged to say how they felt, what they had particularly liked and what had been difficult. This session established a forum in which all aspects of the project could be aired and examined in an open and sup‐ portive atmosphere that was greatly appreciated by all the participants.
Learning sequences and movement improvisation
The first day established a pattern for the following days and as the project developed the circle time sessions that began and ended each day grew in importance. It was during circle time that Cecilia drew all the separate strands together, gave notes and encouragement and outlined the tasks ahead. Participants were actively encouraged to contribute to the discussions and consequently a growing sense of ownership emerged. Their commitment to the project intensified and the diverse group coalesced around shared ambitions for the performances. One of the asylum seekers observed,
I had decided that I wasn’t going to dance in the two final performances before an audience but just go to the practices. However, as the days went by I felt committed to the group and did not want to let the rest of the dancers down. At the outset there were few agreed or set outcomes for the project but all stakeholders were made aware of the aims. Ideas emerged naturally and organically from within the whole group under the guidance of the choreographer. The main creative focus was on devising a contemporary dance performance of quality, rig‐ or and depth that would act as a vehicle for all the ideas and emotions that were explored throughout the project in response to the theme Home Is Where The Heart Is. The project was primarily a dance performance but participants were encouraged to contribute their skills. Music, creative writing and visual art provided by the participants played an important role and in the words of one of the migrants,
Every day was a day of growth, of learning, of being proud of one’s achievements. As talents were recognised each person taking part seemed to ‘come alive’. Selfdoubt disappeared.
Warm-up exercises – movement and visual art
The development of the artist content Visual Art The theme was initially explored through visual art. All individuals produced drawn rep‐ resentations of the theme ‘heart and home’ during drawing workshops. These workshops provided source material for costume and stage design. Selected images made during the workshops were printed onto costumes, used as back projections for the performances and on the publicity materials including posters and programs.
Drawing materials were available throughout the project
Drawing materials were provided everyday and the children from both the host and the mi‐ grant/refugee/asylum seekers groups made good use of these, making drawings and visual diaries. A visual journal was circulated throughout the project in which participants from both groups drew pictures and wrote, recording their feelings and responses to the project
The children made full use of the drawing materials
Dance Improvisation provided the main creative platform for devising the dance content. Images created during drawing workshops were used to prompt movement improvisation. Dance activities were undertaken by the participants working as individuals, in duets, in groups, and as whole cast ensembles exploring all the concepts and issues raised with regard to the theme. Dance skills were introduced during the warm up sessions and perfected as the piece evolved. Over the following days the improvisations where developed into choreographic sequences that were put together to establish a running order and create a coherent dance piece that was finalised, rehearsed and polished in preparation for the final performances. 132
Improvisation during the early stages
Finalising, rehearsing and pol ishing
Creative writing Throughout the project Cecilia encouraged the participants to make their own contribu‐ tions and individuals from both the host and the migrant/refugee/asylum seekers groups proffered pieces of creative writing. One of the migrants narrated excerpts from one of her stories that were used to link all the different performance elements together and she commented,
Both myself and my daughter are quite reserved in nature. We were soon made to feel welcome but also valid members of the program so shyness was forgotten! Sitting in a circle to introduce ourselves (on day one), I found I was the only person unable to dance (I have a damaged spine) I wasn’t left out though becoming note-taker, children’s book cover designer and make-shift poet in the written logbook made to mark the daily progress of the ‘team’. Music Music for the piece was devised and performed throughout the project and for the per‐ formances by two young people from the host community but the migrant/refugee/asylum seeker group also made significant contributions to the music. During the performance a young girl from the migrant’s group performed two songs about loss and love, accompanying herself on the piano. Another of the migrants taught a song about striving towards a goal to the whole company. This was performed by a choir drawn from both groups at the opening and closing of the performances.
Live music was supplied by two members of the host community and some of the migrants/ref ugees/asylum seekers
The performances The performances were very well received and feedback indicated that the audiences were both moved and inspired. The whole company rose to the challenge of exploring the com‐ plex issues the theme raised, and worked together to perform their work twice in a thor‐ oughly professional manner before the invited audiences. One of the migrants felt,
To do the two shows was an incredibly empowering experience. There was absolute TRUST in each person playing their part, remembering their cues, giving their best.
In conclusion All the indications are that that the pilot was effective in its aims of promoting adaptation through participation in the creation and performance of a piece of inclusive, intergenera‐ tional dance. Participants from both the host community and the migrant/refugee/asylum seekers group reported favorably on the project and felt that they had been able to contrib‐ ute to the success of the piece. They freely acknowledged the enormous sense of achieve‐ ment and well being that it engendered. All felt that they had benefitted from the rich expe‐ rience and the sharing of expertise, culture and stories offered by the project. It was found to be motivational and challenging and the migrant/refugee/asylum seekers commented on the new and unexpected opportunities for achievement and the chance to interact and get to know a diverse group of people from the host community. Some of the refugees and asylum seekers were highly educated and they appreciated the opportunity to be on the university campus. The fact that the university was involved add‐ ed weight to the project for them. They were able to see the university in a positive light and were encouraged to think about enrolling on courses to put themselves back in touch with the academic world.
Friendships were forged between young and old, host community and migrants/refugees/asylum seekers
The theme Home Is Where The Heart Is, was felt to have addressed the upheaval of liv‐ ing in a new country, the sense of powerlessness, the loss of family, friends, home and the subsequent crisis of identity. It offered a more optimistic view that was explored through contemporary dance. The project was felt to have succeeded in its aims of establishing friendship, tolerance, mu‐ tual understanding and respect and this was demonstrated in the digital photo story created by one of the asylum seekers. She was able to learn performance skills that so impressed the artistic director of TAN Dance that she was invited to become one of eight performers representing the range of TAN’s dance groups, working together, as Ambassadors for the Company. This was funded by a Community Dance Award from the BBC Performing Arts Fund. She expressed her feelings about her involvement with TAN Dance saying,
I had never danced and worried that my ability, fitness levels and age would hold me back. This was certainly not the case and I have been touched by the way I have been accepted. I have felt included, made new friends and discovered the joy of dance. Run through
It would be presumptuous to say that the Ariadne pilot project was responsible for the migrant/refugee/asylum seeker participants becoming more integrated into the society in which they are now living. There are many factors but it is true to say that involvement in the project has had a positive impact in raising their self esteem, their sense of self worth and self belief. Through dance they have become more self-confident with a real pride in their achievements. It has afforded them an opportunity to present themselves in a very positive light.
The mutual respect and tolerance that they encountered during the project has enabled their understanding of the host community to grow and the diversity of participants from the host community was a big part of the success of the project. Importantly, it afforded the migrant/refugee/asylum seekers the opportunity to interact and work closely with a broad range of people reaching a greater knowledge of the host community and vice versa, thus promoting intercultural understanding. They have gained friends and usefulv contacts that will support their assimilation into the community in which they now find themselves.
2.9. IN DIALOGUE: EXPERIMENTATION WITH A PINHOLE CAMERA Vera Várhegyi, Elan Interculturel, Ariadne coordinator
SOME INFO ON THE PILOT: What was its name? Ecrire sa photographie Who was it proposed by (which partner)? Elan Interculturel with Les Paracommand’arts When did it take place? 23rd-27th April 2012 What was the main art branch (if there was one)? Visual arts – pinhole camera
Abstract This case study describes the workshop “Ecrire sa photographie” (writing your photo‐ graph) organized by Elan Interculturel in April 2012 Paris, led by Les Paracommend’arts (Liège, Belgium). The workshop was based on the methodology “Trajet réel / trajer rêvé” (real path / dreamt path) developed by Werner Moron, and was using the pinhole camera as a medium. Participants came from seven different countries, very different walks of life. “Ecrire sa photographie” (writing your photograph) was a workshop that offered partici‐ pants a five days voyage with the oldest tool a photography, a pinhole camera, at the end of which each participant had to develop their own art project, rooted in their own life experiences, dreams, wishes. Most of all it invited participants to a series of dialogues with the artist team, with themselves, with the materials and with the surrounding environment. It is this dialogical nature of the Paracommand’arts’ methodology that is so particularly in‐ teresting from the perspective of adaptation. The idea is surprising: run a photography workshop where people will build their own cameras. An empty film box, a little wooden brick, some glue, some aluminium paper are enough to build a pinhole camera, or camera obscura – the predecessor of all cameras that does not have an objective. “Ecrire sa photographie” (writing your photograph) was a workshop that offered participants a five days voyage with the oldest tool a photography, a pinhole camera, at the end of which each participant had to develop their own art project, rooted in their own life experiences, dreams, wishes. Most of all it invited participants to a
series of dialogues; with the artist team, with themselves, with the materials and with the surrounding environment. It is this dialogical nature of the Paracommand’arts’ methodology that is so particularly interesting from the perspective of adaptation.
Adaptation from a dialogical point of view The psychological approach of “dialogical self” gives one of the most interesting and prac‐ tical readings of the process of adaptation that newcomers face when settling in a new environment. The departure point is the dialogical capacity that humans start to acquire in their early childhood first through the awareness of the perception and sensation of their own body at the same time, then through non-verbal dialogues with their carers (Fogel 1993). This capacity allows to relate to others, but more importantly to develop the self through the multitude of dialogues that we take part in: to create a complex self-system with a multitude of voices reflecting different experiences, different relations. Fogel dif‐ ferentiates dialogues of a creative and rigid frame (2002:191-192). The latter consists in recurring interaction routines that are relatively unchanging, repetitive, in which individuals resist to their interaction partners, or to the contrary resign and submit to them. In crea‐ tive frames “people can experience themselves as creatively building a consensus, working through disagreements or moving toward peak emotional moments with their partners” (Fogel 2002:192). Creative frames are the means of self-development and change. This same dialogical potential gives an unprecedented adaptability to humans to new sit‐ uations. How come migrants have a hard time adapting to new countries then? First of all there are limits to our adaptability: as we acquire our cultural identities, they become important, and we also develop the need to protect them. Indeed, very few of us (if any) are real authentic cultural relativists precisely because of the value of our cultural identities and the genuine threat we perceive when they are questioned. Second, there is also a trap inherent in the situation of being in a foreign environment. Indeed arriving to a new country usually implies a multitude of life changes simultaneously: finding a new house, new friends, new work, learning a new language, new ways of being polite, decent, handsome, etc. Such a high level of novelty comes with a higher level of uncertainty and anxiety, which increase our need for closure and our desire of defence (e.g. see Kurglanski 1993). As a consequence we tend to close precisely in the moment when in order to adapt successfully we would need to open use our dialogical capacity the best possible17. The interest in the methodol‐ ogy that the Paracommand’arts developed lies in its potential to awake and make work the dialogical skills through a multitude of dialogical exercises embedded in their propositions.
Dialogue between the objective and the subjective world On the first day participants met the pedagogy of “real path – dreamt path” developed by Werner Moron that constitutes the basis of Paracommand’arts’ methodology. Each partic‐ ipant received the booklet called “nations-moi” (me-nations), which is a personal folder to fill up during the five days. The booklet is in fact a list of questions about existential issues such as origins, idols, future plans, influences etc. The booklet invites to answer the ques‐ tions in two different ways. First of all in the most objective way possible giving a cold de‐ scription of elements linked to the question. The response can be written, but also drawn, painted, copied from digital images etc. The point at this stage is to recall ordinary details, without transforming them, without interpreting them, without being creative at all (“by all means, do not make art” is the instruction that the art director gives). In a second step the reader is invited to answer again, but now, transforming the answer freely. The “dreamt path” gives the chance to retell the story in a way we like, introducing a lie, a wish, a change. On day one, participants were invited to answer the question “what are oldest and most precise memories?”
For more details see theoretical chapter “Art is good for adaptation”
“Trajet réel”: I am on the rooftop of our house in Alger. All the other houses like ours are beige with a deep blue sky. From above I am looking into the garden of the neighbour: she is making bread in a metallic barrel. I’m so impressed I cannot look elsewhere. She waves at me with an inviting move, but I’m not going. I’m embarrassed. “Trajet rêvé”: I am on the rooftop of our house in Alger. All the other houses like ours are beige with a deep blue sky. From above I am looking into the garden of the neighbour: she is making bread in a metallic barrel. I’m so impressed I cannot look elsewhere. She waves at me with an inviting move, so I go to the edge and I jump and fly to her and she gives me a piece of the warm flat bread. The “Me-nations” booklet opens a dialogue between the objective and the subjective – the imagined, the desired – but also between a variety of voices stemming in different life experiences that the questions recall: who are the people who influenced you? Who are your cultural heroes? What are the places that marked you? The idea of “me-nations” is precisely to uncover this multiplicity of voices.
“Me-nations means that each of us is an individual… but also a nation, with its boarders, its culture, its personal rules, a little nation with its intimate history and external relations. A little country that negotiates its loneliness or its relations with other countries which are so mysterious and similar to us at the same time. A country that gets dressed, gets informed, want to become part of a bigger society, wants to change society. A country that has to study deeply its multiple roots, origins to go the furthest possible.” (Werner Moron’s introduction text in the booklet)16 18
Werner Moron 2011 “Nations-Moi” last accessed 30/8/2012 available at: http://www.ria-network.eu/ wp-content/uploads/2011/11/nations_moi.pdf
During the workshop, participants are asked to return repeatedly to the booklet. In fact the answers given to the booklet are used to anchor the art project participants develop during the workshop.
Dialogue of the individual and the group “The first day started with sort of an introduction of the group. Everybody presented him/herself and her expectations towards the workshop. The group was really diverse in regards of age, professional background and nationality. There was somehow nervousness in the air because nobody knew each other and what was going to happen.” Unlike many intercultural workshops, les Paracommand’arts do not start with a series of group-building exercises neither do they use ice breakers or any other techniques whose main aim is to create trust, to enhance relationships between participants or even between the facilitators and participants. This is surprising break from the non-formal pedagogical 139
approach, also from the tradition of art therapy: the creation of a safe space, a relation‐ al space is not the priority. The conviction is partly rooted in the social context of Para‐ command’arts usual work, often including marginalised groups, youth considered at risk and educators working with them who receive with suspicion the invitation for tradition‐ al ice-breakers and group-building exercises (indeed sometimes overused and sometimes poorly chosen). But more importantly the artificial construction of a group feeling and an‐ choring participants’ attention and effort on the group is considered as a deviation from the main objective: the active immersion in the art process, essentially an individual journey. For this reason, the movement between the group and the individual has a relatively faint role. Connections do form though, and participants do start to invite each other into each other’s performances and art pieces, the others’ art pieces are reflected on and woven into own art pieces. All in all the dialogue between participants remains rather bilateral, and the group does not fulfil a role of a “neutral third” or a “safe space” where people would freely share their sorrows, feelings, desires: there is no relief in the group or from the group, it has to come from the art piece. Linking back to the process of adaptation, it is clear that this methodological choice has one merit: it does not make a false promise by producing a miniature ideal society based on mutual trust, curiosity and understanding – in sharp contrast with the outside society of modern European big cities such as Paris much more characterised by alienation and a genuine mistrust towards the newcomer.
Obviously the workshop’s dynamics even without particular efforts of group build‐ ing still have an effect, and interactions automatically form:
“My first results were rather disappointing as they were all black and white. At that point I wasn’t really sure if I could make nice photos and if I could like to make the whole week just photos. It seemed to me a far too long process. But fortunately, I wasn’t the only person who had problems with the technique and through developing the pictures in the dark room (kind of mystic) I got slowly in contact with other participants.” Dialogue through a pinhole between the external and internal If the “me-nations” tool invites to focus on the self and opens a dialogue between differ‐ ent voices within the self, the practice of photography orients the attention to the outside world. On day one the participants build their pinhole camera out of an old film box, a wooden brick, and a piece of aluminium paper. At the same time the art team sets up the dark room where the photos will be developed, participants are invited to go on a hunt: gathering images in the venue, in the garden, in the environment surrounding the venue. On the one hand this gathering is simply playing with one’s camera, getting used to touch it, 140
count the seconds until the pinhole is closed, learning to place it where it does not move. On the other hand, it is suddenly, unexpectedly too much freedom. Without any specific instruction as to what theme they should photograph, many participants experience an uncertainty as to what they should look for, and to some the task may seem boring or frustrating. Indeed, too much freedom, contrary to popular belief is more often the source of anxiety and disappointment than happiness. Schwartz (2009)19 shows that a very high freedom of choice, the presence of many options to pick from often produces paralysis, moreover, even when the choice is finally made people are less satisfied with their decision, because the many possible alternatives suggest that one could have made an even better choice. All in all, the great freedom can give way to a feeling of entropy. There a striking parallel here with the process of connecting to a new environment, which at first in totally unknown, virgin territory. During the course – just as during real life – par‐ ticipants will mobilise different coping strategies to face the challenge, overcome the dis‐ comfort: some will display an active strategy and engage in the collection of many images. Some will respond with focusing and ventilating emotions (“some other people got really frustrated and even angry”) or to the contrary with emotional disengagement, giving away the importance of the task (“I decided to take it easy”).
In the workshop – as well as in the outside world and the real adaptation process, the key to success in domesticating the new environment is the capacity to find connections and entry points, linking the outside world to oneself. In real life, this domestication occurs step by step through drawing daily routines and identifying privileged entry points (a favour‐ ite pub, a space linked to a hobby, to a meaningful activity, work etc.). The difference between real life and the workshop is that in the latter the facilitators care‐ fully manage the entropy they triggered, to support participants in engaging in a creative process. The whole set up of alternating work on the “Me-Nations” booklet and the col‐ lection tasks enhances the internal-external dialectics, and there are two more tools to catalyse the process. The first big tool is the use of art itself: the methodological skill set linked to the art of photography pins down a language and gives creative constraints. The second tool is the accompaniment of the convergence, focusing of the process into an art project for each participant. 19
TED talk filmed on February 2009, last accessed on August 2012. Available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/barry_schwartz_on_our_ loss_of_wisdom.html
New dialogues through new languages: learning an art form Werner Moron talks about the “active ingredients” (“principes actifs”) of art: like the sub‐ stance in medicine which is actually biologically active and which is responsible for the ef‐ fect, art or rather different art forms have their own active ingredients. Paracommand’arts’ 141
mission is to create the opportunity for people to immerse in these active ingredients, so they can have their effect and lead to a change. To meet the active ingredients of dance for example, participants will usually be lead through an experiential discovery of the body, space, movement and rhythm. In the pinhole camera workshop participants were first of all invited to create their own camera, then experience the interplay of light and time that creates the image on the photosensitive paper. The immersion in active ingredients implies the acquisition of the language of a specific art form, in pour case photography. However – to keep up the metaphor – it is a language learning that privileges the deep linguistics rather then the conjugation. Too much focus on technicalities again deviates attention from the really important questions. On day two the group talks about the symbolic potential of pictures, they discuss pictures that at first glance seem out of focus, too dark, too light… “missed”. What makes a picture “missed”? What is a “good” picture? The art team also gives a short introduction to art history and the role of photography in the art history.
The experimentation with active ingredients also implies a dialogue between a cognitive and a sensory experience: between what I think of dance or photography, and actually ex‐ periencing dance or taking the picture. The aim of the talks and discussions is not so much that participants acquire knowledge on photography, but that they are enabled to play, to engage with the tools of photography, that they use it as a means to create an artwork out of “Me-Nations”. To make this possible, it has to be noted that the Paracommand’arts workshops usually rely on the collaboration of quite a big artistic team. First of all there is an artistic director who is in charge of the overall management of the course, and in particular of the accom‐ paniment of participants’ artistic projects that they develop during the 5 days. Then there are artists with expertise in the particular art form used in the workshop. This time we had two facilitators who had a good knowledge on the use of the dark room. They also scanned the images and assisted participants in their technical needs. Two additional team members were involved whose mission concerns the finalization of the art work, this time in form of a film and a brochure. Film and sound specialists and editors were thus involved in the final days of the process, who would be in charge of the post-production work. All in all, at dif‐ ferent moments of the workshop five artists have had a role to ensure the accompaniment of participants in their path to engage with the pinhole camera.
The art project - dialogue with the director and the art team One of the basic tenets of the Paracommand’arts is that participants should come to a workshop without a specific idea of what they want to do. Most of all they should not have the semi-matured stem of an artwork in their minds. The best is if it all happens in the workshops. The reason for this desire is rooted in the art director’s previous experience: most people when facing the task of creating an art piece would look for an idea in the art‐ 142
ists, pieces and schools they already know:
“I’d like to do something in Gauguin’s style… or something a bit post-impressionist.”
This would simply spoil the whole game, where the point is to connect the artistic creation to one’s own life experience. Instead the proposal is to create an authentic piece starting to form during the workshop. For this reason the task of creating an own art project is not much emphasised before the course starts. The task was introduced on the first day, then developed in third day, trigger‐ ing some anxiety:
“All of a sudden I should produce a film with my rather bad photos and build a story around it. Oh my god!” “I found myself in a very large enterprise, to create a whole, a complete art project. At the beginning the idea scared me, I felt it was a coat one size too big for me. I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it.”
4C project research 2012
So how do art pieces emerge after all? How do participants manage to create an art work from scratch, using a newly learnt art form in a district they don’t know? Then, is this pro‐ cess of concretising and art project any similar to that of creating a life project? Identifying our sujet – or life project means, that the search is over, the uncertainty is over, we know what we are going to do, and how we’ll proceed: we found something mean‐ ingful, and we have an idea of how to get there. On a very concrete level both processes imply the identification of objectives, and the ordering of the resources into an action plan. Put like that it is the quite accurate description of an active planning – control strategy. Our own exploratory research showed that such strategy is indeed connected to the success of a mobility experience20. On the third day participants were asked to refine their ideas and identify a “sujet” and come up with a concrete plan of how it will be delivered. The first is a movement from divergent to convergent; the second is a transition from abstract to concrete. The choice of the sujet usually stems from the work of on the “Me-Nations” booklet:
“I let the questions guide me to give form to something, and that was the most important…I think it happened on the third day, the pictures moved to the second plan and I was conjugating other ideas in the back of my head. I started to realize there were decisions, feelings, things that happened to me, which were not disconnected, and somehow all converged to the same point. Different searches
became part of a bigger search. It was incredible to become aware of this.” “Step by step some words came up to my mind and a subject appeared at the horizon. It was all about «transition» and I told myself that my pictures fit perfectly to the subject «transition». The unclearness of my photos represented the process of transition… The subject became quite strong for me the last days. Thinking about the right words and matching the photos was quite challenging, but each of us had the possibility to talk bilateral with Werner or another person of the team.” In this movement from the meta to the concrete, the dialogue with the bilateral meetings with the art team has a critical importance. During the meeting, the participants share where they are in the process. Occasionally focusing on particular questions of the “Me-Na‐ tions”, or developing an idea that they came upon during the hunting.
“The third day I made lot of photos. I already knew what I was looking for: myself. I took lots of photos of my face and my body… I was excited and nervous, so I decided to have my bilateral meeting with Werner (the artistic director).” In the meeting, the artistic director is the mirror of the participant. He reflects his first in‐ tuitions, gives a feedback. The art team’s key skill here is to assist without taking direction of the participants’ art work.
“At no time during this process they influenced us/me with their ideas. Sometimes I would have loved some input but at the end I realised that it will be purely my chapter, with my inspiration and my thoughts. This was somehow very powerful!” While the art director is mainly engaged in the bilateral meetings to identify and refine what is going to be the art projects of each participant, all members of the artist team are active in helping to manage how these art works will actually emerge. This latter step is as much important as the first. Werner Moron stresses how much he hates when people talk about “the artistic blur” (“flou artistique”) this state of flux of creation, where ideas flow, without giving credit to the work that comes after. This latter is indeed considered a key moment of the workshop, when participants have to learn to very concretely implement their project, learn how to deal with the fact that they compete with other participants for the resources, that they must calculate, plan, organise.
Story-board The fourth day the post-production work is introduced to the group, with its opportunities and limits. Bilateral work started with the post-production team: participants wrote down their storyboard, starting to map the graphic design. A choice was offered between relying on the post-production team to finish the work – sharing the signature, or giving them very precise instructions that the post production team as technicians will implement. At times the meeting is trilateral, and involves the art director as a mediator to tell with his own words what he understood of the will of the participants. This way the post-producer can broaden his capacity to understand the participant’s art project. It also gives the participant a chance to make sure the instructions are well understood.
To conclude: from art projects to life project Adaptation is the capacity to enter in dialogue with the new cultural environment, its peo‐ ple, its habits, its institutions, even the new representations that the place assigns on us (“foreigner”, “exotic”, “rude” etc.). What’s more, adaptation implies to change through those dialogues. To change, we need to engage in dialogues in a creative frame, resisting the need for premature closure and separation that would give us a sensation of defence but would prevent us from connecting to opportunities offered in the new place and creating a life project that makes sense in the new place. Described like that it almost seems like an easy ride. The workshop “Ecrire sa photographie” gives a good illustration of why such an enterprise is not so easy after all. Both require to step outside of a comfort zone, engage in a task that seems much bigger than us, learn a language we did not know before, learn to use resources which are new, learn to orient in a new environment and find the elements to which we can connect and finally organise it all to a concrete action plan. The workshop gives a good opportunity to develop skills that are key competences in an adaptation pro‐ cess. And in the meanwhile art works are created.
Bibliography FOGEL, Alan et al. (2002) The Dialogical Self in the First Two Years of Life: Embarking on a Journey of Discovery. Theory & Psychology Vol. 12(2):191-205 FOGEL, Alan (1993) Developing Through Relationships. Origins of Communication, Self and Culture. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. KRUGLANSKI, Arie (2005) The Psychology of Closed Mindedness (Essays in Social Psy‐ chology) New York: The Psychology Press MORON, Werner (2011) “Nations-Moi” last accessed 30/8/2012 available at: http://www.ria-network.eu/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/nations_moi.pdf SCHWARTZ, Barry (2009). TED talk filmed on February 2009, last accessed on August 2012. available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/barry_schwartz_on_our_loss_of_wis‐ dom.html WARD, C., BOCHNER, S., & FURNHAM, A. (2001). The psychology of culture shock. London: Routledge. Pictures taken by Ghizlan Van Boxsom, Sarah Rémy and Emilie Rouchon, pinhole photos taken by the workshop participants. Many thanks for all members of the Paracommend’art team, in particular Werner Moron, Emilie Rouchon, Sarah Rémy.
2.10. ANNEX 1: INDICATORS FOR THE EVALUATION OF GOOD PRACTICE FOR SOCIAL ACTION/INTERVENTION PROJECTS THROUGH ART
VARIOUS TYPES OF INDICATORS ARE DESCRIBED, WHICH ARE TO BE MEASURED WITH DIFFERENT TOOLS: Indicators measured by survey. Indicators measured by structured interview. Indicators measured by auditing (existence and content of certain documents). Indicators measured by certain structural aspects or previous situations. Indicators measured by observation. Indicators measured by history-checking. For the elaboration of these indicators, 10 descriptors or categories are described. The proposed indicators will have to be observable and, therefore, objectifiable, and will in form of the quality of the different aspects of the practice.
DESCRIPTOR I. Ethical guidelines of the project • Good will: to act always to the benefit of the user, putting this before the interest of the personnel in charge, and avoiding or eliminating possible damage to the user. • Non-malevolence: to protect the user of any harm and/or abuse deriving from the in‐ tervention, accepting one’s own limitations. • Justice: to help the underprivileged or more vulnerable and to respect the rights of third parties. • Autonomy: to respect the right to self-determination of the user, her/his right to privacy and her freedom of election.
DESCRIPTOR II. Staff in charge • Existence of reasoned regulations for the selection of staff members. • Existence of reasoned ways for volunteer participation. • Existence of specifically trained personnel. • Participation of the various professionals in the processes of project elaboration and eval‐ uation. Teamwork.
DESCRIPTOR III. Information transmission • Existence of mechanisms to provide clear and understandable information to the user about his/her rights and obligations. • Existence of mechanisms to transmit distinctly and graspably the social dimensions of the proposals. • Existence of forms of information gathering that allow to know and assess the user’s per‐ sonal and/or cultural characteristics and preferences. • Existence of procedures, known by the personnel and the users, that prevent out-of-con‐ trol actions or inadequate ones. • Existence of reasoned and public criteria of inclusion/exclusion. 146
DESCRIPTOR IV. Evaluation of proposals and sustainability • Assessment of the strengths and risks of the proposals of intervention. • Balanced management of times and spaces. • Prevention of disruptive behaviors and ways of intervention. • Evaluation of personal and group needs and resources. • Evaluation of the dropout risk and prevention of it. • Implementation of means that assure the sustainability of the proposals.
DESCRIPTOR V. Social dimension of the proposals: goals • Relative to the elaboration of loss (family, work, social, cultural, ecological). • Relative to the development of coping resources to face the new situation (ecological, cultural, emotional, social context). • Relative to the recovery, re-significance and integration of the user’s personal history. • Relative to work with anxiety, stress and uncertainty. • Relative to the elaboration of feelings of rootlessness. • Relative to the adjustment of expectations and the creation of life projects. • Relative to the creation of sustaining bonds and social networks. • Relative to the personal realization. • Relative to the ability to manage emotional expression, conflict or anxieties.
DESCRIPTOR VI. Qualification of the field • Generation of a space for security and containment. o Adequate physical conditions (lighting, hygiene, security). o Qualified staff (with art and social training) and sufficient (in number). o Proposals adjusted to the resources and the capacities of the environment. o Proposals adjusted to the user’s resources and capacities. o Proposals adjusted to the user’s demands and needs. o Proposals adjusted to the goals that describe them. • Generation of a space of acceptance, inclusion and equity. o Availability of flexible timetables, adapted to different publics. o Foreseeing of infant/child care, if necessary. o Gratuity of the activities or a symbolic charge, without detriment to their quality. o Offer of proposals that are non-discriminatory (for reasons of gender, religion, age, etc.). o Availability of times and spaces to deal with doubts, questions and/or proposals. o Participation of the users in the creation and development of new proposals. •Availability of resources and strategies for conflict resolution.
DESCRIPTOR VII. Impact and scope • Implementation of ways to evaluate the impact: o Regarding practical issues (public transport, commercial transactions, neighbor relations, bureaucratic procedures, etc.). o Cognitive and emotional adaptation. o Creation of social network/bonds. o Self-acceptance and personal realization. 147
o Expectations and projects. • Implementation of means for wide-scope evaluation: o In time. o In other contexts of the person (family, work, neighborhood, etc.).
DESCRIPTOR VIII. Confidentiality • Existence of sufficient mechanisms and information to guarantee confidentiality. • The artistic and written productions, as well as the data and histories (if existent), are treated according to law.
DESCRIPTOR IX. Art and cultural reformulation • The art proposals have an experiential character, are process-oriented and consider the result as one more part of these processes. • The art proposals promote and facilitate the coexistence and the integration of people of different origins and cultural manifestations. • The art proposals promote knowledge and depth, both in the host culture and in the culture of origin. • The art proposals are close and accessible enough for the users, so that they can feel involved in them. • The art proposals favour the visibility of the different cultural groups and gender differ‐ ences as much as of the various participating individuals; they promote a social discourse that recognizes and values the users’ singularities, and they aim at spreading their values and cultural richness. • The art process encourages the collaboration between artist/facilitator and participant.
DESCRIPTOR X. Innovation • Existence of ways to evaluate the needs and demands that may come up. • Existence of means that allow to analyze and evaluate the projects, in order to adjust them to these emerging needs and demands. • Existence of means to update specific resources and trainings. • Existence of means of interaction with other similar organizations and/or associations. • Existence of means for the enrichment and updating of the work from different perspec‐ tives and/or disciplines. • The possibility is considered of establishing various intervention dynamics, according to the needs: o That consider the realization both in the spaces for the intervention, as well as in the users’ spaces. o That each individual or the families may be attended to. o That the projects may take place occasionally or continuously (on a weekly, fort nightly basis, etc.).
III. Chapter Resources for the trainers Some of the exercise used in Ariadne project (The pilot sessions and the trainersâ€™ training session)
1. Creating a net: intercultural communication and empathy
Circle of Friends Energy sticks Leaving and Arriving
Tan Dance, Carol Brown University of the Peloponnese & Osmosis Christina Zoniou & Naya Boemi Tan Dance Carol Brown
2. Opening to the new environment, Finding new home
Where Am I? Haiku: Capturing a Sense of Place Concrete Poems
Tan Dance Carol Brown Momentum arts Nancy Hogg
3. Exploring identity and culture
Body writing I am a poem What is culture? Creative Media and pres entation of self
Momentum arts Nancy Hogg University Complutense of Madrid Marián López Fdz. Cao Momentum arts Nancy Hogg Elan Interculturel Vera Várhegyi Artemisszió Veronika Szabó University of the Peloponnese Alkistis Kondoyianni
Sand writings - Drawing the space with objects 4. Exploring diversity & acquiring sense of empowerment
University of the Peloponnese & Osmosis Christina Zoniou & Naya Boemi
5. Understanding challenges of adaptation
The migration path
Artemisszió & Elan Interculturel Veronika Szabó, Vera Várhegyi Artemisszió Veronika Szabó
Host and Home 6. Changing and envisioning a new life project
Image theatre as body-storming Introduction to Forum Theatre
University of the Peloponnese & Osmosis Christina Zoniou & Naya Boemi University of the Peloponnese, Osmosis Naya Boemi, Christina Zoniou
Narrative evaluation with images The hot chair evaluation Workshop maps Observation grid
Elan Interculturel Vera Várhegyi Artemisszió Veronika Szabó University of the Peloponnese, Osmosis Naya Boemi, Christina Zoniou University Complutense of Madrid Marián López Fdz. Cao
7. Evaluating change
2. EXCERCISES 1. CREATING A NET: INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AND EMPATHY Circle of Friends Responsible organisation’ s name: TAN Dance Facilitator’s name: Carol Brown Pedagogical objective: Games/Exercises designed to put people at ease and introduce them to each other. Time required: 15 minutes Optimal number of participants: 10-20 Materials: CD player Preparation: Wear comfortable clothing you can move in and soft or no footwear Instructions: Circle game 1: Greetings – The facilitator passes a greeting to the person next to her/him in the circle who passes it on etc. “Hello” in the language of the host country is the first greeting to be passed around followed by “Hello” in all the languages of the partic‐ ipants. There is no need to wait for the greeting to return; several greetings can be active in the circle at the same time. Circle game 2: A “wave” movement is instigated by the facilitator which travels the circle; at the same time a stamp (a hard step on the ground) is sent in the other direction. There is usually confusion when the wave and the stamp meet causing laughter which is a great ice breaker. This exercise is repeated several times until the wave and stamp can pass each other smoothly. Circle game 3: a ball is thrown around the circle. Each possessor of the ball calls out their name. The game is repeated with the thrower calling out their name and also the name of a person they are throwing the ball to.
Energy sticks Responsible organisation’s name: University of the Peloponnese & Osmosis Facilitators’ names: Christina Zoniou & Naya Boemi
Pedagogical objectives: To develop: - Empathy - Non-verbal communication - Trust - Body awareness Time required: 15-25 minutes Optimal number of participants: 12-20 Materials: Sticks (bamboo sticks or broom sticks etc., approximately 1.5 metres long), soft music Preparation: Create a relaxed atmosphere using concentration and relaxation games. Instructions: - Divide participants into pairs. Each pair takes a stick, each of the pair holding an end of the stick. The partners rest the stick on open palms and walk around the space, trying to keep the stick from falling down – at first with their eyes open. They move freely to the music, using the whole space. Gradually they use more complex movements, if they want to or are able to. - Then one in each pair closes her/his eyes and the other takes the lead, taking care to build up a relationship of trust. - Both partners close their eyes and continue the exercise. The only link between the part‐ ners is now the stick. - They open their eyes and continue to carry out the exercise, having attained a higher level of energy, trust and empathy from the previous stages. - Finally they keep moving without the sticks, imagining they are still holding them. Debriefing: After the activity the facilitator encourages participants to comment on their experience and emotions. Suggested readings on the topic (background theory or methodology): Alex Mavrokordatos (ed.) 2009. mPPACT Manifest: Methodology for a Pupil and Perform‐ ing Arts-Centred Teaching, Gamlingay, Sandy: Authors OnLine .
Leaving and Arriving Responsible organisation’s name: TAN Dance Facilitator’s name: Carol Brown Pedagogical objective: A physical exploration of travelling and arriving giving an opportunity for people to share their experiences, increase understanding of each other and begin to bond by working to‐ gether on a simple task. Time required: 30 minutes 152
Optimal number of participants: 10-20 Materials: CD player Preparation: Wear comfortable clothing you can move in and soft or no footwear Instructions: The facilitator leads the participants to walk or jog to music landing on the beat. They are encouraged to explore all areas of the space. Then simple directional instructions (left, right, backwards, forward) are called out which everyone obeys in unison (if language is not common, different sounds can be used to instruct). A simple “dance” is constructed using just these changes of direction. The group is split into two, an “active group” that performs a dance and a “passive group” of spectators. In a second stage the “passive” group is invited to create their own version on the “active” group, using their movements, using only the same simple directional changes. The groups change over. A story can be layered onto the dance. (Individuals sometimes use this exercise to begin to reveal their own journey.)
2. OPENING TO THE NEW ENVIRONMENT, FINDING NEW HOME Where Am I? Responsible organisation’s name: TAN Dance Facilitator’s name: Carol Brown Pedagogical objective: To re-assure people they have the tools to complete the task. To construct a bonding exer‐ cise through an opportunity to connect with a place and its people by analysing features of the locale they find themselves in and embarking on a creative journey together with local people. Time required: 40 minutes Optimal number of participants: 10-20 Materials: CD player Preparation: Wear comfortable clothing you can move in and soft or no footwear Instructions: The facilitator leads the group in a simple dance sequence which is actually a physical exam‐ ple of using features of a locality (typical buildings, plants, animals, weather conditions etc.) to create a movement sequence. Participants are then placed in small groups of a mixture of incomers and locals and are invited to select features of the locality, create movement to describe either the feature or the response it evokes (represent the rain or how we run from it), and form a micro dance piece to be shared in performance if wished.
Haiku: Capturing a Sense of Place Responsible organisation’s name: Momentum Art Facilitator’s name: Nancy Hogg Pedagogical objective: An exercise designed to encourage participants to reflect on their environment whether this is their new environment or that of their home. The poem should aim to marry images of nature/place and their associations between these. Time required: 15 minutes Optimal number of participants: e.g. 10-15 Materials: Paper and coloured pens. Photos (visual stimuli). Box of words. Instructions: Haiku: A brief introduction to haiku poetry followed by each participant being encouraged to write their own poem. The participants will be given visual stimuli and encouraged to look out the window for inspiration from their surroundings. They will also be encouraged to pick a “seasonal word” (snow, sunshine, blooming etc) out of a box of words and incor‐ porate them into the poem. Hints for facilitators: These are simple introductory exercises – haiku has a strict form (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables) however, it is more important in this instant for participants to take part and flexibility with regards to form should be incorporated. If any of the par‐ ticipants are interested in haiku they could research the history of haiku in their own time. Suggested readings on the topic: The Haiku Handbook, How to Write, Share and Teach Haiku, William J Higginson, 1989 First Kodansha International Printing.
Concrete Poems Responsible organisation’s name: Momentum Art Facilitator’s name: Nancy Hogg Pedagogical objective/Instructions: To encourage participants to create visually shaped poems on the theme of “What is Home” using either the previous written poems or a rep‐ etition of one word. This is a good exercise for those with limited written English. This is also a way of traversing a movement from written word to visual art in order to encourage further arts engagement. Time required: 15 minutes Optimal number of participants: e.g. 10-15 Materials: Paper and coloured pens. Instructions: Draw a sketch of a simple image that comes to your mind when you think of home or somewhere you have travelled to. Now collect words and begin to form your poem. Lines with similar syllable count or that have the same rhythm will add impact to 154
your poem. However, the important thing is to create something that relates to a mood or experience personal to you. Once you have written your poem rewrite it in the shape of your original sketch. If writing the poem is difficult you might find you want to use only a few words that are relevant to your sketch and just repeat them. Hints for facilitators: If a participant has limited English they might choose to write a poem repeating just one word.
3. EXPLORING IDENTITY AND CULTURE Body Writing Responsible organization’s name: University Complutense of Madrid. Facilitators name: Marián López Fdz. Cao References: 3941035 Research Group: Art Implementation for social in‐ clusion. University Complutense of Madrid. Pedagogical objective: - Describing a methodology based on situated artist’s biographies and their creation process‐ es. - Using the own body as a place of desires. - Reflecting how our identity passes throughout our body and how culture inscribes pre‐ scriptions and proscriptions on it. Time required: Part 1: 15 minutes Part 2: 30 minutes Part 3: 20 minutes Part 4: 2 hours Part 5: 1 hour (including debriefing and feedback) Optimal number of participants: 10-20 The group must work by pairs Materials: •Photo cameras (one for each couple) •Computer and beamer •Brushes, pens, ink… suitable for body writing (hipoallergic) •Soap and water to clean bodies. Body cream. Preparation: The facilitator must make a presentation of the art work. A computer must be prepared to receive all pictures of the session and put them together in a nice and quick presentation.
Instructions: Part 1: Identification of the methodology The facilitator proposes to observe the creative processes of selected artists, especially of those who have experienced migration in their lives. Part 2: Presentation of the artist’s creation related to social inclusion/migration: selected works of Shirin Neshat The facilitator exposes the work, life and thoughts of Neshat, concentrating on body in‐ scriptions. Part 3: The facilitator explains the task Each person is invited to think of two types of desires about senses: Those related to what the Other wants you to do and those related to desires you want to do. 1) What do the Others (institutions, couple, government, religion, family, tradition, culture) want you to think, talk, hear, smell, feel, touch, walk to, swallow, drink, digest, go to… 2) What do you really want to think, talk, hear, feel, walk to, swallow, drink, digest, go to… The facilitator invites the participants to focus on one part of the body (ears, mouth, nose, throat, stomach, arms, hands, legs, feet…) and to write sentences or words in a paper. Part 4: Body writing The facilitator uses a breathing technique to relax the body before starting this part. The facilitator suggests working in pairs to help and write the other’s desires on the body of the pair and vice-versa. Make photos of all. This activity can be very intimate or happily collective. The facilitator must plan for the pos‐ sibility of different reactions in the group and hold emotions and feelings. The facilitator picks up photographs made with the participants’ cameras and uploads them into the computer. Part 5: presentation in plenary: transfer pictures to the computer and see all of them. After part 4, the group comes together and sees the pictures of the whole group. The facilitators invite participants to think/feel what happened during the process (writing in a paper, writing/be written on the body, see the images) The result: the inscription of desires in/on our own body. A session of feedback, discussions, comments, questions follows the presentation. Debriefing: After each presentation the facilitator(s) give feedback to the task presented. Facilitators can also ask questions/give recommendations to help the group refine the ex‐ ercise. Facilitator can ask questions about the group process too. Facilitator must invite to think all the dimensions that arise from the exercise: individual/ interpersonal/social/cultural/intercultural and the reaction of the individuality towards ex‐ ternal/internal impositions and elaboration of our own personal and collective desires. Hints for facilitators: The facilitator must provide different rooms where the shyest people can feel comfortable enough and has to keep an atmosphere of trust and safety. She/he must be available all the time to help, give trust and care. It is a non directive activity where the participants should move in pairs to find the good place to make the writing and the photos. It is recommendable to ask them to bring swimwear, to feel more comfortable if they want to photography some parts of the body usually hidden. Probably women feel more comfortable in an only-women-group, even more if there are 156
cultural prescriptions and prohibition. An only-men-group can also help to arise male prescriptions and proscriptions on male bodies. Suggested readings on the topic: http://www.ted.com/talks/shirin_neshat_art_in_exile.html LÓPEZ FDZ. CAO, M.; MARTÍNEZ DÍEZ, N. (2009) Shirin Neshat. Transformar el deseo en el cuerpo. Eneida, Madrid.
I am poem Responsible organisation’s name: Momentum Art Facilitator’s name: Nancy Hogg Pedagogical objective: An exercise designed to encourage participants to reflect on how they perceive themselves as individuals despite of or because of their current cultural en‐ vironment. The headings are merely starting points and can be changed/discarded – the idea is to introduce, by gentle guidance, the idea of reflecting on self and identity within the individual. Time required: 15 minutes Optimal number of participants: 10-15 Materials: Paper and coloured pens – poetry templates will be pre-prepared. Instructions: This is a quick and relatively simple exercise designed as an introduction to writing short poems. Each participant is given a template to complete which asks them to fill in the fol‐ lowing information: I am I wonder I hear I see I want I am If the participants are happy to do so they will be encouraged to read the poems aloud and discuss how these poems might be of value to understanding an individual’s sense of identity in their new cultural environment. It is also an examination (in very simple terms) of how we may inhabit multiple identities and roles depending on our environment and how these are not fixed. Hints for facilitators: These are simple introductory exercises. If any of the participants are interested in creating longer pieces then they could, for example, research the poetry of Derek Walcott or Ruth Padel as extension activity. Suggested readings on the topic: Writing Across Worlds – Literature and Migration: John Connell, 1995 Routledge, UK 157
What is culture? Responsible organisation’s name: Elan Interculturel Facilitator’s name: Vera Várhegyi References: exercise inspired by a proposition from LTS Consulting Bath Pedagogical objective: Exercise n° 1: The object - Reflection on our own relationship with a given culture - Reflection on different layers of culture: visible layers (such as objects) and invisible layers such as values, norms, cultural practices etc. Exercise n° 2: The metaphor of culture - Start discussion on the notion of culture, become aware of different aspects of culture (e.g. its mechanisms, characteristics, origins, relationships to the individual etc.) Exercise n° 3: Transforming the object into art - Encourage an emotional connection with the host culture, reflection on our relationship with the host culture - Enhance creativity, link creativity to culture Time required: Exercise 1: 5 minutes/participant Exercise 2: 20 minutes of preparation + 10 minutes/small group for presentation + 30 minutes discussion Exercise 3: 40-60 minutes Optimal number of participants: 6-15 Materials: Drawing paper, color pencils/pastels/pens, journals for collage, scissors, glue. Flipchart paper, markers Preparation: Exercise 1: This task should be proposed as a pre-course task weeks before the actual train‐ ing so that participants have the time to chose the object they would like to bring. Exercise 2: The facilitator has to reflect on aspects of the notion of culture that may be relevant to the group. Ideally this does not become a “presentation of culture” delivered by the facilitator, but she/he can highlight the relevant aspects linked to the presentation of the drawings of one or another group’s drawing. Instructions: Exercise 1: Prior to the meeting ask every participant to bring an object that reflects their relationship to their culture (or if you work with foreigners: the host culture). In the training ask everybody taking turns to show the object and share why they brought this particular object. If there are more than 10 people you may want to create small groups. In this case make sure to offer a space for display later on so that everyone can see every‐ one else’s object. Exercise 2: Create small groups of 3-4 people, ask them to draw an illustration of “cul‐ ture” – not one particular culture but culture in general. They can draw on the objects they brought (if they did that exercise). The illustration can be a schema, a model or a metaphor. After 20 minutes the group has to present their work. After each presentation the facilitator can highlight important aspects that appear in the illustrations or precisely that seem to be missing. 158
Exercise 3: This is the artistic component of this series of exercises on culture, which clos‐ es the work. We propose participants to create an artwork around the object they brought. They can physically include the object if it is such (e.g. a piece of bread, a postcard etc.) or just symbolize the object by drawing/paining it in the picture. When finished, participants can present their work if they wish to. Debriefing: The three exercises can build on each other, or can be used separately. If used together there is no need for big debriefing after exercise 1. Otherwise the trainer should offer her/ his points on culture after the presentation of the objects. She/he could look for common patterns (whether the objects are similar or precisely very different, whether they refer to similar domains of life etc.) Hints for facilitators: Some aspects of culture worth mentioning – explaining also the usual difficulty of finding one common definition (see Kroeber, A. & Kluckhohn, C. 1952) due to the many possible angles: - Types of cultures: national, regional, gender, age, subculture, sexual preference etc. - Dynamics of culture: transmission and exchange - Characteristics: dynamic, always changing, subjective - Manifestations of culture: art, science, writing, objects - Origins of culture (eg. See Tomasello: cumulative learning or Terror Management Theory) - Relationship of culture and the individual (cultural identity, reciprocal construction, encul‐ turation, ethnocentrism, cultural relativism etc.) - Culture and politics Some common metaphors often used to illustrate aspects of culture: iceberg, eyeglasses, onion etc. Suggested readings on the topic: Some references on “culture”: ERIKSEN, Thomas Hylland 1995 Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology London: Pluto Press GEERTZ, Clifford 1973 The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. New York: Basic GEERTZ, Clifford 1984 Anti-Anti-Relativism. 1983 Distinguished Lecture. American An‐ thropologist 82:263-278 HALL, E.T. 1990 (orig. 1959) The Silent Language. Anchor Books HALL, E.T. 1999 (orig. 1966) The Hidden Dimension Anchor Books HALL, E.T 1989 Beyond Culture. Anchor Books KROEBER, A. & Kluckhohn, C. 1952. Culture. New York: Meridian Books
Creative Media and presentation of the self Responsible organisation’s name: Artemisszió Foundation Facilitator’s name: Veronika Szabó Pedagogical objective: Introduction into visual communication using manual and digital techniques as well. The aim is to reach a universal approach through visual language, mixing true human stories and playful, humorous elements. 159
Time required: 3 hours Optimal number of participants: 10-20 Materials: camera, laptop, software for film editing Preparation: specific skills related to camera using and film editing Instructions: Exercise n° 1 (10 mins.) Energizer – Run, if you… Pedagogical objective: To feel the group energy and dynamics again after the break, intro‐ duction into self presentation through group game. Finding common things in each other. Instructions: Participants sit down in a circle on chairs, one person is in the middle of the circle who has to say a true statement about herself. For whom the statement is true as well, has to leave their chair and choose another (empty) one. The person from the middle wants to sit down as well. Exercise n° 2 (30 mins): Self presentation by “world café” and drawing Pedagogical objective: Presentation and representation, re-contextualizing personal stories. “World café” is a training method to discuss sensible and complex topics in a big group. Here the form is used for self-(re)presentation. Instructions: Participants sit down in small groups and each group gets the same questions concerning different aspects of their identities. Participants are invited to start a small dis‐ cussion starting from the introductory phrase or question. After a few moments people are asked to change place: somebody from each table has to leave his group and find a new table this is how people will rotate. During discussions every‐ body has to draw things that came to their mind during talking about themselves. Debriefing: Short discussion about the “onion” model of identity. Points to underline: - the questions related to different aspects of our identity from the most obvious and visible to the most hidden, difficult to relate. If represented, this model can be drawn in the form of concentric circles, similar to the layers of an onion. - Identity is not an equivalent of “personality” it is formed in interactions with relevant oth‐ ers - Identity is therefore always cultural: it is acquired in the social process of socialization which is in fact the interiorisation of cultural norms and values. Exercise n° 3 (60 mins) Short films with green box Pedagogical objective: Creating a self portrait based on the onion model of identity and world café discussions. In the whole group everybody prepares drawings about themselfes and then in small groups of 3 people they prepare thoughts and text what they want to say explaining their drawings. Then they split the tasks between each other, who is the cameraman, the storyteller and the other one is the interviewer. In these small groups they prepare their own “identity film”. Then they screen the drawings with a projector on the wall and the 3 persons start to shoot the film. In the end the small groups edit together the film. Presentation of films (20 mins)
Excersise n° 4 (60 mins) Short films with stop motion Pedagogical objective: Creating stop motion films about stories based on personal and created elements by participants about the topic of cultur‐ al shocks and difficulties come from cultural dif‐ ferences. Methods: Participants discuss with the facilitators in small groups of 3 what does it mean cultural shock, cultural difficulties. Then they choose on of the stories, situations and they write a script of a 3 minutes long film. Stop motion is an animation technique. It used to makes static objects appear as if they were moving. The object is moved in increments between individually photographed frames. While the camera was stopped an animator would adjust the figure or object the camera was pointing at. The camera would film another frame – this would continue until all the animation was filmed. They can use as an object: cutting out figures from newspapers or taking pictures about themselfes and cutting out their own figures these their own photos, drawing . Instructions: In small groups of 3-4 people create a story board based on the stories and concrete situations. Then choose a method to implement it. Split he tasks of a cameraman , a person who will move the little pieces of figures, drawings and one will say GO when it’s possible to take picture about a moved figure or drawing.
4. EXPLORING DIVERSITY & ACQUIRING SENSE OF EMPOWERMENT Sand writings, Creative writing workshop Responsible organisation’s name: University of the Peloponnese, Department of Theatre Studies Facilitator’s name: Alkistis Kondoyianni Pedagogical objective: Aims at making the participants familiar with the creative undoings and subversions of plain written text , as well as with the emergence and tracing of a novel text. More specifically, the workshop aims at creative writing producing small pieces of texts, based on a collective experience that reveals the diversity and the dynamics of human relations. Time required: 3 hours Optimal number of participants: no limit Materials: peculiar objects and materials, long stripes of paper, markers Preparation: none Exercise n° 1: Pedagogical objective: The first “creative writing” of the group is a transcription of ideas with materials moved in the space with the objective of making the participants aware of the space and the body – understanding of the tridimensionality of the environment through objects. Instructions: Observe the environment, choose the objects you like, take them and then 161
put them in the place you think they match. Create a space of yours in the whole environ‐ ment (using objects and materials). Observe again the whole “creative writing” of yours and of the group and write three titles for the whole creation (on long sheets of paper). Exercise n° 2: Pedagogical objective: The exercise aims at the development of the sensation of the space, of the others around and the participants acting with the others as a group. Instructions: Create a scheme-design with your bodies, it is «creative writing» with you and your bodies at the space. You can also choose objects and materials which are around you. Your body – with these objects and with the other persons, altogether – perform “creative writing” (music). Exercise n° 3: Pedagogical objective: This exercise aims at stimulating the creativity in relation with the objects around us and at presenting ourselves to the group. Instructions: Everybody will take the material he/she likes and will make his/her own com‐ position of objects. He/she will present himself and will speak about his/her creation/construc‐ tion (music). Exercise n° 4: Pedagogical objective: The exercise aims at bringing everybody in contact with the others making them observe what they have created It also aims at experiencing the weight of the words, starting to the meaning of the words and at forming a text out of them – a poem. Finally at aims at creating a dialogue which promotes creativity. Instructions: 1. Find a way to unite your construction with those of the others creating a bigger unit. Inside the new construction there is the construction representing you. Please write words significant for you and put them in the “right place” (the one the participant chooses), at one point of the whole construction (long sheets of paper). 2. Write a personal poem for the whole construction and use your words (special piece of paper). 3. Make a dialogical poem creating a dialogue with your poem and your pair’s poem. Pres‐ entation. Exercise n° 5: Pedagogical objective: This exercise aims at creating bounds with the members through their experiences, and at expressing ideas in dialogues. Instructions: In pairs Choose words that are significant for you from the poem. Explain to your partner why this word (words) is significant for you through one experience that comes to your mind. Your partner does the same and finally you play a very quick dialogue using your words. Presentation. Exercise n° 6: Pedagogical objective: This exercise aims at the development of creativity through commu‐ nication and interaction 162
Instructions: At the wall there is an empty paper which can be used by you. It’s your news‐ paper where you can leave your print, you can write words or write a wish to somebody who faces something difficult. Exercise n° 7: Pedagogical objective: This exercise aims at expressing in a free way personal problems by writing them down and proposing solutions. Instructions: At the wall there is an empty paper which can be used by you. It’s your news‐ paper where you can leave your print, you can write a problem you are facing. Others can propose solutions by adding them up on the paper.. Exercise n° 8: Pedagogical objective: This exercise aims at increasing the feeling of the body in the space, in relation with the sounds and the words as an expression which reflects the whole group Instructions: Finish with the creative writing of your body on the floor and fill the space with your sounds. Create the song of the group. Suggested readings on the topic: ADAIR, J. (2009). The art of creative thinking: how to be innovative and develop great ideas. London: Kogan Page BOWKETT, S. (1997). Imagine that… A Handbook for Creative Learning Activities for the Classroom. Trowbridge: Redwood Books CRAFT, A. (1998). Can you Teach Creativity? Nottingham: Education Now Publishing Co-operative FOUCAULT, M. (1984). The Foucault Reader. London: Penguin Books GOLEMAN, D. (2006). Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Mat‐ ter More Than IQ. Bantam GOUREVITCH, Ph., (2006). Paris Review Interview Anthology, Paris: The Paris Review KAUFMAN, J. & STERNBERG, R. (2006). The International Handbook of Creativity. Cam‐ bridge: Cambridge University Press MICHALKO, M. (2001). Cracking Creativity: the Secrets of Creative Genius. New York: Ten Speed Press NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON CREATIVE AND CULTURAL EDUCATION (1999). All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education. DFEE (Department for Educa‐ tion and Employment) TAYLOR, C. (1988). Various Approaches to and Definitions of Creativity, in Sternberg, R. (Ed.). The Nature of Creativity: Contemporary Psychological Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE ARTS (1997). Theatre in Education: Ten Years of Change. London: NCA RODARI, G. (1996). The Grammar of Fantasy: An Introduction to Art of Inventing Stories. Teachers & Writers Collaborative STERNBERG, R. (1988). The Nature of Creativity: contemporary psychological perspec‐ tives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press STERNBERG, R. (1999). Handbook of Creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Life maps Responsible organisations’ name: University of the Peloponnese & Osmosis Facilitators’ names: Christina Zoniou & Naya Boemi References: Govas, N., 2009. “From the indi‐ vidual to the social: The ‘life map’ activities”. In Alex Mavrokordatos (ed.), 2009. mPPACT Manifest: Methodology for a Pupil and Perform‐ ing Arts-Centred Teaching, Gamlingay, Sandy: Authors OnLine (pp.136-140). Pedagogical objectives: This activity aims at reflecting the participants’ stories, choices and identities; at developing self awareness; and at moving from the individual to the collective as part of the empower‐ ment process. In this activity participants are exposed to the dynamic, changeable and multiple features of personal identities, as well as the roles of self-determination and choice in forming them. It also aims at creating a sense of collectivity through the sharing of common elements in personal stories; and at enhancing cross-cultural interaction and the crossing of personal boundaries through the creation of collective artistic products that derive from them. Time required: 2-3 hours or more Optimal number of participants: 12-20 Materials: Large sheets of paper, markers, soft music Preparation: Create a relaxed atmosphere using concentration and relaxation games. Instructions: This is an activity about mapping the personal stories of the participants, sharing them, and creating and enacting a new collective story, by means of the artistic methods of drawing, narrating and performing. The activity is developed in five stages: - Mapping personal stories: on a large sheet of paper, everyone draws their own “life map” as a journey from the birth (or another starting point) to the present. The participants try to represent who they are now and what led them be what they are. Using abstract or concrete drawing, they depict a journey containing the most important events of their life - key turning points, moments of change and decisions, expectations and dreams, achieve‐ ments, obstacles, moments of fear, oppression or injustice etc. - Sharing personal stories: in subgroups of 4-6 persons, the participants share the sto‐ ries in their “life maps”. Key notions and important issues deriving from these stories are noted. Then the participants choose the most important notions and issues that they have in common. - Creating a new common story and performing it: each subgroup devises a short performance based on the most important common notions and issues, using still images, 164
improvisations, sounds, dialogue, movement, objects, music. - Responding: the audience, made up of the other participants, gives feedback and reflects on the performances in terms of their objectives, plot and style. The facilitator may use discussion or interactive drama techniques, such as “thought tracking”, “hot chairs”, “image theatre” and “forum theatre”, to give feedback (see demechanisation exercises in Boal’s “Games for actors and non actors”). - Re-creating and developing the story: participants recreate their scenes, taking into consideration the audience’s comments. Variation 1: stage 1) “Mapping personal stories” can be replaced by narrating a story re‐ lated to an object that has particular significance for the individual or that represents his/ her culture. Variation 2: the story to be depicted concerns a particular moment, for instance, “arriving in a new cultural environment” or “participating in the theatrical workshop” (see “Maps of the workshop” as an evaluation activity) Debriefing: After the activity the facilitator encourages participants to comment on the experience of reflecting on their personal stories, on sharing them and re-elaborating them with the others. Suggested readings on the topic: Alex Mavrokordatos (ed.), 2009. mPPACT Manifest: Methodology for a Pupil and Perform‐ ing Arts-Centred Teaching, Gamlingay, Sandy: Authors OnLine.
5. UNDERSTANDING CHALLENGES OF ADAPTATION The migration path Responsible organisations’ names: Artemisszió & Elan Interculturel Facilitators’ names: Veronika Szabó, Vera Várhegyi Pedagogical objective: • To help participants get tuned on the subject of migration, understand what migrants go through • To have a basic understanding of basic concepts of cross-cultural adaptation Time required: Part 1: 1 hour Part 2: 1 hour Part 3: 1 hour Optimal number of participants: 10-20 The small groups work best with 3-5 participants, bigger groups should be split up. Materials: Flipchart paper and color pencils/chalks/markers for the migration paths Preparation: The interview transcripts should be checked beforehand. It is possible to use interviews prepared by the participants, then count the time for selecting/shortening/editing the inter‐ views.
The interviews do not have to be longer then one page, including the following information: - reasons behind to leave the home country - situation at home country - experiences about the journey - present at the host country Instructions: Part 1: Drawing the migration path 1-2 pages long interview transcripts are distributed to the participants, 3-4 people can work on the same interview. Their task is to read the text and then create a visual representa‐ tion of the path of the migrant, showing what happened before, how the decision to leave was taken, what happened during the transition, at arrival and how the person looks at the future. The interview does not contain all information about the migrant’s situation, so the groups have to complete the stories at each station according to the following questions: What kind of feeling can the protagonist have at the different stations? What kind of important persons did he/she meet with during the journey? What kind of institutions, offices did she/he go to and what was their impact on the journey? What kind of resources did she/he have? What kind of difficulties did she/he face at the different stations The small groups are working on the questions and prepare a presentation on the path of the protagonist on paper that they will share with the whole group. 3 participants have a special task: they become interviewers: they take the role of a migra‐ tion officer/journalist/psychologist and they can ask questions to the migrant (=participants talking from the perspective of the migrant) The facilitator explains them to prepare their role by using the same questions from their own point of view, according to the role taken up. Part 2: Becoming the migrant Each group presents the migration path of their migrant. They must talk in 1st person singular (= from the perspective of the migrant). Each team member should have a part (everybody should speak). Once they presented the migration path, the 3 experts (journalist, psychologist, migration officer) can ask their questions. If the group is playful, have some experiences on drama or theatre field, it’s possible to make the presentation in the style of a tv show. In this case the facilitator takes the role of the tv-show speaker and asks the migrants to tell their stories and then asks the experts to put question to the migrants. It can be important to create an atmosphere where every‐ body is in a role, the facilitator as well. It helps to play the game. Part 3: Debriefing + basic concepts A first quick debriefing aims at letting the roles go. Sometimes participants acting as mi‐ grants/experts get into their roles and get emotional. We should help them to step out of those emotions. We can ask both migrants and experts how they felt. We can ask the whole group how authentic/realistic the experts were. The second part of the debriefing focuses on some basic concepts of adaptation. The facil‐ itator can adjust the content according to the level of their group. Some concepts worth tackling are: Discussion on the motives of migration, in particular the push and pull factors: What are the reasons, factors behind leaving the home country 166
Aspects of adaptation: - psychological adjustment - sociocultural adaptation - acculturation Some idées recues about adaptation worth to tackle: - U curve hypothesis (stages proposed by Oberg then Lysgard, starting with honey-moon etc) - Acculturation as a linear process Discussion about institutions (organizations) which can help migrants in their adaptation (psychological, legal, social problems). Debriefing: See above Hints for facilitators: It may be a good idea to go through the roles of the experts with the participants playing ex‐ perts. What special position these occupations imply? How do these professionals behave? What is their goal? What is important for them? Suggested readings on the topic (background theory or methodology): Colleen Ward, Stephen Bochner, Adrian Furnham 2001. The Psychology of Culture Shock Routledge, East Sussex
Host and home Responsible organisation’s name: Artemisszió Foundation Facilitator’s name: Veronika Szabó Pedagogical objective: - To help to find and discuss common words, concepts, challenges and experiences related to the host country of migrants and their recent home - To go from the individual level to the collective one trough discussion of challanges - To find a common issue, challenge, difficulty to form of it the “embrio” for a forum theatre performance Time need: 30 minutes Suitable number of participants: 10-12 divided into 2 groups first and then 3-4. Material needs: Flipchart paper and color pencils/chalks/markers for writing Preparation needed: Facilitators should prepare two tables with two big flipchart Instructions: The group should be divided into 2 groups, A and B. In the A group they collect words, concepts related to the host country, in the B group they collect words, concepts related to home. After writing down the words on flipcharts the groups change their places and watch what the other group wrote on the flipcharts and the participants highlight those words which are true for them personally, which they agree on concerning the 2 main topics. After that the group discusses those words which have been mentioned the most often and share 167
cultural experiences related to these words. It can be also an introduction game to start to discuss also oppression situations and injust and build still images from that. Debriefing: Several questions might be used to discuss the concepts and words after their collection: - For example: Tell us a concrete experience about a word that you used? - If there is any challenge around it how do you manage it? - Discussion about the concept of culture and identity Hints for facilitators: Facilitators should call participant’s attention to write just simple words, because then they have the possibility to really share experiences concerning them. Suggested readings on the topic (background theory or methodology): Provide: For books: Augusto Boal, Games for actors and non-actors
6. CHANGING AND ENVISIONING A NEW LIFE PROJECT Image theatre as body-storming Responsible organisations’ names: University of the Peloponnese & Osmosis Facilitators’ names: Christina Zoniou & Naya Boemi Pedagogical objectives: Part 1 Sculptor and sculptures 1. To express and analyse feelings, ideas, thoughts and relationships through body images 2. To share body attitudes and movements 3. To understand the relationship between image and spectator’s perception (what I show and how others perceive it) 4. To understand the relationship between image and lived experience (what I feel and how I express my feelings through my body) 5. Personal and collective exploration of a topic Part 2 Dynamic images 1. To reflect on particular issues in order to develop innovative solutions 2. To interact by means of participants’ bodies 3. To approach a topic dialectically 4. To encourage participation in decision making Time required: Part 1 15 minutes + Part 2 30 minutes Optimal number of participants: 10-20 Preparation: Warm up and activation games, concentration techniques Instructions: Part 1 Sculptor and sculptures Participants are asked to “mould” and “sculpt” their bodies or those of others into individ‐ ual representations of a particular situation, emotion or idea. Any kind of speaking is not permitted and the participant becomes like a sculptor, who must determine the position of 168
each body including the mimics as if they are made of clay. This created statue or group of statues is presented to other participants for discussion. Part 2 Dynamic images Participants “sculpt” images on their own and others’ bodies depicting an issue of oppres‐ sion. These frozen images are then “dynamised”, or brought to life, through a sequence of movement-based and interactive exercises. The initial frozen image (known as the ‘actual image’) is then used as a prompt for discussion about how the situation can be changed – how the spectators themselves can change the situation. The participants rehearse this solution by moulding a new sculpture depicting the ‘ideal image’, in which the oppression is dispelled. This is followed by an ‘image of transition’ between the reality of the oppression and the ‘ideal image’, encouraging insight into ways of overcoming real life oppression. Debriefing: Part 1 Sculptor and sculptures Through sculpting others or using our own body to demonstrate a body position, partic‐ ipants create anything from one-person to large-group image sculptures that reflect the sculptor’s impression of a situation or oppression. By using the body rather than speech, the normal “blockades” and “filters” of thought can be bypassed. These bodily and physical expressions form a space to discuss the oppression that is seen visually. Part 2 Dynamic images Image Theatre allows the communication beyond the confines of language, separate out objective and subjective thinking, and develops a language of representation. When view‐ ing images participants are encouraged to be keen to understand the difference between what one sees and what one assumes. This is to disrupt the automatic thought processes of inference and to gain a stronger understanding of the way images can be interpreted. The process leads to reflection that produces proposals for solutions, which are ultimately tested in new images and thus leads to new experience and a new round of possible actions. Hints for facilitators: - maieutic attitude : the facilitator acts as a “midwife”, his/her mission is to help give birth/ form to ideas, assumptions, feelings of the participants in a non directive way. - have in their mind that the ways in which people present their bodies and emotions are culturally formed - connection with methodological-theoretical principles of Boal’s and Freire’s methods Suggested readings on the topic (background theory or methodology): - Boal, A., 1995, The Rainbow of De‐ sire: The Boal Method Of Theatre and Therapy. London: Routledge - Boal, A., 1992, Games For Actors and Non-Actors. London: Routledge
Introduction to Forum Theatre Responsible organisations’ names: University of the Peloponnese & Osmosis Facilitators’ names: Christina Zoniou & Naya Boemi References: Boal 1992 Pedagogical objective: To empower participants to face oppressive social conditions and to redesign their life pro‐ ject. Time required: many sessions, a total of approximately 10-15 hours Optimal number of participants: 12-20 Materials: props, costumes, music etc. Preparation: The activity belongs to the final stage of a workshop, after the group is tried and tested by the cre‐ ative process initiated by previous activities. Note that Forum Theatre is a complex theatrical activity rather than an exercise, taken from the Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal and needs a solid theoretical and practical preparation on behalf of the facilitator. Instructions: The group is introduced to the themes of oppression, oppressor, oppressed, breaking of oppression through various theatrical activities taken from the Arsenal of the Theatre of the Oppressed, e.g. from the chapters “The invention of space and the spatial structures of power” (see Boal 1992:149-150) and “Image theatre” (pp.164-192) such as “The Great Game of Power”. The participants are divided into subgroups of 5, in order to construct short scenes of op‐ pression deriving from their personal experiences. The group selects an issue to deal with, one that concerns the participants themselves and the problems they face in their own lives, and produces several scenes on it, building a coherent story. The story is made up of elements from personal stories and fiction, and it represents an unresolved conflict or form of oppression, i.e. a scene that ends badly. The protagonist is the oppressed, someone who has the need and the desire to change the oppressive reality but finds obstacles by the oppressor(s)-antagonist. According to Boal (p.227), the scenes we choose to present in a Forum Theatre performance should give the opportunity for many alternatives, that is, they show oppression at a point when something is still to be done, rather than when everything is up to physical resistance. Otherwise we may depress and disempower the “spect-actors”. As the performance is prepared, the group gradually moves from a personal to a social representation of the problem, changing, adding or omitting details according to the group’s objectives. The scenes are rehearsed, using various techniques (pp.201-204), and are enhanced aesthetically by music, props and stage design. Decisions are made col‐ lectively, using the creative forces of the whole group. The scenes are shown as a complete performance to an audience that watches it once. Then the facilitator (the Joker) asks the audience: in the event of the same thing happen‐ 170
ing again, what one could do? The scene is repeated. The audience can change the course of the story, by saying ‘stop’, freezing the actors and substituting the character that they identify as the oppressed – protagonist of the story. The members of the audience become then “spect-actors” and by acting on stage, they do and say what they would do and say in an analogous situation, in the given conditions and with the given difficulties presented by the antagonist. The Joker coordinates the game and the substitution of characters, trying to deepen the discussion by asking critical questions. “Magic” solutions should be rejected. Debriefing: Participants and audiences discuss possible solutions to real life situations Hints for facilitators: Be prepared to deal sometimes with painful stories of oppression; move the focus to the social aspect of a problem; try to lead the participants to “conscien‐ tisation”, to critical awareness of the social reality they face, as well as to empowerment and to finding meaningful ways out of oppressive reality; use a “maieutic” attitude and avoid manipulating the participants and the audience. Suggested readings on the topic: Boal, A. 1992, Games For Actors and Non-Actors. Trans. Adrian Jackson. London: Routledge (2nd edition 2002).
7. EVALUATING CHANGE Narrative evaluation with images Responsible organisation’s name: Elan Interculturel Facilitator’s name: Vera Várhegyi Pedagogical objective: This evaluation method is suitable for workshops which have some visual output that par‐ ticipants have created. The task serves the evaluation of the workshop, reflection on what happened and on the pedagogical objectives of the workshop Time required: 1-2 hours outside of the workshop time as participants should do this after the workshop finished, ideally 1-2 weeks after Optimal number of participants: Materials: Drawing paper, color pencils/pastels/pens, journals for collage, scissors, glue. Flipchart paper, markers Preparation: During the workshop the outputs of the participants have to be documented and connected to the chronology of the workshop. For each participant the facilitator must create a template with chosen images on the works of the given participant. Instructions: The evaluation template should have several images of the participant reflecting each ses‐ sion or each theme covered. For each image some space must be left so that participants answer three questions:
1) Description of the art work in question: please describe objectively what is represented, what do you see in this image? 2) Context: please describe how it was prepared, in which part of the workshop, how did you feel about this activity? 3) How can you link this image to the theme of the workshop (e.g. migration, diversity, adaptation etc., please write here the theme of your workshop) The evaluation should be sent to the facilitator. Alternatively the evaluation could be done in an interview.
The hot chair evaluation Responsible organisation’s name: Artemisszió Foundation Facilitators’ names: Veronika Szabó, Viktor Bori Pedagogical objective: - To help participants to evaluate a process from different points of view - To help to express and define feelings and conclusion related to a theatrical workshop Time need: Between 45 min and 1.5 hour (Depends on the number of participants). Optimal number of participants: 10-15 (The small groups work best with 3-5 partici‐ pants). Materials: Flipchart paper and color pencils/chalks/markers for the migration paths Preparation needed: The facilitators prepare two chairs in front of each other, one is the “hot chair”, the other is the “role chair”. The rest of the chairs are in a half circle in front of the two chairs. Instructions: The “hot chair” game is a theatrical evaluation method. It is a modified version of the game “hot seat” by Veronika Szabó of Artemisszió Foundation and Viktor Bori actor and drama in education teacher. The original game is invented by drama in education educators and it is a narrative convention in drama in education lessons. One participant of the group takes a seat and a role of the character of a scene or story and is interviewed in character by the rest of the group. This excercise’s aim is to further explore the content and context of a story and the rest of the group can understand better the feeling, the behaviour of a char‐ acter by putting him/her questions. In our modified version we use the roles in an opposite way and we use this for individual evaluation. The facilitators prepare two chairs in front of each other, one is the “hot chair”, the other is the “role chair”. One chair is occupied by a participant who will answer ques‐ tions. This person does not play any role, just plays her/himself. On the other hand the rest of the group take a role of a: • good friend • mother • a journalist • a psychologist 172
Anybody of the group can take the “role” chair, but before sitting down they need to clarify which role of the 4 they will play. After this they ask question related to the workshop from the participant in “hot chair”. Each participant can take the hot chair. Suggested readings on the topic: László Kaposi: Játékkönyv, 2010
Workshop maps Responsible organisations’ names: Univeristy of the Peloponnese & Osmosis Facilitators’ names: Christina Zoniou & Naya Boemi Pedagogical objective: To evaluate change occurred Time required: 30-60 minutes Optimal number of participants: 10-20 Materials: Drawing paper, color pencils/pastels/pens/markers, flipchart paper or A3 papers Instructions: A “workshop map” is a visual evaluation technique. It is a variation of the exercise “Life Maps” (Govas 2009:138-139), which is a pictorial representation of someone’s life, an au‐ tobiography recording significant events, which uses pictures and symbols to represent events and goals (see above). In “Workshop Maps”, participants and trainers use symbols, drawings, words, short phrases and so on to draw the route and experience of the work‐ shop. About 15-20 minutes are required for each individual drawing. Then each participant talks about her drawing and the others can ask questions. The idea behind the use of this technique lies in the qualitative evaluation paradigm, which inspired us. Accordingly, re‐ searchers are allowed to evaluate the outcomes of a course basing on the personal narra‐ tives of participants’ experiences. Workshop maps as method of evaluation produces a lot of useful data that can be categorized and analyzed. Such an analysis can be made by using a Grounded Theory Method, meaning that we let the categories of analysis derive from the open analysis of the data. Suggested readings on the topic: Govas, N., 2009. “From the individual to the social: The ‘life map’ activities”. In Alex Mavrokordatos (ed.), 2009. mPPACT Manifest: Methodol‐ ogy for a Pupil and Performing Arts-Centred Teaching, Gamlingay, Sandy: Authors OnLine (pp.136-140).
Observation grid Responsible organisation’s name: Research Group Art applications for Social Integration: art, therapy and inclusion (University Complutense of Madrid) Facilitator’s name: Marián López Fdez. Cao
Pedagogical objective: To give facilitators a tool to observe, during the participants’ art processes, items (attitudes, feelings, fears) that can be used in order to improve the psychosocial skills, sense of wellbe‐ ing and self-esteem of participants to face new environments. Time required: 1-2 hours outside of the workshop time as facilitators should do this after the workshop has finished, every time. Optimal number of participants: Materials: Observation grid, pictures of art products made by facilitators, pencil. Preparation needed: During the workshop the facilitator has to have in mind the indicators of the observation grid. Those indicators are related to the way the participant react to art process, to con‐ signs given, to his or her own work of art, to the relation to the other participants’ works and to facilitators. All these outputs have to be documented and connected to the chronol‐ ogy of the workshop, through the observation grid. For each participant the facilitator must create a template with all these observations during the whole workshop. Instructions: An observation grid is not a mere closed instrument of evaluation. It is an invitation to com‐ mon reflection. It proposes fields of reflection and analysis, moments where to stop and to analyse what happened in the workshop. Observing how the participant associates him or herself with his/her work, observing his/ her doubts about the work and processes, the influences of other participants or the facil‐ itator, his or her resistances, acceptance or rejection of her/his work, can give facilitators hints of how the participant faces new situations. Observing how he or she takes into ac‐ count his or her difficulties (or blames always the external factors) can help facilitators to realize cognitive patterns and can help facilitators to work through the sense of frustration and abandonment that sometimes participants have at the beginning of an art project. In the same way, the way the participant expresses or refers to the work of others, his/her relationship of admiration or contempt, or simply of indifference, can help us to learn about how he/she sets the links with the others, through the works. Isolation, relationship, are key elements in the constitution of human beings and can help us to help our participants reflect about attitudes which they had not noticed before. A close look at the work of art, devoid of deterministic interpretations based on contents, can inform us about the way in which the participants “shape” their expressions and feel‐ ings. The observation of the use of space, of the repetition of patterns or stereotypes that helps participants defend themselves through learned forms, the observation of continued use of shapes and colours can help facilitators to show participants how they begin to be aware of their own “style”, their own modes of communication and expression through art. Finally, the interaction with facilitators, through the process of transference, helps facilita‐ tors to know what they embody for the participant. Knowing this can help facilitators to analyse the relationships of power, dependence, insubordination or submission that the participant projects on the facilitator. It is important for the facilitator to act being aware of these processes, on the one hand, and on the other hand, to let the participant be aware of them also. As we have pointed out, the observation grid is an invitation to reflect on art processes, 174
Published on Feb 27, 2013
This book was made during an international Grundtvig project, Ariadne. manual for trainers, educators and artists interested in how art inte...