In September we had the pleasure of participating in the Centre for Human Ecology's Unbrexable conference, a day of workshops, films and discussions around Brexit and what it means for our communities near and far.
For our workshop we chose to take the following Thoreau quote as our inspiration:
"I am as desirous of being a good neighbour
as I am of being a bad subject"
We began the workshop with some light Theatre of the Oppressed games, before inviting participants to respond to a set of images, positioning themselves against a matrix of neighbourliness vs civily disobedient:
Out of this activity we drew out some interesting discussions around the inter-relationship between neighbourly acts and that which is considered civily disobedient. We began to consider 'who' were our neighbours and what acts were important to 'support them'. A discussion of the role of solidarity also emerged from this and where it sits.
We next invited participants to select images which represented actions that could be taken forward in the current context (neighbourly, civily disobedient, both/and/or) and were invited to plot these on the matrix. Out of the discussion it was clear that there is a need to neighbourly civil disobedience in the times in which we are living.
Our next activity was to use techniques from Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed, specifically the 'Cops in the Head' activity. The idea behind this activity was to promote discussion around what the barriers to acts of solidarity, neighbourliness and resistance might be in our current context and how we can effectively and collectively overcome such barriers. In order to do this 2 caminantes presented a short scene, in which a character intended to participate in a blockade, but in the end talked herself out of going. We used this brief scene to explore barriers to acting in civily disobedient ways, before experimenting with 'how' we might be able to overcome such barriers.
As ever there was not enough time to explore all the issues, challenges and possibilities that this theme raised, but we enjoyed the opportunity to begin digging around and hope that CAMINA can play a central role in nurturing neighbourly civil disobedience as we go forward...
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