Bagh - I’m on the end of a nice coffee buzz right now after applying for loads of internships and jobs for the summer. 20 DAYS!!!! Until I get to post photos, reblogs, likes, etc. on Tumblr….oh, and going back to NYC.
Anyway, last weekend I had a truly redemptive and inspiring experience here in Hangzhou through a workshop my friend Emma and I put together. There were 15 total of university students (all Chinese, except for 1 that was from Myanmar). Most of our warm up activities were ones from the practices developed in Theater of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal. Our Workshop was titled: “Personal Development Workshop: Creative Education”
Our workshop consisted of a small educational piece on the different sides of the brain and their functions and roles, multi-disciplinary theories on education and a brief survey. After this we used an activity called Celtic Wheel in which participants were able to identify with one of 4 different personality types posted around the room. There was A LOT of discussion and dialogue and it even got personal at times. After this our last activity was called Carnival in Rio, a non-verbal activity, which required participants to start with different sounds and movements (unique to them/their groups of three) and eventually combine with the entire group. The game would only stop when there was ONE sound and movement.
That last activity took a whole 40 minutes! Participants were tired and sweating but were extremely involved and determined. The underlying connotations of domination and conformism in society were translated very well by these students. Yet they associated these practices more with success and working in a group as opposed to working against the group. Things definitely got fiery and there were two girls who would not give up! Nope they wouldn’t conform …well they eventually did - but that’s the point of the game.
Anywho - It was amazing and extremely successful. Participants were extremely grateful mentioning that they were deeply affected by it. It was so nice hearing different Chinese students’ individual come out in a society dominated by group ideology and traditional social values (linked to Confucianism)
We got so much positive feedback that I will be putting two poetry workshops these last couple of weeks in Hanghzou. My friend Emma and I will develop them to use Image Theater to inspire poetry. I am currently developing the themes and activities for this workshop, so again expect sporadic poetry.
Thanks for tuning in!