So you’ve read about me and my approach , and you’re in!
But what’s next?
What would it look like for us to work together?
Really, that is up to YOU! I want our work to be collaborative.
Rather than me leading the relationship, I am curious about where you are right now in your journey.
And where you want to go.
But I also have some unique skills and experience.
Here are some tools and techniques I would be happy to incorporate into our work.
Many of these techniques were developed to use in groups.
But don’t worry! There are creative ways to adapt them to work 1:1.
Roles and Archetypes
We all play different roles in our day to day lives.
These might be family roles (parent, child, spouse, sibling), community roles (neighbor, coworker, friend), roles related to occupation (doctor, lawyer, teacher), social identity roles (gender/sexuality, hobbies/interests, race/ethnicity), or roles that are based in a certain culture.
While we relate to roles individually, they are also part of the larger social and cultural context. How we perceive our role might be different from what others expect from that role. And some roles that we don’t like or identify with might still be projected onto us.
Some roles over time have become archetypes, like the Hero, the Villain, the Trickster, the Warrior, the Healer.
Exploring what roles or archetypes you identify with, and how you relate to them, can help you figure out when you need to shift.
Marginalized individuals can also get stuck in roles like “helper” or “victim” and need support to get unstuck.
Theatre of the Oppressed
Theatre of the Oppressed was created by Augusto Boal, a Brazilian theatre artist and activist.
The idea is to use dramatic techniques to explore oppressor/oppressed dynamics, and imagine alternatives.
A short scene outlining a moment of oppression is performed for an audience.
Then, the scene is started over from the beginning.
But this time, anyone from the audience can pause the scene at any time, replace one of the existing actors, and try something new.
This can help marginalized groups explore their agency to fight back against oppression in creative ways.
Or, for those in positions of power and privilege to practice different ways to negotiate their role in society.
Rainbow of Desire
This technique can help unpack and explore interactions that didn’t go well, or that ended in conflict.
Again, a portion of the conversation in question is performed as a short scene.
This time, whoever brought the story to the group is asked to think about the fears and desires both people were bringing to the conversation.
Those fears and desires are given a physical shape through gesture, and try to interact with one another.
This helps people gain insight and empathy into the experience of others. Especially those who are different from us.
Sociodrama and Psychodrama
Sociodrama and Psychodrama are both experiential and therapeutic techniques developed by Jacob L. Moreno, a contemporary of Sigmund Freud.
Moreno created a Theatre of Spontaneity in Vienna, where he explored how dramatization, role play, and other forms of creative expression could help individuals build their creativity and spontaneity.
In a Sociodrama, group members explore a theme relevant to the group as a whole. Group members improvise characters and enact a series of fictional scenes. Then, they discuss how those scenes relate back to the real-life events or concerns impacting the group. Improvisation is a vehicle to explore both what is and what could be in relationship to the topic, and creates emotional distance by referencing archetypes.
Psychodrama, on the other hand, allows one group member (called the protagonist) to enact a scene from their life. Often, this scene is a conflict or a past traumatic event. Group members take on different roles to enact those who were present. This can allow the protagonist to unpack new layers or meaning, have a cathartic and/or reparative experience, and practice new ways of engaging with others in their life.
A Psychodrama can also explore the meaning of a dream. Or, be a future projection – imagining an event that has yet to occur, and anticipating how one might react or respond.
Creative Practices and Rituals
A lot of marginalized communities use art and creativity to find meaning, heal trauma, and build community.
This could look like creative writing, poetry, or songwriting.
We could make visual art, zines, or educational materials.
Create videos, listen to music, sing songs together.
Knit scarves, sew quilts, or make a sculpture from recycled materials.
Explore movement or breath as a way to regulate the nervous system and release stress.
We can even cook food together via Zoom!
The sky is really the limit.
While self care can’t cure systemic oppression, it is still a valuable tool of resistance.
Taking care of ourselves is what gives us the strength to keep moving forward.
We can work together to figure out what creative rituals and practices could best support your well-being and activism.
This is really a jumping-off point.
I am also interested in what YOU have already been doing!
How are you excited to use your creativity to build a world where everyone can be free to be themselves?