Workshop – Poetic forms of Social Activism

Workshop: Towards relational and poetic forms of social activism in professional practice and in everyday life

Together with Emerson Rasera we offered a workshop on poetic forms of social activism where through conversations in small groups, we created opportunities for dialogue and reflection for action on the topic of political tensions, social inequality and sustainability issues. Those topics are urgent to be touched up, however conflicts between different groups freeze dialogue and impoverish social life.
How can we create collaborative capacity to deconstruct unfavorable approaches and move into transformative action? The invitation here is to decolonize our everyday life and our work, promoting spaces where our dreams and our questions can be exercised in our daily environment connecting to small answers that can eventually become great actions. The workshop offered at the Taos Conference in November 2018 was strategically created to be one of those dialogical spaces to ignite action.
In order to facilitate such important reflections we draw upon the methodology of World Café, having different questions in each table where participants would rotate and contribute to the developing of ideas.
For each question we addressed, different meanings emerged.  So, when we asked “How do political disputes affect our daily lives in professional and personal contexts?”some key words emerged and inspired more conversations. Some of the keywords were:  “Broken relationship”, “Anger”, “Distrust”, “Fear”, “Lack of safety”, “Prejudice”, “Sadness”, “Raise of resistance”. The answers to the second question “What can we do to transform the political disputes that affect our daily lives?”  brought new ideas, such as: “Get off facebook and create new tech platforms”; “Invite neighbors and friends for coffee and drinks”; “Stay strong on your believes and values”; “Get involved”; “Play”. And the third question “What resources social constructionism offer us for dealing with the political disputes that affect our daily lives?”: “Thinking relationally – valuing relationality”; “Multiplicity and non-binary constructions”; “Curiosity”; “Co-creation”; “Value local knowledge”; “Have the right to take a stand”; “Encouraging acts of resistance”; “Idea of becoming/transforming”.
This workshop can be an illustration of poetic activism as we are creating a collaborative capacity, brainstorming collective topics for us to engage together, generating ideas and moving forward beyond this gathering. We believe that different forms of relational and poetic activism can be exercised in our everyday relationships and professional life by opening spaces like this workshop. In turn, that can contribute to the transformation of personal and professional contexts, and may hopefully, have repercussions on wider social changes.
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