thinking about the project of creating connections

In preparing for the final meeting in the workshop series, I find myself thinking around language, colonisation and alienation. A number of exercises in this final meeting are inspired by this clip where Ngugi wa Thiong’o talks about colonisation and alienation.

As I listen to Ngugi talk and as I reflect on ways to bring this to the workshop participants, I can’t help but reflect on how the project of alienation continues on to this day. I think of how conversations these days can quickly become angry or hurtful ones and how essential it is to create space where we can just be and become bridges to our own selves and to our own power and how important it is to create moments where we create true and deep connections with one another.

In discussing the format of the sessions with Hodan, we felt that an important part of workshop practice was to remind participants that the act of sharing, of opening up or of voicing out what you think or what you genuinely feel means we are taking a risk. We remind participants of how vulnerable we all are and how we need to shape the kind of space that we want to be in with each other and so, we try to create a space where there is mutual respect and kindness of each other’s differences.

Edouard Glissant’s work and Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s work have been important to me in preparing and developing this workshop and so it made me really happy to witness how an application of certain thoughts works out in real space.

Thus far, the workshop has been bilingual, but I would love to encourage participants to tap into other languages that they carry with them. It would be so great if that could happen, but if it doesn’t perhaps it’s something to think about more for the next iteration of this workshop.

For my next project, I am thinking of how this kind of workshop can be used to create dialogues that can transform our connection with one another. I’m discovering that I rather enjoy the challenge and this practice of life, art and activism give me joy.

Be the bridge to your own power and may you embrace joy in the work that you do.