Beloved friends of ImaginAction,
We salute you and wish you and your loved ones safety and peace during this challenging time of the new Coronavirus. We send you updates on our work and how we are adapting to the current situation.
I am aware that life is not the same and many lives have been turned upside down. However, I wish to understand this as a crucial moment of deep transformation for us as a species. I see this as a rite of passage, as an initiation ritual for us as humanity. We are together going through what used to be called "the dark night of the soul" meaning both the world around us is changing rapidly as well as the world within us. Some of us have developed practices that allow us to look inside and connect with our centre and activate our internal resources. As the outside world comes to a standstill, we are being invited to go deeper into these practices and to share them with others less fortunate than us. It's also a moment that demands acts of real solidarity with those that we can reach and share whatever resources we might have available. More than ever the world is becoming fully aware of our interdependence, of our interbeingness. What happens to me is happening and affecting you and vice versa and what is happening to us as humanity is now showing its effects (positive and negative) in the rest of the beings on our living earth.
Even though most of us had to cancel our engagements and could easily enter into despair and feeling inundated, paralyzed or numb, because of the deep uncertainties, this is also a time for us to be as fully aware and present as we can. It is in the presence of the here and now that we can integrate our fears from the past and present and create the new future we have been dreaming of and working for. This is a time for innovation, for soulful reconnection to what is essential in life. I am encouraged by the acts of solidarity and courage that I witness all around me and by the new creative forms of connection, of reaching out to others, and of dealing with the overwhelming crisis we are seeing emerge all over our world.
With Reconectando we are designing virtual ways to stay connected to the amazing villages we had created during our work of the last 2 years and will continue supporting the imperative work of the Truth Commission. We are also updating our webpage and looking for volunteers to help us with the translation of our resources and video materials. Please follow us at www.reconectando.org
- Reconectando workshops
With my company Dreaming Action, we are also developing new programs to reach the disparate groups of people inside organizations and companies that are seeing their immediate future collapse in front of them. We are also helping and supporting those who are working in the front lines (health care workers and others) by creating support groups using our adaptations of social presencing, meditation, the work that reconnects and Dragon Dreaming. See more here: www.dreamingaction.com
Finally, I am very thankful for the opportunity I had to start 2020 with a powerful encounter with 25 women and 25 men in Barcelona and explored the urgency of our coming together to heal and support each other in the transformation of our world.
With Reconectando we had intense training with all of our 25 Semillas (Seeds of Reconectando). These are the people that were chosen among the participants of the laboratories we developed throughout 2019. With this powerful group of leaders, we are mentoring the offerings of Reconectando workshops in different regions of the country.
Also in February 2020 we had the opportunity to have an encounter with the several of the jokers that we trained last year in the use of Forum Theater and basic Jokering skills with the program Propaz, finance by GIZ. A video of this encounter will soon be shared.
Here a short interview I did (in Spanish) with the Truth Commission about fear of the truth in our societies. Please stay healthy and do not hesitate to reach out.
In January, I facilitated the Community Theatre course at the Departmental Institute of Fine Arts in Cali, Colombia. The course focused on three basic Theatre of the Oppressed techniques: Games-Exercises, Image Theatre and Forum Theatre.
- Community Theatre University course
In February, we started the workshops of the “Arts for Reconciliation” Research Group in Cali, experimenting the use of the neutral mask, dance therapy, painting and poetry to accompany reconciliation processes.
- Arts for Reconciliation Research Group
In February I facilitated a Rainbow of Desire Workshop in Cali, Colombia, focusing on positive transformation of conflicts between parents and adult children.
- Rainbow of Desire Workshop
I’m taking advantage of the "lock-down" period to:
- Coordinate the Arabic translation of How to Use Forum Theatre for Community Dialogue – a Facilitator’s Handbook.
- deliver an online workshop on the use of Testimonial Theatre with migrants and asylum seekers at the University of Applied Science Würzburg-Schweinfurt (FHWS), Würzburg, Germany.
- write part of my next book: Theatre for Reconciliation - How to use Drama in Peacebuilding, which I plan to publish by the end of 2020.
A MESSAGE FROM URI
In the last years, I had the privilege to be able to follow and learn how ways we can hold spaces for a deeper connection online.
The current situation calls on me to offer my skills and experience to hold spaces for presencing, network weaving and co-creation.
In Project LIFE I am providing technical assistance to Lifeskills LAB and continue to facilitate the IDEA Accelerator LAB as online co-learning experience using Zoom and WhatsApp. In the IDEA accelerator, I apply the principles of Theory U, and Dragon Dreaming together with Social Presencing Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed to empower migrants and Italians in transforming their dreams to purposeful social businesses. I am grateful for the amazing team and this opportunity to be part of this important multi-stakeholders conversation, developing new practical and creative tools in the service of personal growth, community and social innovation in the service of life.
- IDEA accelerator Perugia, Project LIFE
I am excited to be joining the team of UFacilitate, an organization founded by Andres Lara Marquez, coaching leaders in creating the conditions for greater inclusion and collaboration, "harnessing the diversity and creativity of their teams and stakeholders". I am looking forward to supporting more effective meetings and purposeful and heart-full organizational cultures. through creative facilitation online and offline.
Intending to bring arts to the forefront of societal renewal, social well-being and re-dreaming of the world I am launching Bahir consultancy. You can learn more and follow as I am creating the vocabulary around it on the new website: www.bahir-consultancy.com.
- A Deeper Now an inaugural article for Bahir Consultancy
In an-going collaboration with researchers from Chalmers University, I am facilitating the pilot online program in which with practitioners from across the globe we engage in an “in-bodied” conversation and a collaborative journey towards greater caring among men, women and earth. Stay tuned for new groups and train the trainer offers soon.
- Caring Men: From Ego to Eco
- Caring Men: From Ego to Eco
Here are some offerings and events I am supporting these days:
Now What!? 2020: storytelling and play during on Thursdays.
GAIA Journey: arts-based sense-making on Fridays.
Unfolding the Invisible: SPT practice group on Saturdays (in Italian).
Joker Exchange Online: Theatre of the Oppressed in times of social distancing.
IN-BODIED MEMORIES: Video Art and on-demand live screening and workshop.
Moments of TRUTH: a film about the human voice.
There are a few more things “under the hood” but I will keep this for the next newsletter!
Since this winter, I joined the project LIFE - about social inclusion for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in general - with ANCI Umbria, in Italy, facilitating workshops for skills assessment. The thrilling challenge is to bridge the symbolic and analogical experience of the “social arts-based workshop” into the analytical work of organizing a detailed portfolio/CV with a professional path. In Covid19 times and lock-down, we are adapting the work for an online version.
STORIES THAT RE-CONNECT
In this time of social distancing, fear and uncertainty, “Stories that Re-Connect” on Zoom video conferencing provides an opportunity to re-connect with ourselves, with others and with the World, through stories. A time to listen, write and weaving stories inspired by images. Soon. "Stories that Re-connect" will start reaching and engaging Asylum Seekers and Refugees hosted in central Italy.