This workshop began with an informal introduction while waiting from the rest of the participants. Interest and affinities between them started to intertwine. All participants live in the area for a number of years. Drama, history, somatic movement, art and literature are the main fields "in the table".
We went outdoors to kickoff the session; sunny day. International Women's Day demonstration is getting organised nearby while concerns about women's rights keeps on coming back to our conversation. I introduced what I prepared as the "map" of the workshop where I began with my own experience as women, migrant and artist, including working methods, concepts, past experiences, etc. We discussed what art means for each of us. There was a consensus about art being "around us" which isn't fully logical therefore hard to explain; it belongs to a space in between the tangible and the intangible. Emotions are part of the process and it is based on individual's responses (as both artists and audience) connect to a particular moment of oneself's circunstancies. Subjectivity therefore drives our own lifes.
I explained tecniques, methods and practical posible approaches to explore in the workshop which involve active engagement. This workshop is titled "Moving while Doing" which main focus is movement and how we experience motion in the rapid society we live in (from a short walk to longer journeys in life (in lengh and time). I suggested observation analisis and deep (experimental) mapping to generate more awareness of ourselves in relation to the notion of "place in motion", including participatory research, drawing, writing, data/artefacts collection, etc.
I gave participants an empty folded piece of paper which simbolically aims to become a catalyst of inspiration to work in a personal creative map that reflect their experience and interests while developing this task.
As Tim Robinson said: "one should only map places with which one can identify to the point of transparency". I suggested: let's start from ourselves. Our own body, the way we wear (somatic movement), tecnology, etc. do affect the way we perceive and sense place. Movement and journeys in the "in between" require a motion perspective within the durational process. Time from geological to human times (including history and living memories) need to be considered in order to locate ourselves in time and space.
Felix Guattari defined the term "ecosophy" as the philosophy of ecological harmony and equilibrium in which we come from the inner to the outer self. We are part of a system which is a complex phenomena and as he addressed includes human subjectivity, the environment and the social relation, all of which are intimatelly interconnected. Psycogeography, cartography, psicology, phylosophy, history are other examples of fields of study that were present in this process.
Most of the participants were women and all supporters of the need of working on equality and women's rights. More in depth conversations about Irish women's history which were concerns of the participants were addressed; worries that were mapped and shared. Participants came from different backgrounds and generations, and those conversations enabled us to create a common ground of interests.
This "map" of journeys and values was further developed while at lunch time. Affinities between participant's homelands revealed similar struggles and concerns nowadays (and historically). Mapping this was an intense and engaging conversation which became the method of the workshop. After the shared learning we all decided to continue the mapping task individually and agreed to meet again in a few days to share the outcomes.
Then, most of the participants, including myself, decided to participate in the Women's Rights demonstration which has been (and is) a continuous struggle in society and convey our thoughts and feelings during the workshop.