The theme of our spring 2015 residency was Crossing Boundaries. Here’s a sampling of some of the workshops GGI faculty offered.
The Work of Stan Grof, with faculty member Francis X. Charet. Grof, a psychiatrist, is a leading representative of Transpersonal Psychology having worked in the areas of LSD research, altered states of consciousness and the incorporation of a spiritual perspective into the practice of psychotherapy. He has developed a method called Holotropic Breathwork that is widely used to uncover early experiences and to connect individuals to deeper parts of themselves.
What Story Are You Changing?: Challenging Dominant Stories Through Art,
Activism, and Community, with Program Director Ruth Farmer, Faculty Members Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Jim Sparrell, Returning Student, Seema Reza, Jennye Patterson, and Patricia Fontaine. Join us for a panel discussion in celebration of the publication of the new anthology, Transformative Language Arts in Action. Come and consider how the work you are bringing. This event is also a book launch for Farmer and Mirriam-Goldberg’s co-edited book, Transformative Language Arts in Action, featuring all the panelists.
The Beloved Community: Transforming Boundaries and Achieving Sustainability in Our Activism, Work & Lives, with faculty members Caryn Miriam-Goldberg and Sarah Bobrow-Williams. In a 1957 speech, Birth of A New Nation, Dr. King said, “The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community.” Dr. King described The Beloved Community as achieved through integration, which is genuine inter-group and inter-personal living. Only through nonviolence can this goal be attained, for the aftermath of nonviolence is reconciliation and the creation of the Beloved Community.”
‘Shards of Memory’ & Imagination: Crossing, Migration, Transculturation, Hybridity…(Stamped on the Body?) with faculty member Karen Campbell. We’ll examine concepts of border crossing, migration, hybridity, transculturation, place, embodiment in artistic/medicinal/ economic/historical practices, linguistic/physical experiences, and theoretical debates; and in other areas relevant to your studies.
Seeing Across Boundaries, with faculty member Lise Weil. Part 1 is a film screening of “The Labyrinth: The Testimony of Marian Kolodziej,” a thirty-seven-minute film devoted to the remarkable artwork of Marian Kolodziej, who was taken to Auschwitz in the first transport at age 17 and emerged four years later weighing 36 kilo. For fifty years he did not speak of this experience; during those years he became a celebrated stage designer in Poland. The stories emerged only when began to draw after a stroke at the age of 70. Once he began drawing he was unable to stop. The drawings became a way for him to keep his promises to friends who died in the camp and asked him to tell people what happened there. Part II focuses on “Othered Forms of Seeing”: Knowledge that comes to us through forms of perception that cross over into nonconscious, chthonic or invisible realms is not generally recognized or validated by the assumptions of Western mind. We’ll share vital information that has come to us through such forms of perception, which may take the form of clairvoyance, intuition, precognition, dreams, nonlocal mind, waking visions, or communications with spirits and with nonhuman beings. We will pay special attention to the language we use to describe these forms of seeing. Of interest to students
Image Theatre: Serious Play at the Boundaries of Body & Word, with faculty member Katt Lissard. Using a combination of Augusto Boal’s Image Theatre (an interactive Theatre of the Oppressed method) and the evolving creative process of The Winter/Summer Institute’s (WSI’s) experiment in collaborative international performance, we’ll explore communicating both without and with words. We’ll start with the body, emphasizing non-verbal imagery and “physical dialogues.” We’ll also explore WSI’s notion of a “shared platform of ideas” and the use of “creative tasks” – drawing from our collective experiences (both good & bad) of the first few days of the residency: events, presentations, interactions, mealtimes and random conversations. Our time together will be fast and focused on learning some physically-anchored tools/methods for collaborative community building and problem-solving while also (maybe) making some engaging, provocative, and even entertaining, scenes – always keeping in mind that “politics must never come at the expense of aesthetics.”
Into the Woods and Over the Edge: New Ways to Write Critically & Creatively Through Mythopoetics, with faculty member Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. Myth, a word which encapsulates our dominant cultural narratives, tells us who we are, where we come from, and how we are to live our lives. “Poesis,” the Greek root word for poetry, means, “to make,” and more precisely, to remake language to bring the world alive in new ways. No wonder then that myth and poesis are irresistible to one another – historically (look at the whole oral tradition, which often uses poetic devices as vessels to hold myths), culturally (look at how cultures around the world across time combine myth and poetry), and epistemologically (look at how both poetry and myth embrace how we know what we know). Many contemporary writers continue this tradition as way to question and subvert cultural traditions by examining the cultural, religious, political and other myths of our time, and/or creating whole new mythologies that map out new stories (or recovered old stories) that show us how to live.
Boundary Making in Science, with faculty member Sarah Van Hoy. This workshop will explore the ways that scientific facts are constructed and deployed in the service of various political and economic interests. We will examine how European science evolved as an extension of colonialism and how this shapes the contemporary narratives we have about Science capital ‘s’. We’ll look at various theories and approaches in the field of Science and Technology Studies to see how we can use them to open up science and examine contemporary scientific debates.
Crossing Boundaries: Respecting Boundaries, with Faculty member Jim Sparrell and returning student Robin Stone. In this workshop we will consider how to create ethical space for research that challenges dominant cultural narratives to explore personal, embodied human experience. We will discuss the process of ethical review through the IRB screening form, as well as developing questions, finding participants, creating a safe and affirming space, recording interviews, and presenting the results. Robin will present some video examples from her research.