Sweden: Radical Contact Gathering (Class dynamics)
Where: Gotenburg, Sweden
When: February 15-18th, 2018
Who: 14 people from Sweden, England, the USA, Finland, and Egypt; varied by race and class.
What: Radical Contact is a gathering where individuals within the Contact Improvisation and Somatic education world share how their work connects with a body politic. The themes that were chosen by the organizers before the event were cultural mixing and race. As we shared our work, class also emerged as a point of inquiry.
I taught two workshops. The first was a one hour class on shape where we molded each other into various sculptures that held meaning for us in relation to feelings and social issues.
The second was explicitly Parcon Resilience work. After a guided exploration of doing Parcon with a blanket as if it was a loved one (in the studio), we moved to the stair well to climb and roll on couches and to cycle through the Parcon lenses in a different site. This was followed by returning to the studio to first explore movements in relation to our "loved one" as abundant and then as scarce while people could remain in a neutral zone as witness. Then we did this without the blankets and changed the needs for the loved one to needs for food and shelter. Then we explored engaging with each other while maintaining these relationships to our needs.
Lesson learned from feedback: Give people privacy to explore their relationship to scarcity and abundance without the "witnessing" eye of others. Those who may come from a scarcity background may feel re-traumatized by the gaze and judgments of others. Allow the process of being witnessed by others to come in support of a request made by marginalized members to investigate or transform their own experience.