We invite all conference participants to join us for one or more interactive community art events using expressive arts inquiry, a process-oriented method of facilitation and action research that encourages and supports people to gain fresh perspective about conflict and other disorienting dilemmas through movement, creative expression, and embodied experience. Come and explore your relationship to object, space, culture, and identity in new, insightful, and invigorating ways that everyone can do and enjoy. We will share techniques that you can easily adapt and apply in the field across cultures and contexts.
OUR PROGRAM OF COMMUNITY ART:
Our first inquiry will be a creative encounter held on Wednesday, April 22 from 17h00 to 20h00 at the Home for Cooperation in the UN Buffer Zone in Nicosia, with professional and aspiring artists, facilitators, educators, researchers, and change agents from the host city community. Together we will investigate the theme of “contesting space” in relationship with the unique legacies of the island of Cyprus and its people.
Our second inquiry will be a guided physical and spatial exploration of the UN buffer zone in Nicosia, held on Friday, April 24 from 18h00 to 19h30 at Ledra Palace Crossing. This event is open to conference participants and local Cypriots. We will investigate themes such as boundaries, borders, liminal space, crossing through space, occupying space, neglected space in situ and in relationship with the unique landscape of our host city and its divided history. Conference participants attending the SCORE INDEX launch: please meet us outside of Chateau Status at 18h00.
Our third inquiry will be a community performance held on Saturday, April 25 from 19h00 to 20h30 at Bedestan. This event is open to conference participants and local Cypriots. We will explore the theme “Together Separate” in relationship with culture and identity as individuals, groups, and a single community.
Lastly, during the entire conference, we will engage in action research that harvests both your and our experiences within the arts events, speaker presentations, and informal dialogues as acts of inquiry into conference themes, among others. Please look for our posts on Appgree and share your insights and perspectives with us. We will creatively present a brief glimpse into our findings in real-time on Sunday, April 26 before the closing of the conference.
We would like to gather a group of interested conference participants ready to experience and play in our community performances. No special skills are required other than the willingness to explore and come back to the knowing of the body. After all, we must remember that we, our whole selves, are the users and beneficiaries of technology tools. We have limited spaces for each event, so please register by April 23 to reserve your spot.
Drawing on expressive arts inquiry, adult developmental psychology, and transformative learning praxis, our approach seeks to reawaken confidence in distinct ways of knowing in order to develop intuition, increase awareness of non-verbal communication and bodily sensation, generate fresh perspectives, and enact behavioural change in the midst of conflict, chaos, uncertainty, and rapid change. We investigate the mechanisms of action by which expressive arts inquiry continually shapes and reshapes the qualities of spaces we inhabit, our experience of conflict, our sense of identity, and the nature of our meaning making. Through collaborative efforts, we, as researchers, become interdependent with participants, which helps to reveal multiple new ways of seeing a situation and taking timely action. Our methods involve didactic presentations, experiential exercises, reflective practices, creative processes, and group activities. We engage in our work with the purpose of joining others in directly creating the conditions for positive change as well as fostering greater awareness, growth, resilience, and freedom for self, organizations, and communities.
ABOUT EXPRESSIVE ARTS INQUIRY:
Expressive arts inquiry is a process-oriented method of facilitation and action research that encourages and supports people to engage with, learn from, and gain fresh perspective about a disorienting dilemma through intermodal, low-skill, high-sensitivity artistic expression as an act of inquiry.
Intermodal refers to the use of multiple, diverse artistic modalities – such as painting, poetry, improvisational theater, dance, music, and community art. By moving across various modalities in the midst of inquiry, new clarity can begin to crystallize through metaphor, imagination, and embodied experience, not only rational thought. This workshop focuses on embodied experience, play and process as its primary modalities.
Low-skill refers to the simplified nature of the techniques utilized. Expressive arts inquiry is not about talent, mastery, or aesthetic flair; it is flexible and adaptive, meeting people exactly where they are regardless of age, gender, culture, or physical limitation. By not privileging what is special or exceptional, we can better touch upon what we all share by virtue of our common humanity.
High-sensitivity refers to the quality of awareness brought to the process through an awakening of sensory perceptions. Some people say this awareness is similar to mindfulness: being more fully present to one’s lived experience in the moment. Expressive arts inquiry works more closely with sensory understanding than rational thought.
Act of inquiry refers to utilizing the expressive arts as a means of “living the question” while observing the phenomena of art and expression on their own terms. Through a process of “decentering” from the narrow logic of thinking and acting that holds us in a feeling of stuck, we immediately notice shifts in perspective as well as greater capacity to take timely action. By refraining from interpretation, we can be more sensitive and attune to what the expression itself wishes to become as it emerges.