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small group sessions
topics of provocation
    

topics of provocation

the small groups are the creative core of the day. In them we imagine much discussion, much listening, carefully, otherwise, empathetically, pointedly. We imagine that that the intellectual creativity of the day of provocation will flow from respect for the positions and voices of the others in the group: that participants will learn from and teach each other about how to reach consensual decisions, how to present dissenting positions, how to facilitate all the voices being heard. We imagine the groups being provoked and being provocative, we imagine individuals allowing themselves to hear voices they have not heard before. We reject homogenisation, we position ourselves to be aware of difference, to respect it, play with it, use it.

According to what you tell us about the topic area/s you would be interested in exploring, we will allocate you into small groups, and put you into email contact with each other in the month before the workshop. The small groups will work individually throughout the day and make a short (no more than five minutes) presentation to the group of the whole at the end of the day, in the plenary session.

Some groups might want to have a scribe right from the start, recording the discussions, passing the task on from one to another of the group during the day. Some want to have a (changing) facilitator who helps the group tease out its concerns, while other groups might be more comfortable with a much more fluid and open-ended non-structure.

Think about how you might handle a situation in which one group member's voice is insistently dominant, how you might deal with including a group member who is reserved and shy, about how you will reach decisions about what you doing during the day of provocation.

Think about how you might name your group and its work, about the importance of framing, of representation, of presentation - how can you map out your group's terrain? What are the questions that begin to underpin your discussions? How do they converge, diverge, play off one another? Do you need to go to the Library to do some research? Or to go for a walk in the grounds?

What presentation strategies can you develop? How far do they determine the content of your discussions and your planning?

And begin to think beyond the day? To blogging, to crossing the borders to hard copy publication....

 

     Save the Living First - Artist: Zao Wouki, 1968

Save the living first 
Artist: Zao Wouki, 1968 
Victoria University Library, Toronto, Canada