The four ZCMP workshops build on each other to create community, work through loss, build trust, and enable healing through acting exercises and games, storytelling, writing and art-making. A culminating public commemoration and exhibition will acknowledge the trauma, grief, and loss of the pandemic while celebrating and, we hope, energizing the communities we live in.
1. Rehearsals for Change
George Emilio Sanchez
View the Gallery
This workshop integrates theater games and exercises from Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed with writing and drawing. Our critical aim is to nurture and develop trust among the participants. First, trust within our physical body, the five senses, our emotional landscape, and the reach of the imagination. Secondly, nurturing trust among the participants in building a collective identity. The deeper we can trust ourselves, the greater we can trust each other and the group.
We begin with an in-depth dive into the foundational trust exercises taken from Boal’s Games for Actors and Non-Actors. Boal’s Image Theater helps us create images around key words and themes with the aim of re-defining how individual and societal power inform and guide our experiences. We use objects, and eventually also our bodies, to create images of power. The workshop culminates in exercises from Boal’s Rainbow of Desire, where we create living images and sculptures with our bodies to define and express how oppression looks and feels and how it can be repaired. In free-writing exercises participants are asked to write about their names. We then work in dyads and engage in one-to-one interviews regarding our background as a way to build bridges between us.
Workshop participants work in an interactive, experiential mode that brings people together. A critical element of the workshop is the conversations and questions that we share together as we process our process. Intentionality and accountability become community norms to guide the creative circle we forge in community.
Maria José Contreras
In Aquí/Here workshop participants have the opportunity to reflect and work collectively on their experiences during the pandemic through performance and mapping practices. Participants are invited to craft different types of maps to reflect on their individual and collective experience of the pandemic and then to embody these maps through movements, gestures and theatrical games.
We start by crafting our individual body-map to identify and locate memories of the pandemic. Our body map allows us to think about the traces the pandemic has left on our bodies, and what our bodies “hold” that may be not in our conscious mind. The body map is a great exercise to allow the emerging of complex, ambivalent and often contradictory memories. We explore and discover ways to re-embody our memories and share them in the common space of the workshop through movement, gestures and poetic language.
We then proceed to work on maps of the ZCMP neighborhoods, tracing sensorial maps, imagining trajectories of losses and grief, and envisioning paths to hope. Through theatrical games, the group works through these maps devising ritual embodied gestures for repair and healing.
Workshops participants work both individually and collectively exploring ways to creatively work through the pandemic experience. Our main tools are mapping practices, embodied exercises, theatrical games and collective conversations intended to ground the workshop experience.
3. and 4.Storytelling/Photo/Writing
Storytelling workshops will guide participants to express their experiences of the pandemic through images and words. Using family and neighborhood photographs, images taken during the workshops, oral storytelling and writing created in the workshop and from interviews, we will share individual stories of loss and resilience to identify communal struggles and hopes and, collectively, to imagine strategies for change. Cameras, printers and all other materials will be provided. Some of our work will be shared in the final exhibition.George Emilio Sanchez