Wednesday, 25 February 2009

living in a movie


I’ve got to remind myself constantly that I’m not in a movie and the people that I meet are not film characters. I guess it is because of the language that is the same as in American films. And Manchester really looks like in an old gangster movie. The first time I had no problem with this was yesterday when I first met people with mental disabilities. Such peoples rarely appear in movies.

They love my stilts here! Sue from the New Vic Theatre can’t stop talking about it. I’m happy to know that walking on stilts can be considered such a great experience. We are thinking about a new project to be done in the future.

I talked a lot with Sue last evening. I’m surprised that there are so few differences between Polish and English contexts of cultural animation. The social problems are nearly the same. Even the fundraising is quite similar – there is one difference: The New Vic Theatre got a grant from the police, who seem to be doing some great work with the emigrants.

We talk a lot about techniques of working with theatrical tools. They did a project for the teachers about the Holocaust. They made them feel how it is to lose all these small things that make your everyday life. Instead of giving them numbers like 6 000 000 Jews that died in camps.
I realized that this kind of transforming knowledge into experience is similar to the stories in the ancient Greece. It’s like the sword of Damocles – often in these stories, the characters communicate by symbols and prefer to make somebody a part of the experience rather than give him arguments. A tyrant wants to show to Damokles how it is to live the life of a dictator. So he invites him to take a rest in his bed. When Damokles lays down, he shows him a sword hanging over his hand on a horse hair.

Actually, if I am to write here about everything that I learn, I should record what Sue is saying and transcript the whole discussion. I am learning so much here.

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