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Collaborative action as a performing art

Fleeting, unfinished, just perceptible movements of experience in scenes of joint action.

Published onAug 31, 2020
Collaborative action as a performing art

My experience as a social and organisational practitioner over the last decade has sensitised me to the question of how influence can be understood and portrayed in the midst of fast-moving events, as people participate in the ordering and organising of collaborative action. I have been pursuing this inquiry 'live' with people through different artistic forms—dance, clay, writing, interaction with the landscape.

I think of my work as a social practitioner as a performative art inspired by a phenomenological approach: a form of art that involves moving into unknown situations without ready-made frameworks, but by cultivating an acute sense for how our own and others’ perception of change is occuring in the moment, as people act together. As a teacher and facilitator, I have tutored others to appreciate the unfinished-ness of unfolding events, through different forms of creative expression, such as dance, performance and creative writing. I endeavor to disclose unusual features of a ‘live’, unfolding event, so that they might become discernible, nameable, recognizable, and usable by others in a community of practice.

As a researcher, I am currently exploring the use of narrative writing as a way of apprenticing other practitioners to attune purposefully to the fleeting, ambiguous, incomplete passages participants experience in an ongoing event. I draw inspiration from the work of artists such as Maria Lassnig, William Forsythe, Clarice Lispector, Fernand Deligny.

My main experience in the last decade has been as founder of an educational enterprise in Brazil functioning without premises, but in collaboration with many initiatives experimenting with more participatory ways of organising.

I founded the organisation after spending  3 years at Schumacher College—a sustainability centre for transformative learning based in Devon (UK), where I completed a Masters in Holistic Science and worked as resident facilitator alongside key thinkers, philosophers, activists, and scientists proposing alternative ways of thinking and of exploring embodied relationship to the natural world. Beyond leading an organisation in Brasil, I have also been teaching and facilitating groups with highly diverse backgrounds, and nourishing communities of practice.

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