Museum of the Long Weekend

As you already know, if you read my first blog post about Big hART, I am a big fan of this arts and social change organisation. Last night, during my midnight cognitive dialogue, I read some really beautiful blog posts from the Museum of the Long Weekend (MOTLW).

MOTLW is a Big hART project, as part of the Centenary of Canberra’s celebratory weekend SPIN, looking at the psychology of leisure, Australia’s recreational history, through an ephemeral museum on wheels. 40+ Vintage Caravans will be converging on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, next weekend the 18th-20th October.

It’s exciting, I get to go up as part of my internship. And I have been following the vans (travelling along three convoy routes) as they journey across the continent, with much yearning and desire to buy myself a beautiful vintage caravan, or a bus, or just a general car, and pack up all my belongs, hit the road and share stories and narratives with people in caravan parks, road stops and beautiful sandy white beaches (preferably north of the cold Australian weather).

These blog updates, especially the ones shared by Elspeth, are beautifully crafted short stories of time on the road, those moments we go through, of introspection, outrospection, processing, connecting, building, gaining, losing, learning.

Last night as I read these, I thought of how beautiful it is to see people share so openly and vulnerably (courageously) and how much taking in these stories stirs so many feelings and emotions, so many sensations.

Thats what I am passionate about.

Check out the blog here. And please share with me what you think. Lets engage in a mutual narrative of sharing.

Blame… where does it lie

Radiolab is one of my favourite podcasts (along with a few others that I will post soon)… Not only do they provide awesome science made easy to understand, but explore the narratives of human nature, human existence, the underlying basis of humanity…

This episode, Blame, addresses, in 3 beautifully crafted and moving stories, the idea of blame, the idea of framing blame, how we can look at blame, moving through blame and the idea of unconditional positive regard, looking at behaviours from an empathetic understanding.

The first story Fault Line, looks at neuroscience, deviant behaviour and the criminal justice system, free will, choice, and accountability.

Forget about Blame? looks at the area of NeuroLaw, and the increased use of neuroscience to argue individuals are not always to blame for criminal behaviour, but rather neurological dysfunction…

My favourite story, Dear Hector, is an amazing story of unconditional positive regard, empathy, acceptance, and forgiveness that is almost impossible to comprehend. Empathy at its finest. The narrative is crafted beautifully. (I must warn that it is a confronting story, that will move you, but thats what empathy is all about right?!)

The Power of Outrospection

This amazing RSA Animation of Roman Krznaric’s talk on ‘Outrospection’… empathy as an art of living, social change, revolution…

Krznaric not only provide beautiful definitions of empathy, but also explains how we can nurture our curiosity and look at empathetic adventuring. How we can step into the shoes of another and experience their world view, their beliefs, their understanding… and from their make informed changes in our assumptions, allow ourselves to open up and become vulnerable and courages.

Check out more of Roman Krznaric at his empathy blog:

http://www.romankrznaric.com/empathy

Big hART

I have been privileged to do my uni internship with Big hART, an amazing arts and social change organisation, based throughout many towns and cities across Australia.

The company brings together communities and artists on projects that aim to empower positive social and individual change through the arts. The company places the greatest importance on both the process and trajectory with the community, as well as on the quality of the art. Big hART projects tackle a wide range of issues, engaging with the complex challenges of life for many of Australia’s most marginalised and disengaged communities. The company believes that complex problems require multi-layered solutions. Often, they find issues within communities are shown as narratives of despair with no way out. Big hART helps communities change the story.

The Big hART model works using a multi-layered approach and generally work with a number of communities across a number of projects.

The model includes:

1.             A non-welfare arts-based community cultural development project, providing a range of workshops and mentoring for participants, creating the opportunity to reconsider questions of around identity and social trajectory

2.             A high-quality art outcome based on the stories of the participants and the community

3.             Ongoing social policy engagement, through the art, and that relates to stories from the community in focus

4.             Engagement with the ‘national narrative’ on social issues – looking to shift narratives by reaching diverse audiences and high profile media using the power of story

It has been a fantastic experience to watch the Big hART process unfold and see the many layers of the companies process.