We talk much about accepting and celebrating diversity. But dialogue needs more. It requires humility, openness and effort. Importantly it demands imagination. To imagine how another might feel, to mould a relationship of genuine trust, and to open yourself to discovery are acts of creative risk. A key aim of this project was therefore to explore how inter-cultural dialogue might be more readily stimulated and facilitated by an artist-led approach. The creative practitioners involved have included those with long experience in participatory arts and others who are relatively new to work with communities. The groups they have worked with have conducted their conversations in a variety of forms and media – in visual and digital arts, in written and spoken forms, in performances, exhibitions and celebrations – enabling maximum flexibility of response to the particular interests, needs and abilities of participants and to the varying specialisms and experience of both wellestablished and new practitioners.
Throughout the project, the techniques of creative engagement, creative development and creative presentation have been applied inventively and non-directively as the means to invite dialogue, to deepen dialogue and to extend dialogue. In inviting dialogue, initial involvement has varied from the carefully negotiated creative engagement of specific groups of young people, community groups or schools to direct encounters and participatory activities with the general public on the street or in shopping areas. In deepening dialogue, subsequent creative workshops have enabled participants to explore imaginatively and in depth both their own and other cultures, to make discoveries and to learn to listen as well as to speak. And in extending dialogue, the creative work produced and the presentation, exhibition and celebratory events have been structured to stimulate reciprocating creative responses from wider audiences among peer groups, in communities, or online.
Creativity sharpens all of our faculties and releases the imagination; it opens us to new ways of seeing and understanding. When creativity is participatory and collaborative it also allows for new possibilities in our relationships with others and requires new ways of truly listening. When we see, we see in front of us; when we hear, we hear all around. Hearing is more powerful a faculty than seeing, and listening is more distinctively human. To see is to encounter, to hear is more deeply to know.
extract from http://kunstoginterkultur.dk/vidensbase/boger/we-no-longer-talk?sort=37&sort2=&dir=desc&by=createdon
by Steve Trow