So some time has passed since this project but going through the pictures brought me right back at it. I feel so filled with joy and gratitude when I remember all the special moments I was lucky enough to experience in this project. Let me walk you through it.
A total of 18 curious and creative souls from 8 countries gathered up in this jaw-dropping old villa in the Catalan countryside. We would spend almost every minute of the next 8 days together and boy I loved every single one of them. This cozy majestic old house made us feel like home, like a family. The majority of our activities were held in the garden, spending most of the day bare foot under the warm sun, and once it got colder at dusk, we enjoyed the warm fire indoors.
After getting to know each other through some personal no small talk questions, the tables were set for a beautiful retreat full of arts, intersectionality and embodiment. We got our hands on body boundaries and consent (yes, pun intended), meditated and practiced mindfulness, not having a single clue how full our minds and hearts would be after the project was over.
We split into “care groups”, groups that were suggested to meet daily to discuss about the day; That was the time to express ourselves, say how we felt during the day, what we liked and disliked and offer proposals for the rest of the project, a very useful tool to get feedback from the team and actively work on the dynamic of the group. Of course, we had the time and place to go over all these every morning, respecting all participants and using non violent communication for a better understanding of ourselves and the group. Apart from that, we had to take care of some daily tasks regarding the space which were fun to do together and a great way to bond even more.
We talked about society and social control, political and creative bodies, intersectionality, empathy, and so much more. What was most enjoyable for me was that everything we discussed theoretically we got to do in practice as well: a video, a dance/theatre improvisation, a song, whatever our creative minds could reach. On the last day, we the participants had the chance to offer our own activities too, the day was so full and still we didn’t have enough. I can never thank enough all the people who gave their whole true selves in this, let their fears behind and showed me all these new activities and ways of touching people.
If other projects are a wave of information and self-reflection, Ways of Seeing was a whole tsunami, I would take my whole inner self, anxieties, fears, projections, dreams, boundaries, pains, prejudices, hopes and feelings, squeeze them out of my stupid little human brain and see them from a distance, holding my stupid little human hand at the same time, comforting me for the wrongs I’ve been doing and praise me for all the rights that I do and never give myself any credit for. Most importantly, I was thanking me, my body and my brain, for all the things they allow me to do every day, the things I put them under, seeing how incredibly strong we are, because most times we forget, stupid humans. I got to see myself for who I really am, who I really want to be, what I want my life to be like.
Dance techniques, psychology methodologies and an inspiring group of people can go a long way with the right activities, and that’s what we did. I came back so much richer mentally, I was inspired by life itself, and by humans, despite them being hurtful sometimes. The group, the place, the instructors, the weather, the food, they were all just right for an amazing unique intimate experience I am never ever forgetting.