Raport 1 (Gr. 9)
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Pilot workshop for the II Group of Retired and Unemployed Women (Women at a crossroad)
REPORT – LT- Babilonas
Venue: Cultural Centre “Vilnius’ Teachers House (Vilniaus mokytojų namai)
Date: 17th Apr.- 15th May 2018
Trainers: Rolanda Sliaziene and Arune Taunyte
Report made by: Arune Taunyte
- Please present the characterization of the group and the participants (Special attention to the participants facing social obstacles, disability, economic obstacles, educational difficulties, cultural differences . How many would fall into this category? Which types of difficult situation are these participants facing?)
11 women participated (9 women and 2 women from the first workshop group joined later for puppet animation sessions. They started with the I workshop group, but due to personal causes they had no possibility to participate at puppet making session of the I workshop)
4 retired, 5 unemployed, 2 disabled (Lilliputian and a women with leg problems) Age 34-79.
2 participants live not in Vilnius, but they were covering the distance of 17 and even 70 km to attend the sessions.
- Please describe the pilot workshops (The working process in detail divided into each session. Description of the venue, materials, tools, etc.)
Workshops took place in a cosy room of nicely renovated old building run by cultural center Vilnius’ Teachers House, located in an old town and easily reachable by public transport. Workshop time is set up at the least busy time in a cultural center and is appropriate for the woman who are unemployed or retired.
Dates of sessions:
7 sessions: Apr 17; Apr 19; Apr 27; May 3; May 8; May 10; May 15
Apr 17. I session (Duration 3 h: 12:00-15:00) .
First session was aimed at warming up, get acquainted, group building, as participants mainly did not knew each other.
Each participant says her name and tells briefly why they are here.
ICE BREAKING. GREETING
Participants are walking in the space of the room and are invited to greet each other gradually in a different mood:
as neighbours, as colleagues, as directors, as queens, as good friends who have not seen each other for 10 years.
TO REMIND THE NAMES
Materials: adhesive tape, markers
Each participant writes on the adhesive tape: the first letter of her name, dashes for other letters and the last letter (e.g. R_ _ _ _A for Regina). The aim of the exercise is to fill in ones own name and to help others to collect their name letters. You can fill in only the letter which is a part of your name. Participants go around completing the names for others.
This exercise helps to get closer, to touch, to remember the names.
- a schematic design on the flip-chart paper: cloud (what I expect), rain (what could hinder, trouble or disturb me) and ground (how shall I contribute) on the flip-chart paper;
- post-its of 3 different colours
Participants write their thoughts on post-its and place them to the adequate space
to find the activity which could help me to express myself; to get new experience, to create a puppet; to make new friends; friendship, warmth; creative activities; to make myself free form tension; to gain courage for doing what I really want to do: to dear to express myself; to strengthen my self-esteem…
What could hinder, trouble or disturb me:
ego; ignorance; lack of time; health problems; fear to open up; reserve, avoiding to express own opinion; tend to hide emotions; shyness to tell what does not correspond with me…physical disability..
How shall I contribute
I want to be devoted to the common goals of the group; being open, sincere; trying to support, to understand others; being frank and sincere….
This helped participants to get aware of the need for active participation, personal contribution and responsibility, setting up the primary personal goals.
GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER
Participants were asked to pick 2 or 3 cards POINTS OF YOU and to reflect what could these cards tell them about themselves.
Then they sit in pairs. One speaks about other person cards, what does she see in the cards and afterwards listens to the card “owner” remarks. Then they shift the roles in each pair.
She had different insights then me; it was interesting and her insights were even more fit to me; there were some similarities, and some useful supplements as well; amazing,- she told truth about me, she helped my to go into deeper insights…
GROUP BUILDING. THE BIRTH DATE In a ROW
Materials: rope, scotch tape
Rope is fixed as a circle on the floor with a scotch tape. Participants stand on the rope randomly. Then they are asked to find their place according to their birth date (month and day), moving only clockwise. They have to act in silence and not to step out from the rope.
Feeling of confusion, persistence, victory; at the beginning it looked to be very simple, But it was a miracle that I was set in the right place; My birthdate is in January – kind of very clear situation, but I tried to analyse too much; I did not understood at all: I had not enough patience; it seemed so simple at the beginning, I was uneasy, when A. left before finishing the exercise..; I understood that I should accept the assistance.
Apr 19 II session (Duration 2 h: 10:00-12:00) .
Educational session at Vilnius’ Puppet Theatre
Apr 27 III session (Duration 5 h: 10:00-15:00) .
PUPPET MAKING SESSION
We have started from the few tasks to make everyone more close and safe in the group:
- on the paper you are drawing yourself and then – working in pairs: you are showing your portrait and another person is asking you different questions (why are you here? what do you like to do in this life…..and other questions they had and were interested in about another person).
- one chair in front: one woman is sitting, another (from the same pair) is standing. The one, who is standing talks from the name of the sitting person. This task helped participants to know each other better. And it was easier to talk not about yourself, but telling the story of another person.
- standing in the circle hand in hand – they are asked to find the point in this room. They can’t separate and can’t change the point – the task is to reach all those points in silence (they had 1 min. to prepare). During reflection participants shared the feeling of safeness, closeness and the pleasure when everybody wanted to help each other. It has created a very calm and good atmosphere in the group.
- after coffee brake: different materials in the middle of the circle. The participants were asked to describe what do they see here, if there is any connection between those things, etc.
- making puppets: they all except V.(Lilliputian) went to that process very deeply. V. couldn’t concentrate, it was hard to her to make a puppet. She said, that she can’t do anything if it lasts more than one hour. She told that it is too hard for her to make the puppet. Trainer was helping her, but she said that making puppets is not for her and she will rather make pictures. So, till the end of the session she was drawing.
How did you feel during that process of making puppets? Was it anything special for you during it?
very strange feeling, but good;
it was not easy, feeling some pain in my hands, but very calm inside;
I am tired, but happy;
I have returned to my childhood with my thoughts…so so far away from now;
I feel inspired, I liked that workshop;
The feeling of satisfaction and completeness after learning of something new;
I was talking with myself making that puppet, very interesting. I have tried to do my best;
Something very nice has happened inside me;
It was a challenge for me, not easy, but I have made that puppet and l feel very well now;
I have relaxed for a while…forgot my problems, but my puppet is not beautiful somehow…even if I was doing my best.
May 3. IV session (Duration 4 h: 10:00-14:00) .
TO GET ACQUAINTED WITH THE PUPPET
Participants were asked to spend some time and to ask their puppet “WHO ARE YOU? TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF”
Then they sat in a circle. Puppets one by one were placed on a chair in front
Participants were asked to characterize every puppet, then the author characterized her own puppet, also giving her a name.
SOME REFLECTIONS of the puppet authors:
I like to teach people not at the best time and place (some participant has told thet her puppet looks like a suggestive University professor). …the puppet actually reminds of me, I was making the puppet without much enthusiasm, but now it reveals some new insights for me, my puppet is waiting for compliments, she desires joy, love, success: she has secrets, which she does not want to reveal, she dreams to go to the sea, she wants to enjoy life; I do not know, if he has a person to love…;
I made her spontaneously, only now I can see how does she really look. She wants to dance, she needs wind to blow. She has strange legs,- it looks as she would like to stand more stable on the ground. She has some uncertainty, some fear. She is cautious, lonely. She dreams of the sea. She would like to fly to the clouds, not brushing against anything. Now she has no family, that loneliness is so adorable.
I took her home. I wanted her to sit with me at the breakfast table. When I tried to give her a name, I had a feeling that she was ill. I have caressed her, covered her with warm blanket. But in two days she simply recovered. At the beginning I had a feeling that her head should be bigger, and I wanted much of white colour for her. I have a feeling that she is very fair, but she is somehow tense, even a bit feeble. I see her, but I do not see her connection with other people. She does not smile, nor laugh, nor cry, like she would be half alive.
I was making her as a child. I like fairy tales. She needs to be loved, to be dressed up. She wants to enjoy living. She is still little, she is on the way of cognition, maybe I would like her to be a teacher.
TO SPEND THE QUALITY TIME WITH OWN PUPPET
Participants were invited to spend 20 min. with their own puppets
Let’s play with our puppets; let’s dance; let’s talk; let’s listen to them ..
Does she make any sound?
What does she tell to you??
- I hear a silence
- she is laughing
- she want to go out…to recognize the world
Try to listen carefully..have you found out anything new about your puppet?
my puppet has surprised me, she was laughing so much…she is becoming a grown up…we can celebrate.
What have puppets told to you:
- my puppet is not a child any more, her breasts are growing, she is not 2 years old, she is 9. She wants to grow so much, I can support her in so many issues. She even doesn’t like that puppet’s wide skirt – laughing at it. She seems to be happy, because she knows that she can trust me.
How do you feel about her growing so fast?
I just will change the books I am reading to her: from fairy tales to books for teenagers about good behaviour. My puppet says to me that she agrees with this.
- (with tears in her eyes all the time):
my puppet was so much laughing, but she is alone, very lonely. She told me, that I have tightened her neck too much..
I haven’t asked why was she laughing
we were not laughing together
so much joy comes from her
I enjoyed that emotion of her, my relationship with her has changed – I don’t want to burn her any more
What has helped to change it?
A.:we haven’t felt well enough together
she was asking, if I still loved her, if she isn’t perfect at all (one hand is shorter, one leg is longer) That question was such a surprise to me – how can’t she see that she is important for me; my puppet was dancing slowly and crooning; she gave her hand to me to go together, I don’t know where..that means a real trust…
but it was something very melancholic in all her movements; I was so surprised by that puppet, I want even to cry but I won’t ; it’s sad to me, that she thinks that I don’t love her; I even don’t know if she has told me everything she wanted; she was just inviting me to go somewhere so clearly…together
V: I feel stupid at the moment; I couldn’t talk with her; I knew she was Lina, who died one year ago; I couldn’t talk to her. I even haven’t tried. I saw Lina. She was crying and asking to leave her in peace and to talk with those who are still waiting ( for donors ). I felt how much she was afraid to die. I would like to lay her down and to leave her.
Would you like to make a new puppet?
Do you believe that she really wants you to leave her in peace?
Yes, I know her; when she feels really bad, she wish to stay alone – it is the same with me; I need people when I am OK or my pain is moderate; but when I am really weak – I don’t want anybody nearby. I need to leave her forever – you can’t live with dead people in your mind, you must let them go;
I let people come to my life very difficult, but when they come – it is so hard to let them go.
Woman from the group: we hear so much about you here..
B.we were together in silence, but so calm and nice; we told each other that peace is so important; it’s good to be together; closeness; I felt that connection;
but we haven’t learned much about each other, silence didn’t tell us much; we both need more time to open; she has been at the sea; she has returned and will go again;
Photo of all puppets
SOME REFLECTION after the SESSION
I don’t know, this method is not for me I think; it makes me to shut in; I am not opened person at all – for me is so difficult to open, I could talk only with one person; puppet doesn’t work for me, doesn’t help..
What more could you do yourself ?
I need more spirituality – I believe in God, for me that connection with God is the most important.
How different is connection with God and connection with other people?
I must think...
my attitude toward any training is very serious, I need to learn something, to get knowledge; today that task with puppet, the talking, made me mad; I don’t understand, how it’s possible to talk with paper…It’s a pity, because at the very beginning of this training I felt very much involved in all the process, it was interesting to me. I don’t understand how you can learn about yourself through the puppet. It’s not interesting for me.
Afterwards V. confirmed that she has learned about herself new things, she understood what she really liked and what – not. Isn’t it learning? She felt guilty choosing her dead friend as her puppet, but then after discussion she realized that it was learning process for her…how much she has learned about her own attitudes and that necessity to let that dear friend of her to leave.
Very powerful moments and discoveries.
A: the puppet has surprised me and I surprised myself. I hadn’t expected any sorrow from myself, but everything has happened so unexpected – incredible how that paper could shake me… It seemed that I haven’t put any efforts to all of this, but so much has happened inside me when I just tried to go deeper. Hard to believe…
E:It is so wonderful to see, to listen to other people, to feel changes. Something has happened inside. It’s so nice to observe you all. I like being with you. I will take my puppet home again. I think the most important things are happening when we leave home – till the next workshop. Everything is about you, your attitude – how do you react to everything around: do you ask to forgive or you shout or you are banging or you smile….so much space for thinking, I feel so grateful.
N.(crying):I’ve got so much…for my mind, my soul – I feel how much space I have inside me to fill in, how many gaps. I started to recognize how much I have inside what I shouldn’t keep – should let go to be able to grow. We must be happy being alive, being able to share, to communicate. Thank you Arune and Rolanda for this path and for your delicate leading through this game. When I leave after each session I see everything around in different colours as before.
B:I want to return to the first day – when I haven’t succeeded with the first task, when I didn’t understand anything…and I was angry. Now I’ve got a new experience, inside. Like arrow through myself. Suddenly the new meaning has opened for me. I even remembered Bible. I understood that it’s not so easy to change old habits, to change your attitudes…I recognized still soviet person inside myself…Person is changing slowly. Because you need to change the heart at first. Very difficult. My heart is so closed..I have been asking God to help me to open. You will be able to get as much as you let yourself open. To reach another level, to climb another step, but by yourself. I have realized so clearly that I haven’t found myself yet. And I need to clean my spiritual wounds at first.
May 5. V session (Duration 3 h: 10:00-13:00) .
STARTING PUPPET ANIMATION
One participant “helps” her puppet to make a movement, which could be easy recognized by other participants as a simple action (combing hear; dancing, brushing teeth etc.). Another participant with the puppet joins and asks “What are you doing?” the first puppet answer should be different from her action and naming different action.
The second puppet makes movement named by previous puppet. Puppets change each other randomly. Participants with their puppets join whenever they feel to do this as many times as they wish.
This exercise boosts spontaneity and warms up for puppet animation.
Trainers demonstrate the technique of the puppet animation, how 3 persons animate one puppet.
Participants were asked to spend some time with their puppet (10 min) and reflect upon what has happened after the last workshop.
I did not take my puppet home this time, but I trusted that she will be safe in the wardrobe. After I had released her neck of that tight ribbon, I feel that she became more flexible, she got more self confidence, curiosity. It is evident that making a puppet you just express what you have inside yourself.. I moved the ribbon from the neck to the waist.
(The puppet visually became more and more alike the author.)
I had a wish that my puppet grows up, but she is what she is..
On the way to the workshop I had an uneasy feeling (my puppet was scratched by my dog). I have hidden her in the wardrobe. I already have made some relation with her, so I was sad about the incident with the dog. I have taken my puppet home because she has not been tamed yet enough, though the emotional relationship has been started..which is amazing and scary as well..
How did you feel when you seeing the dog scratching your puppet?
Some feeling of inevitability, vexation, distress.
Participants (in groups of 3) were invited to create SIMPLE PUPPET ANIMATION ETUDES (e.g.“at the beach; in the summer flower field, etc)
GROUP BUILDING, PUPPET RESCUE . “CHOCOLATE RIVER”
Participants were asked to “cross” the dangerous river using the “stones” and holding their puppets to rescue (A4 paper)
This exercise strengthens the collaboration competencies and the relationship with the puppet.
May 10. VI session (Duration 3 h: 10:00-13:00) .
WARM UP FOR PUPPET ANIMATION
- Puppets one by one join into the “mechanism” producing specific movement and sound.Every puppet repeats her movement and sound till the last puppet joins.
- Lithuanian song “Jurgeli meistreli”. Participants with puppets are standing in a circle and singing. Each participant with enters the centre of the circle and demonstrates any movement with her puppet. Other participants are repeating the movement.
CREATING a THEATRICAL ETUDE
Participants were asked to arrange puppets in order to create a scene representing any emotion. They have chosen Sadness. After arranging the puppets participants were asked to describe the scene: is their sadness about the same thing; what age are they, do they know each other?
Participants were creative enough to set up the story. They made a first try to animate the puppets for this story. We asked them to think at home how could they improve it.
SOME REFLECTION after the SESSION
It was a new experience for me. I am surprised at my own relationship with the puppet.
At the beginning I had a feeling of some emptiness and indiferrence, but the words of others have amazed and inspired me.
At the beginning some depth occurred and it was a bit unexpected to see how naturally the story developed. It was so interesting,- as at some peculiar school
May 15. VII session (Duration 3 h: 10:00-13:00) .
WARM UP. The role in the group. Blind trains
Each 3 participants are standing in a row. The first 2 have to close their eyes and only the last one can see. All the “trains”are moving in the space. Trainers arrange additional obstacles. They move up to 5 minutes and then shift the places in the “train” and continue to move around.
This exercise warms up for the team work animating the puppets.
How did you feel in different positions?
It is important for participants to get aware that every participant feels different in different positions.
Middle position was the worst for me; the most interesting position was to lead – responsibility; being in front I felt safe, because I trusted the others; the biggest challenge was to be in the middle: it was fun to lead and to chose the intricate path..
DEVELOPING the THEATRICAL ETUDE
It was a story about an old lonely lady. Her husband was dead. She had no energy, she went outside to sit alone in her sorrow. Her grand daughter and grand daughter’s friend were also outside, bored,not paying any attention to the lonely Grandmother. Then the old woman’s daughter comes outside, she observes the situation, goes to the girls, talks to them and makes them to approach the old lady and to communicate with her. Old lady talks to girls, her loneliness fades away.
SOME REFLECTIONS after the WORKSHOP
Information on FB was scarce and I thought that we will make beautiful dolls. When I saw the sample of the puppet, it intrigued me. I liked all the exercises so much. After making a puppet of my deceased friend I was thinking that it will be not interesting for me any more. I am so grateful for trainers that they managed to integrate me back.
During the workshop I understood that I have a lot of inner tensions to release. I understood how valuable is collaborating in the group. I was intrigued with the title “Create Yourself”. We experienced a lot of self cognition. Puppets corresponded to our characters. My grand daughter said: Granny, but that puppet is You!
The climax point was when I asked my puppet “Who are You?” We made ourselves in our puppets unexpectedly..A great advantage was to name your own puppet.. I feel that I released a lot ..Puppets in our story are so alive, each keeps a proper place. Puppets are alive. That is why I would like to take my puppet home.
The title“Create Yourself” caught me .The workshop time passed so quickly. It is not so easy to feel the other person while animating the puppet, but it is so interesting anyway.
I enjoy so much that we are so different in a group and our puppets are different. I enjoyed team work so much. I have been forcing myself to go for something new. I had an expectation that I will solve my problems.. But now I am glad that I got new questions to answer for myself. It is so useful to see yourself in a context and to feel a lot of common things in the group. I am so sorry that the workshop is anding already. It was so important for me to come here, to boost my creativity. I have a great envy to continue such kind of activities.
I feel that it is so important not to stick on the old, but to challenge yourself for new experiences. I was comparing myself with the younger participants and tried to learn from them to catch the things, which are new and not common for me.
Other participants were encouraging her, telling that she already got those new things and she only has to be more courageous to admit it.
- Please write your comments/evaluation from the trainer’s point of view
Our experience of the first workshop helped us to improve the method and make changes for working with the second group:
- We adjusted some of group building exercises using the puppets as “the participants” (e.g. Chair , Dangerous river, National repetition game; “What are you doing” etc.) It facilitated to gradually get used to puppet animation technique and also strengthened the relationship between the puppet and the author.
- It would be useful before starting to make puppets to put few tables together in the middle and let participants to create their puppets sitting or standing around those few tables…it would help all of them to be closer, to help each other if needed, to see each other better, to share and etc.
- We did not use Path exercise to set up the topics of the performance. We replaced it with the scenes of different moods. Participants were asked to create scenes in different moods using puppets. They have chosen to Sadness as a topic and arranged puppets to express this emotion. Then participants were asked to include other puppets to improve the situation. Step by step, reflecting upon every stage of changes the etude was created with a great and deep involvement of participants.
- We asked for some consultations from actress and psychodrama trainer and gave participants some more time to spend personal meditating time with their puppets: to silently talk to them, to dance. It is amazing, how deep some conversations went, and what a rich spectrum of emotions and reflections it raised.
- We had participant B. a lilliputian. At the beginning she integrated rather well in the group, but puppet making session was too challenging for her as other participants were much faster and stronger. So participant B. lost her patience in spite of efforts of other participants and trainers had to assist her. So we think that trainers have to be aware of participants of the same group to have similar physical abilities, which are needed for puppet making, so as speed would be more or less the same.
- We also had a case of participant V. which made a puppet representing her lately deceased friend. It was a hard moment for her to realize that other participants made kind of their self-portraits. After that she was absent in couple sessions, but she joined the group when puppets were “dis-attached” from their authors and became simply the “actors”. Anyway, we did not use her puppet anymore, because it was evident, that she had to release this relationship. We still did not find the decision how to avoid such situation or is it needed to avoid, because participant V. experienced serious transformations in this relationship kind of deliberation of this complicated tie.
After finishing 2 workshops we feel much stronger in using puppetry for social inclusion and have a big confidence in the method as we see an evident progress in participants attitudes, self-esteem, creativity, growing abilities for self-analysis and acting in the group. We will promote the CC method in different situations for various contexts, because we see a vast possibility of the method working with different groups for social inclusion, non-formal education for adults as well as for children and youngsters.