Group Nr 2
Title: Workshop Group in the Social Integration Centre (Poland)
In March 2018 a pilot workshop group was established in the Social Integration Centre (CIS) – a sheltered enterprise in Bielsko-Biała: http://www.cis.bielsko.pl/
The workshop sessions were conducted by Iwona Kusak (trained in the CC method during the Short-term Joint Staff Training Event in Glasgow), Jolanta Kajmowicz-Sopicka from Grodzki Theatre (project coordinator) and Agnieszka Masiewicz (psychologist at CIS).
10 long-term unemployed CIS users participated in theatrical activities altogether. They struggle with different personal, social and health problems resulting from being unemployed for many years. 5 workshop sessions lasting 2 hours each were organized and 2 short puppetry scenes created by the participants were presented to the small audience during the final workshop session in April 2018.
The pilot workshops were evaluated by both the participants and trainers. The feedback gathered from them confirms the usefulness of using puppetry art in supporting the long-term unemployed in their struggle for social recovery. Presented below are the opinions – testimonies by the group members and workshop leaders.
The workshop process helped us to discover new resources in us, forgotten emotions. It stimulated imagination and desire to create.
Relationships with other people were created and in this way the workshops enriched us a lot.
It helped me to open myself to other people and to learn teamwork.
It helped me to believe in myself and not want to give up.
Creating my own puppet was a very strong experience, it made me aware of the experiences pushed to the subconscious and allowed me to meet with them, releasing lingering pain.
Puppet creation allows to discover in oneself layers of emotions that govern in our lives. To realise in what place of our life we are or where we would like to be in our life.
I liked creating a puppet very much. And although animating this puppet was very difficult for me, I did not give up and did not quit the workshop.
The final presentation of the puppet scene gave us a sense of hope, faith in the good end of life’s experiences, acceptance and recognition by the group – very encouraging. Thanks.
With the diversity of characters and animation scenes, it was possible to experience a lot of wisdom and implement it in one’s own life.
It`s fantastic! The audience wonderfully received our performance.
The puppets turned out to be a great art-therapy method.
An important value of the workshops is group work, during which the “stronger” persons helped the weaker, they supported each other, and built relationships.
The final outcome of the workshops, that is a presentation of prepared performances, was a great experience for the participants. They greatly enjoyed that the spectators understood their story and its message. For the majority of participants it was a subjective experience, increasing their self-acceptance and self-esteem.
It was interesting to see fast a bond can be formed, also in adapted relations. It was enough to concentrate on the puppet with mindfulness, to open to a direct relationship with it, so that the process of building the relationship could begin anew.
A puppet can be a tool that allows its creator to look at own selfhood and to define his/her needs.
Through cooperation in the group and the creation of a theatrical etude, participants reinforce the sense of self-agency and self-confidence in social situations.