Playful exercises designed to relax inhibitions break the ice and get us used to making silly mistakes. Inspired by Augusto Boal’s Games for Actors and Non-Actors, warm-ups generate a safe space of trust and cooperation.
2. Read the text aloud while participants make something
Recent studies corroborate what traditional cigar rollers know: that people pay greater attention to what they hear when hands are busy with artisanal production. We like to make books from cardboard, as do the Cartonera publishers throughout Latin America, and some sites in Africa and Asia. But you can sew, knit, sculpt, etc.
3. Everyone asks the text a question and publishes it on the clothesline
Questions are the way into a text. We publish them on a clothesline to be “adopted” by someone else who writes and re-publishes the question with an answer. With roots in the Iberian Peninsula, the line, clothespins and all, continues to display new writing where conventional publishing is unaffordable.
4. Form a circle and ask "What did we do?"
In a circle (or oval, as long as everyone sees everyone else) each participant offers a reflection in one or two sentences, to add interpretation and theory to art-making. Everyone speaks before anyone can speak again. This develops good citizenship.
5. Propose and co-construct following activities
Participants propose new activities. Proposals are simple, direct, and given in their entirety to level power dynamics. Then facilitators invite everyone to ask questions and make recommendations, so that the group co-creates.