Diary of an online LTTA

Day 1
Participants from 5 different countries (Ireland, Italy, Greece, UK, Spain) met online today for the 1st day of the workshop on the methodology of participatory learning applied to the community based approach and praxis.
Active participation allowed the group to create its shape, identity, and to question its own way of participation.
Taking part, being part, experience each part as a whole, then back.
A long day spent across group-work sessions that started a path through photo-language sessions, to deepen the representation of self and within the group. The process lead all to explore the difference between “listening to” and “listening through”, to recognize and to positioning oneself within its own style as facilitator.
The path for today ended in a body-talk activity during which each participant meditated and listened to its own body, and through its own body. Amazingly, but not surprisingly, the proprioceptions of participants placed their emotion in all body-portions, ending in the very image of the group at the end of its 1st day of workshop.

A huge thanks to Jacqui and to all participants for their energy.
A huge hug to Frank, hope some of this energy reached up to you, as you were there with us.

Day 2
Participants gathered online to continue the experience on participatory learning in community interventions.
Today Jacqui lead the group in a path through differences, and the possibility to raise awareness on how we stand and live when diversity is the real other we face.
So the group moved from a focus on the ingredients of being preoccupied and of being occupied.
The focus on the language we speak and listen was fascinating. Because there are more interesting languages than the national ones, and we focus on the variety of shapes and awareness of the language of power and action, of emotions and feelings, of meaning and understanding.
The moving from subgroups confrontations in breakout rooms and in plenary sessions allow to see the “story diamond”, which introduce a collective reflections on the stories we can share on how we use stories.
Another great interesting day, looking forward for the next to come.

Day 3
Images, words, language, emotions… in a circle of reciprocity between participants and their ability to elicit stories.
It is always interesting to see where the words might take participants, and it is interesting just as much to see where participants might lead their curiosity, creativity, availability in sharing and building together.
Words are images, and images are words. The path from pictures that participants selected in the previous 2 days became the starting point for a journey of storytelling, which will tomorrow evolved further in the creation of digital storytelling videos.
The group chose 28 pictures, which became words. These words got together, forming 12 stories. These stories evoked emotions, which lead to new images, new visions, new words, and, evolved in 3 stories out of the 12 originals. Always moving from the emotional to the methodological level, the group all-together ended the day in creating a final story, giving its speech as a voice for the group itself and to all its participants, all contributing offering steps and vision and soul to this wonderful collective journey, already looking forward for the forthcoming editing process and foreseen the up-to-come final digital storytelling video of this marvelous learning com-unity.

Day 4
The intensive online seminar keeps evolving, and while the days goes by, a reciprocal, participative, enriching learning and share gets its shape.
It is a colorful shape, full of collective wisdom, emotions, words, images.
The group confronted with a previously underestimated task: the online transformation of a collective story into a collective storyboard.
Individually, the step between a story we wrote and a storyboard is quite simple and fast, because of the eliciting power of the words we choose in the narrative process has a direct call with the correspondent evoked pictures.
The creation of a collective storyboard enlightens the dynamics that flows within and underneath the group. To choose a single picture for a determined phrase means to have the group work together listening to and through the collective unconscious of the group itself.
This enrichment demands time to happen.
But … as Frank Naughton reminded us during the preparation, the “but” part is always important … so … But, what is time? Time is not on your watch, not in any absolute. Time is what you make of it.
So the group allowed itself to take all its time, to collective create a storyboard using the consensus approach to group deep dynamics and representations.
We finally have the first draft of the digital storytelling video.
Now it is “time” to give it voice …

Day 5
Eventually the end has come, as they say.
A heterogeneous group, six nations (Ireland, England, Wales, Italy, Spain and Greece), 14 participants, a week in which we literally lived together (albeit online) the methodological guide “Understanding participatory and digital learning: a guide for the educational intervention with adults ”, which will soon be published and downloadable for free.
A guide we have written and translated in a residential-online workshop.
Five days of group work, ten group-work sessions, an immersion in the creative process of digital storytelling that saw the sprouting of 12 individual stories.
Those 12 were first merged into 3 new stories built in breakout-rooms, and then generated a newly-constructed collective story.
Shared stories for a story that was shared.
Built together from the individual words and images that have become the words and images of the group, first as a collective and unconscious fascination, and then as a real narrative of a new reality, generated by the uniqueness of the participants which finally became a community, a unity-alike.
As a unit, the group created the storytelling, recorded the story giving voice to the voices of all the participants.
A journey of discovery with new eyes, new words, new gestures.
For a new real that has been revealed, ending in a digital storytelling video that tells the story, the fascination, the wonder, the beauty of such path.
A huge hug to Jacqui Gage and Angela Salvatore for co-facilitating with me, to Frank Naughton for been so intensively present even if unseenable, to all participants for the gifts they share.
Thanks you !

Paolo Brusa LABC

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