Session 5: Identity

This session guides participants to deconstruct stereotypes and stigmas around idenities by reassessing who we consider to be ‘other’ and by analyizing how sometimes we may seem like ‘others.’ In the past, participants have found this session to be eye-opening and even cathartic. However, this session demands facilitators to be sensitive and powerful in their presentation.

For a printable version of this session, click on Session 5: Identity

(I’ll get this session out on the blog very soon — currently, I’m struggling with format.)

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3 Comments on “Session 5: Identity”

  1. queer3779 Says:

    Sahar:

    To start with, I really think we should have a better warm up. This initiating activity serves well in something like a team-building workshop, where it is linked to the activities and the discussions in general. But without a context, this activity is not exactly much fun. Mostly, people want “games” with some kind of an outcome. I am not sure if we should encourage that though.

    We read two profiles, instead of three, because we felt that the profile of the upper class Brahmin woman won’t really make sense to this particular group. I think we must have a few extra profiles prepared and apply them after gauging which one the group will react to. The Muslim boy’s profile was the one everybody reacted feverishly, and the deconstruction was successful. We actually said that these people are real people, because it wasn’t easy for the group to believe that such drastic differences were actually possible. But I don’t think we should stress on the reality of these characters. It’s like making fool of people. What do you think?

    But the youth got the sense of what we were trying to convey through the deconstruction. The discussion about their own identity and their marginalization was very interesting and went on for a while.

    As for the form, while everybody filled it up, not everybody wanted to tear it apart. They did feel that these things were also important parts of their identity. And I could not force them to do anything of course. I think gauging the attitude of the group, we should ask them if they want to tear the paper or not. They could keep the paper folded in their notebook too. What’s important is that we must realize that this form is not a COMPLETE description of their identity. And that everyone in the group agreed.

    The group was very eager to “define themselves according to their own imagination”. So the writing activity went very well. I have noticed this group, maybe because they are used to catholic discipline, are very good at writing things down if they are guided. So, all the guided writing activities are done diligently by them. But only a few come up with actual poems. It’s a little disappointing at one level, but then, I feel our job is not necessarily to create writers. If the youth are at least deeply into what we are discussing, and participating in personal imagination during the sessions, it’s also something significant.

    The session was an overall hit. Thumbs up, throughout.

  2. pooja Says:

    hey…sorry for another one of these delayed responses…! but thought i’ll just add something to what bishan has already said in detail. Truly the session went really well overall. just wanted to share this little impromtu thing that came to my head while doing the session. after they had duly filled up the form and we had discussed what identity society wanted of them, while explaining the obverse of that identity, i just turned the page about to show them the blank page nd told them that this was the space that their identity was left to be created by them…like the blank page, it was up to them to fill it up with what identity they wanted to belong to or create. i think they responded really well to this explanation, i mean they kind of got the analogy. wonder what you guys think of this…

    another thing that bishan and i had thought about was that perhaps we could show the group some film about gender identity, say like Billy Elliot or Bend it Like Bekham. that would be really cool! what say?

  3. Sahar Says:

    Hey Pooja!
    Like the blank page gesture a lot. I can see that working well. Let definitely keep note of that in our session revisions.

    Billy Elliot or Bend it Like Beckham — not bad. I wonder if there were similar films in the vernacular….? Hmm…

    s


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