A volunteer experience (3rd entry)

Looking back to the first months

I began my voluntary service with an observation of the different activities proposed in the association. During “administrative time”, I was translating to French the Espaço T website, or thinking in a project I could concretize inside the structure.
But, for now, let me introduce yourself to a selection of workshops I’ve participated in.

I saw different kinds of expression, different kinds of art, but still, the important thing for the “students” was to open themselves, to express their feelings in a way to be more peaceful.

In Sara Leguisamo’s class, the students paint, or draw. This is quite an open class, with open theme, to let the user paint about what he wants and feels, about what he is. So, in a first period, people are expressing themselves with paintings, crayons, colours and pencils…
In a second period, they all put their draws in the floor, showing their work to the others. It could be something difficult, because it represents a way to open yourself (by this personal work) to the others. So, it is a way of communicating about what you really are, about your personal way to be, to think. But people do not seem to have any problem with this. Maybe it is because they are used to, or maybe because they knew where they were going, what was expecting from them. But no matter, they all accept.
And then, people talk about their own work and what the others did. First, one student say what he feels, looking at one of the other’s painting. Then, the owner of the painting talks about it, about what he felt doing it, and what it represents for him.
Finally, the animator of the workshop also gives her own feelings when she looks at the work done.
In her interpretation, there is some psychology analyse and maybe it is with this phase of the workshop that you can really see how much this kind of work is here to help people to better understand what they feel, and maybe to support it better.
It helps to concretize, with shapes, forms and colours what you experiment. And so, if you can draw it, so you also can put words on it, and understand.
More, understanding is the first step for acceptance and, if you need it, for changing and evolution.

I also participated in the Tai-Chi workshop, which one is really relaxing and which permits a focus on ourselves, on our energy. During this class, you are only concentrated on the movement you are doing, on what you ask to your body. So it permits to work on your respiration, on your body’s reaction, on your body’s sensations. Things that are often forgotten in our society. So, it is self concentration and self-listening.

We can find quite the same qualities in the Corporal Expression workshop. The one I saw was taking place outside, in the Parque do Palacio de Cristal, just in front of the association. During this class, the student have the opportunity to work on their concentration, on what they feel when they do this precise movement,… But it is also a question of being aware with what surround us. Because the environment really had an impact, here, on what people choose to do with their body.
So, corporal expression could be defined by doing some movements, some positions, which are in harmony with the space you are in, and the way you feel inside. It is, once again, a question of listening and so, a way to be more open-minded.
Maybe because it will be when you really understand yourself, that you can pretend to understand the others…?

Delphine Korwin, Abril 2012.

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