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Apr 30, 2019

Mexico City Workshops: almost there!

The workshop series for Mexico City is in its planning and development phase. Since the last reporting period, there was a major change. One of the workshop’s facilitators, Beth Lazroe, had to cancel her trip to Mexico due to health issues. Another colleague, who is experienced in therapeutic work, will replace Lazroe. Her name is Sonia Mackwani.

Below is a short biography of Mackwani:

Sonia Mackwani is an award-winning Psychologist Healer and an Intuitive Channel. With a Masters in Clinical Psychology and Hypnotherapy, she is also an author, having written for children and adults; both fiction and non-fiction. At the young age of 21, she founded a non-profit organization called Touching Lives offering learning and healing to the children and communities of the slums in Mumbai, India. Touching Lives is now in its 15th year of operation.

During the Report period January - April 2019, the following activities took place:

  • Conference call. The main facilitator of the workshop, Dr. Masa Hilcisin met with the representatives of organization LaLleca in order to discuss further plans about the workshops
  • Timeframe for all workshops. The following timeframe has been agreed with the representatives of LaLleca:

The first workshop will take place July 4-6, in collaboration with the Cultural Center for 10 female participants. Participants will be students and immigrants.

The second workshop will take place on July 10, for 20-30 participants for women in prison. This workshop will take only one day because access to the prison is not possible for a longer period of time. It will be designed and structured accordingly.

The third workshop will take place July 11-13, for 8-10 female activists.

  • Skype meeting. Hilcisin met with the other facilitator, Sonia Mackwani. Mackwani is based in Bombay, she will arrive to Prague at the end of May. Mackwani will be working during the month of June with Hilcisin in preparation for the workshops in Mexico City. They will together run workshops for women and girls within WomenArts Festival,Prague, from June 14-16.
  • Tools, techniques, and methods which will be used and applied during the workshops, include: storytelling, writing, group sharing, identification of individual themes, individual sessions, guidance, and creative process, which will involve use of visual tools such as video, or collage, or photography, in order to translate the personal story into visual language. Further methods might be added after work meetings of facilitators during the month of June.

Timeline for the next three-month period (April - May 2019):

  • May: conference call with representatives of LaLleca organization in order to discuss the final details of the workshops (final structure and confirmation of the timeline)
  • June: Facilitators’ series of work meetings in Prague
  • June: Facilitators will deliver a workshop for women and girls in Prague (as an additional preparation for the workshops in Mexico City).
Feb 1, 2019

Mexico City Workshops: planning phase update

“Visual Storytelling Workshop: Use of Visual Language in Storytelling for Personal Transformation” is part of a comprehensive approach to provide safe spaces for women and girls to share their personal stories and to translate these stories into visual language. The workshops aim to support creative and healing processes, empower women and girls to work within their personal space, and provide technical skills in visual storytelling (work with collage, photography, camera, and video editing).

The workshop series for Mexico City is in its planning phase. This series will be organized with the Mexico City-based organization La Lleca. La Lleca’s approach focuses on addressing the needs of the population they work with. According to research conducted by La Lleca, since 2006 violence against women has worsened in Mexico and, in the last year, university students have been repeatedly targeted. In the vast majority of cases, university authorities have not responded to the students’ claims. As a result, many female students struggle with the consequences of violence such as addiction, which leads to legal issues.

In November 2018, the workshops’ facilitators, Masa Hilcisin and Beth Lazroe, met in Prague with representatives of La Lleca to discuss the details of the workshops for Mexico.The following points were addressed during the meeting:

  • Profile of participants for the workshops. The facilitators will be working with three different groups: women in an all-female prison, women activists, and female students who come from disadvantaged economic backgrounds.
  • Tools, techniques and methods which will be used and applied during the workshop: workshop structure, group and individual sessions to ensure that participants feel safe sharing personal stories, use of film and video techniques).
  • Sensitivity and security issues around conducting the workshop in all-female prison: What will we be allowed to do? Photographing the workshop or participants will not be allowed, but we might be able to document the art produced by the participants.
  • Permission to access all-female prison will be managed by La Lleca
  • Accommodation Details: both facilitators will be housed in the private homes of La Lleca members.

Timeline for the next three-month period (Feb.-May 2019):

  • February: Facilitators’ meeting in Prague
  • February - March: Finalization of the workshops’ structure  with a detailed day-by-day schedule
  • March: Skype meeting with representatives of La Lleca to discuss the final version of workshops’ structure
  • April: Facilitators book their plane tickets (Prague – Mexico City)
  • April - late May: La Lleca recruits the workshops’ participants.

In addition to the preparation of Visual Storytelling Workshops in Mexico, a series of workshops were held in Georgia and Czech Republic during the reporting period (November 2018 - January 2019). In Georgia, the workshops took place on November 20th-30th, 2018 in Batumi and Khulo. They served 30 women and girls from different parts of the country, and were organized in collaboration with the Batumi Education Development and Employment Center (BEDEC) and the Khulo Women’s Room. Please see the pictures of this workshop series below.

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