THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
THIS WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT YOU.
Three workshops were organized during the period July 1-11 by Masa Hilcisin, and Sonia Mackwani (Founder-Director of the organization Touching Lives) . The following methods have been used during the process: grounding exercises, meditations, exercises used to enhance connection among participants and support creation of safe space, writing, group sharing, individual sharing, creative work with art supplies, individual sharing about the creative process, Reiki, group healing meditations.
1) Workshop 1 at Cultural Center Border
The first workshop took place during July 3-5 in premises of the Cultural Center Border, an independent cultural space addressing current social issues through public debates, lectures, exhibitions, and workshops.
A total of 10 women participated during the whole workshop, which covered all stages of the process as planned. They focused mostly on the following themes during the workshop: grief, body, violence, mental health, personal vs. public space as well as safety. Participants expressed themselves in the form of art installations, a performance, videos, collages, written pieces and embroidery.
The following feedback has been provided by the participants of this first workshop:
“It had been a long time since I felt so supported. I thank the two facilitators for creating the safety that is required to share so delicate and deep topics. Listening to my partners really touched my heart and stimulated my sensitivity.”
Elizabeth, 21 years old.
I felt supported and understood during the process. A path that I resisted to explore is now open for me. Now I know I can do it myself and also with the spiritual support of great women.
Angélica 48 years old
I found this to be one of the most outstanding experiences I’ve had as a workshop. Without knowing it, you have walked us to access areas which are not easy to deal with and facilitate space for us to confront those not so easy parts and transform our relationship to them. I can see through preparation one has to have to make it so simple and even sophisticated. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us.
(Translation provided by Viviana Muñoz Krauss)
2) Workshop 2 at Reclusorio Preventivo Varonil Norte
The second workshop was conducted on July 10 in adult prison in north part of Mexico City. Reclusorio Preventivo Varonil Norte is one of the biggest adult prisons in Mexico City with more than 8000 prisoners. Facilitators of the workshop worked actively with members and activists from the Collective La Lleca who have extensive experience in working in jail settings and with this specific prison.
Facilitators Masa Hilcisin and Sonia Mackwani used storytelling, creative process, and individual sessions in order to facilitate the process. A total of 35 participants joined the workshop. Some of the participants only wanted to talk and share their personal stories orally while others created small paintings and collages. Facilitators guided the session based on each participant’s individual wishes and needs. The main themes explored were loneliness, longing, disconnection, personal space, society, family, religion, grief. Due to safety reasons, facilitators were not allowed to take a camera or phone into the prison.
Here are some reactions from the workshops (the quotes will remain anonymous as we have to protect their privacy
“I liked the exercise during which we hold each other’s hands. I felt relaxed. I also liked the exercise about our story, because it’s not easy to talk here in prison. It brought me relief.”
“I’m learning how to have inner peace. I have meditated about good and bad things I have done. I’m aware that while in prison I can be free in spirit, finding inner peace.”
“I really enjoyed this workshop, because you helped us manage our emotions.”
(Translation provided by Fernando Fuentes)
3) Workshop 3 at Voces en Tinta
The third and the last workshop took place on July 11 at Voces en Tinta, a cultural space open to LGBTQI+ people where conferences, book readings and other community events are often organized.
A total of 7 activists women participated in the workshop. Originally planned to last three days, this workshop had to be shortened to one day only due to the participants’ working schedules.This was challenging for the facilitators, but they managed to go over the entire curriculum. Participants produced paintings, collages and performances around the topics of body, health, sexuality and politics.
The following feedback has been provided by the participants:
“Thank you for opening this trusting and safe space.”
Mara 21 years old
“Thank you for what we all shared. More time would have been nicer; however, it was just enough to reach our goal. I learned so much from the others, including myself. I found another part of me.”
Saraí 32 years old
“You helped me build an important place for love. That is my safe space: to feel wrapped in this love. Thank you.”
Magaly 30 years old
(Translation provided by Viviana Muñoz Krauss)
The following day, the facilitators and representatives from La LLeca met to review the collaboration and co-leading of the workshops. All agreed that it would have been beneficial for participants to have more time. La Lleca agreed to keep in touch with participants to provide them any support they might need.
During the last days of stay in Mexico City, facilitators Masa Hilcisin and Sonia Mackwani met with representative of Global Giving platform, Alejandra Avila. They provided detailed information about each of the workshops along with visual materials. Feedback was very positive during the meeting. It has been agreed that they will remain in touch for future professional collaboration.