Unpacking Race March 2017
Week 5: Image of Transition

In March 2017 T.O. Philly held its popular workshop series about race and undoing racism. Between sessions we posted videos, articles, radio pieces, and writing prompts for participants. These are archived here, along with a few terms and activities shared in each session:
In our fourth and final session of this season's Unpacking Race series, participants honed in on a dozen strategies for interrupting racism, defined what these strategies were, and then created a room-sized map pinpointing each strategy in relation to the others. We then put forth encounters with racism from our own experiences and moved ourselves in relation to these strategies.

Our final Image Theatre technique worked with individual stories. Each author sculpted their group into an "Image of the Real" and then tried moving toward an "Image of the Ideal" three times. The author of each image was free to take steps in any direction, but the other characters had to move from the impulse of that particular character, accounting for any chain reactions caused by the image's author. This is Augusto Boal's "Image of Transition" technique.


Thought our series is over, our work unpacking race and undoing racism is not. Here are some ongoing assignments for race-unpackers to keep up with:

1. KEEP A RACE JOURNAL: When you notice something in your life that relates to race, write about it. While we can learn lots from reading, talking, performing, and engaging in workshops about race and racism, making time for self-reflection is also essential. Your journal can be a daily practice, or something you do a few times a week, or maybe you've always got it with you, ready to jot down your thoughts about race as they occur. No matter how you do it or how often, keep a race journal. 

2. MAINTAIN A MAPPING PRACTICE: By spatializing narratives and ideas, we can draw connections (literally!) between things we might not have noticed were connected. In addition to past weeks' mapping techniques, try the one from the workshop notes above by placing anti-racist strategies on a map. When a racist incident happens, figure out where on the map it can go, and then try applying any strategies that may be nearby.

3. SEEK OUT MEDIA MATERIALS ABOUT RACE: Share your links in the comment section below!

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