Some ethno-national identities are driven by logics of ‘blood, soil and belonging’. This exercise offers a different relationship to the land in the hope of ‘distancing’ from familiar narratives and opening up new and more intimate stories. It takes up the image of the ‘parliament of things’ (Dingpolitik) of Iceland as imagined by Latour and Schneibel (2005).
Part of these exercises is about finding other more creative ways to relate to the earth, place and land than the logics of ‘blood, soil and territory’ that can drive ethno-nationalism, and monocultural ideas of the nation.
They are also about cultivating a world-sensibility that can provide positive ways of responding to pressing issues like climate justice.
Enquiry: How do we humans tell stories?
The Myth of the Crane Bag:
If you put your hand in the bag, and found what it is you need right now, what would that be? The Crane Bag is another way of rethinking and retelling stories: identifying what we subjectively need – for protection, to be heard, to get a measure of power over things that cannot be controlled – it is very usefully used with the idea of Storytelling as a way of saying what cannot be said directly.
Creating the Space: Place your chairs in a triangle facing one way, perhaps out a window.
Begin with an invitation to a story of Political Shame (not personal shame) and then half-way through turn to a story of Surprising Solidarity.
Think of Boal’s concept of the “Difficultator” (rather than Facilitator) or Dostoevsky’s Idiot.