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Session 5: Wrapping up - growing together for the future

This 20-minute activity is best used as a way to consolidate the other activities on this page, to think about how we can move forward as individuals and as a community.

For groups, in person or online.

In-person materials:

- Any materials made/written on from previous sessions

- coloured paper, scissors, pens, stickytape or glue

- white or brown paper, scissors, pens, stickytape or glue

Option activity: soil, seeds and pots

This clip is from Vincent Dance Theatre's Virgin Territory, which, alongside Shut Down, was devised with young performers to examine masculinity, femininity, sex and sexuality, and digital harassment. The pieces in these resources are clips from a longer multi-screen dance theatre installation: this is to say that some parts tell a story, some ask you to think, and all pieces are designed to evoke emotional responses. Participants should be encouraged to engage with these dynamic pieces on a combination of these levels.

These resources come with a content note, particularly around sexual harassment. If anyone who engages with these materials needs support they can do so via Wellbeing Services here.

  1. Watch the trailer for Virgin Territory as a reminder of some of the content covered, and to introduce some of the intentions of the dance theatre piece. The session leader may wish to bring or show the notes and group posters from previous sessions as a refresher.
  2. Discuss: what has stuck out to the group? What do they remember most vividly and why? What does this suggest the most pressing issues that university students might face are?
  3. Activity: How do we move forward? The activities focused on the challenges that gendered social expectations put on us, participants are invited to think of some positive role models and share these with the group: how does this person challenge 'toxic masculinity' or 'toxic femininity'? Is it everyday behaviours, or bigger actions?
  4. Activity: While bigger actions are good, everyday actions are important too. This activity invites participants to reflect on what we can do going forward:
    In-person: Participants are invited to help make a paper chain of suggestions for how we move forward together. They can cut or tear paper into strips, and write one hopeful, practical action anyone can do to challenge the pressures of everyday sexism and digital culture on each - how big can you make the chain? An alternative is to make a paper chain of people holding hands (see image) and write positive interventions on them.
    Online: Participants can either make a short chain of their own, or they might like to make a paper chain of people by folding and cutting the paper - when these are all held up to the camera together it makes a longer chain of people working hand in hand.
  5. BONUS/ALTERNATIVE TASK: The session leader may wish to undertake an additional task, where participants write their proposed interventions on pieces of paper, which are then buried in soil, with a seed, either out of doors or in pots. This task offers a messy and embodied experience, which can consolidate the discussions of difficult subjects. The session leader might also wish to play the video below while participants think, write, and plant.
  6. Plenary: the session leader can invite participants to share their ideas and respond to others. If you want to find out more about VDT's 'Everyday Action' campaign and responses from others to Shut Down and Virgin Territory see their Flikr album here and their campaign page here, or follow #VDTEverydayAction on Twitter and Instagram. Feel free to share responses and ideas via the hashtag on social media.

Mon 24 Jan 2022, 14:19