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Session 1: Do My Emotions Make Me Less of a Man?

Session 1: Do My Emotions Make Me Less of a Man?

This 15 minute activity can be used as a warm-up to other activities on these pages, or on its own, to begin conversations around 'toxic masculinity'.

Suitable for groups, in person or online.

Materials needed:

- note-taking materials
- whiteboard or other shareable writing material

This clip is from Vincent Dance Theatre's Shut Down, which, alongside Virgin Territory, was devised with young performers to examine identity, masculinity, femininity, sex and sexuality, and digital harassment. The pieces in these resources are clips from a longer multi-screen dance theatre film 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.

This audio track was developed with Marshall Mandiangu through Audio Active Brighton

Group session:
  1. Watch the above video - participants should try to write down immediate responses: what was meaningful, evocative, interesting, exciting, and/or striking in the work just witnessed? (Remember that there is no right or wrong way to respond!). (Online - the session leader can share their screen to show the video).
  2. Session leader - debrief; what are some of the immediate responses to the video? Introduce the concept of 'dance theatre' and how it may feel different to other types of art, theatre, or media that the participants are used to. How this video is different to some other media (social media, tv, film, music) that you might have engaged with today?
  3. Discussion: what do we mean by 'toxic masculinity'? Have students discuss this term in pairs for 2 minutes, and feedback to the group. Session leader to make notes for the group to reflect on (in-person use a whiteboard or similar, or online Teams has a 'whiteboard function').
  4. Discussion: How does the above video ask us to think differently about masculinity? This could be to do with the style, content, people, presentation...
  5. Discussion: Do emotions make someone "less" of a man, or less masculine?
Mon 24 Jan 2022, 14:23