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Copyright 2016

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equal voices in the room?

In May 2017 Alexandra Parry and Cicilia Östholm started the project equal voices in the room? as a response to group learning experiences at the Royal College of Art. We put together a series of exercises for workshops with students and staff, trying out a range of practical techniques drawing from practices such as consensus decision making, body-centered methods of working together, and practicing recognizing and articulating power dynamics.

The project is collaborative and ongoing exploring the form of discussions used in a pedagogical setting. Primarily taking place through workshops we look at how materials, structure and rules, actions and movement may all be part of discussions and how this may affect the participation of the group in the conversation.

The project sees group work as a microcosm of wider political systems, thus prompting questions about how democracy is enacted through speech and debate. Largely but not just contextualised within pedagogy the project demands a closer more caring look at structures and organisation within daily life and their potential to have political and social effect.

The first workshop was held 10 May 2017, as a workshop and dinner for students and staff at RCA.

Workshops have since been run throughout the year (2017-18) and with artists Nazanin Rahimi and Rachel Yalisove. The further collective of artists includes Sadie Edginton, Shamma AlAmri, Sing Hang Tam, Milagros Bedoya, Eleni Papazoglou, Sofya Chibisguleva, and Aurora Gazm.

Now we’ve collected our exercises in printed form, so they can be easily shared and used by others. You can order or download find a full version of the equal voices in the room? publication at our webpage www.equal-voices.com .

Also see INTERRUPT!: an early outcome in the process.