Imagining Alternative Worlds through Activism

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Imagining Alternative Worlds through Activism
  • Who: Nour Abou-Jaoude, Julia W Szagdaj, Anna Lathrop
  • Date: Wednesday, 10 November 2021
  • Time: 9:00 - 10:30 am EDT / 14:00 - 15:30 UTC
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Type: Workshop with interactive, creative elements
  • Language: English
  • Location: TBD

Please note, this workshop is capped at 15 people. You will be put on a waitlist if the session has reached capacity. Depending on the demand, we may consider hosting this session again in the future.

The future is brimming with beautiful and positive paths that may seem unattainable due to the strain of everyday activism or harms of human rights abuses. This workshop is designed to disrupt and expand our assumptions about where we are going and help us envision and make concrete real futures filled with joy and hope, and inspiration.

Using music, poetry and speculative language, transdisciplinary designers—Nour Abou-Jaoude, Julia W. Szagdaj, and Anna Lathrop—will guide participants to create what James Auger calls “a perpetual bridge”: the space between the world as we want it to be and the world as it is now. This newly created alternative “world” acts as a space for hope and inspiration, sprouting new questions, strategies, tactics and relationships.

In order to travel into our futures, we must understand our pasts. As such, the designers will lead participants through their pasts into these alternative futures.

The methods used for the workshop have been co-designed in collaboration with the UNESCO Futures Literacy Community, Negligence Refugees from the Lebanese diaspora, and the Transdisciplinary MFA program at the Parsons School of Design.

Bio: Nour Abou-Jaoude is an experienced creative strategist, with a deep commitment to systems change and the futures of our societies. She led an integrated, 360-degree campaign to abolish Article 522 of the Lebanese Penal Code, which stated that a rapist was exonerated if they marry their victim. Nour holds an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design from the Parsons School of Design, The New School.

Julia W. Szagdaj is an experimentalist, transmedia artist, and researcher who believes imagination should start from the heart. She works as a learning scientist and systems transformation consultant at the United Nations Development Programme and is involved in fighting for women's rights in Poland. She holds an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design from Parsons School of Design, The New School.

Anna Lathrop is a futurist and transdisciplinary artist whose work lies at the intersection of alternative worlds-building and justice. She is a theatre director and producer, and co-founded Groundwater Arts, a citizen-artist collective working to re-envision arts and entertainment through a climate-justice lens. She is also a mentor in the Emerging Scholars program at Design and Culture Journal, and a teacher in the Strategic Design and Management (BBA) program at The New School.

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Notes will be posted here