A review of the second social dreaming series by Hannah Walsh

This time the review began with a shorter social dreaming matrix

Facilitation: Valerie Brown and Mannie Sher

10 people were present, 6 dreams and 11 associations were made.

The Matrix

A sepia coloured dream taking place at a cool conference. The mother in law of the dreamer was there, she wouldn’t stop talking and taking up the centre space. The dreamer felt cross.

Another dreamer, riding a bike with the handle bars too high arms stretched way above her head holding on. Her partner warns her they are too high to which she replies in a stern voice “no they’re not!”

A man is on a train and the doors open, on the platform a row of soldiers blocking the exit to the train and no one can get off.

A dream occurs each time the dreamer is moving homes, a bare room with people on the floor with their possessions including an old school friend, the dreamer is one of them – if she falls asleep her belongings will be stolen.

A holiday in the states, the dreamer had packed way too much, her whole wardrobe in fact. She felt safe that she had all of her clothing but knew she didn’t need it all.

A participant isn’t able to make an association to any of the dreams, they were fragmented and difficult to make connections.

How can we keep hold of our belongings? Association made to wanting to keep hold of our stuff but it’s not always possible.

Participant mentions how they want to write down their dreams but never does, everyone nods in agreement.

A frequent dream about going on holiday and when the suitcase is opened there is nothing in it or the dreamer has only packed t shirts but no trousers. Association is made to how much clothing means to us, a reference to The Emperor’s New clothes, how clothing shapes our identities. Reflection on the current situation of migrants, leaving their belongings behind and the anxiety that comes with owning little.

An association was made to the dream about soldiers, creating a wall between the train and the platform not unlike Trump’s wall, not letting people in. Not having control, everyone in the dream was looking for a way to get past the soldiers but were struggling.

There is a difference between how things are presented and how they really are. Restrictions are around; someone tells how they by-passed security at the airport in Chicago despite worries that they would not get in.

The Matrix closes

 

A review of the second series of Social Dreaming began

The first series of social dreaming took place in June/July, a string of significant events, Brexit, appointment of Theresa May as the new prime minister, Donald Trump winning the republican nomination, the anniversary of the 7/7 bombings. All of which sparked associations to the political and social climate of the time. Now a feeling of tiredness swept over the matrix in the second series, a domino effect has followed in the past six months, current government fighting for a “hard Brexit”, Trump being elected as president, the migrant crisis getting consistently worse.

On the first event on the 12th January it was felt that there was hesitation to speak of the current political state, an association to Trump was shut down. A facilitator of the events in both the first and second series remarked how the second series felt fragmented; it was difficult to make associations whereas writing up in the first “felt like a dream.” Another participant felt that too, but also the sense making that took place within the matrix was strong. There was a theme of binary, which sparked a conversation about polarisation; people wanting to hold onto both but carry either hope or despair which has been a prominent topic in the matrixes.

Participants have said they enjoyed the environment of the matrix, seated around the big red carpet with the “sweep of the stairs” whilst life still goes on outside the circle evoked feelings of comfort.

The matrixes throughout the series had a majority of women attendees, the day of the review is international women’s day. One particular matrix was all women except for one facilitator, only a few days before the women’s march on January 21st.

A comparison was made between an association to a dream about tiles brought up in a previous event, the tiles are shiny on the outside but dirty and ugly underneath and the behaviour of the matrix, participants are comfortable speaking about difficult subjects.

The idea of holding alternative realities together but not managing very well, groups all hold different views. This was associated with the current political theme today, being given alternative facts, blatant lying whereas the matrix acknowledges the truth of dreams and what they represent. Sometimes in the matrixes a particular person would hold court and therefore individual stories are not always heard, there are strong dominating figures in our world at the moment.

The randomness of the matrixes was enjoyed, the fact that you never knew what to expect and this could sometimes create anxieties but also excitement. It was liked that the associations and conversation that came from the dreams were completely dependent on the day, the dreams that are offered, the current social affairs and the participants all add to creating a narrative that is unlike any other.

The blog was praised as a way to represent the collective sense making that goes on during the matrixes. The dreamers become part of the archive as the sessions are being documented online as they are, they are not an analysis by an individual but reviewed by those who took part.

A participant who had attended an event before remarked how her dream had been recorded slightly differently, this lead to an author of a write up speaking about the worry about writing the dream wrong or in a way they had not intended it to come across. However, this is one of the wonders of the matrix, everyone experiences it differently and that can be shown by the way they are written about.

The review closed, a person who joined late in the session said how now everything is recorded whereas these can only really be experienced truly if you are present.

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Hannah Walsh

About Hannah Walsh

I took up the role of the institute’s apprentice in October 2015. Last year I completed a qualification in Digital Marketing which has allowed me to bring what I have learnt into the project and the Institute itself. As a part of the archive project team I work to facilitate the blog and communicate these aspects of the work to our audiences. I am also seconded to the Wellcome Trust assisting the project archivist with cataloguing and archive material research.

Category

Responding and Researching