Exuli ateliers


Let’s consider how, sometimes, taking the floor before others, putting into words what happens to us may be difficult, if not impossible. Shame, distrust, insecurity, rejection of the foreign language or even our own... We can find as many reasons as existing subjects Whenever we try to say something, the more involved or engaged we feel, the greater the difficulty might be. However, the encounter with the other can provoke reactions. These reactions, since they’re not programmed, may lead to the emergence of silences, gestures and other expression forms, a big range of reactions that resonate beyond the role played. Thus, interaction can make emerge elements never thought so far, memories so far buried and perhaps, in some cases, the desire to try to put them into words.


The atelier “saying with images” has been conceived because of the importance of images as part of our identity. In fact, we need the recognition of the other to identify ourselves in our own image. Our image, and our caring of it, is the way to introduce ourselves to the world. We chose to elaborate an atelier with images also for their affective powers: images can stir, thrill, entertain, excite, and sometimes we don’t even know why. In fact, vital events can be associated with traumatic situations that the subject doesn’t know: there are images that can awake forgotten or repressed experiences. The creative work that has most inspired our work on this medium offers another language when words alone are not enough to connect with one's own deep emotions. Whether it is drawing, painting, modeling, the first step is to put the person who is participating back into action. Color and design have soothing functions and make it possible to leave a trace even if it is small. These painting, drawing, collage and wire ateliers create a relationship between production and symbolism, the bond that is created between the participants, the place and the facilitator. The diversity of the available material, the reassuring rituals, as well as the place where the atelier is conducted, are all parameters that invite the person to redefine, push back the limits imposed. The support of the "facilitator" must be enveloping, to allow participants to feel invited to express themselves.


Sound is one of the four medium of expression on which we decided to focus on the experience of the ateliers within the Exuli project. In this module of the MOOC, you will be able to find inspiration regarding offers of possible inputs to propose during the different sessions of the ateliers in regards to this specific medium. In the atelier «saying with sounds»,  music, voice, and sounds become a link between the words and the body, showing how sounds actually precede the senses as it emerges from Lacan’s perspective. It is, in fact, a different language of its own, and where the words and the spoken language are lost, the music can open a way to a contingency in which the sounds can actually re-sound with something new.  In this way, sounds are able as well to facilitate the expression of some past experiences and open up to both a subjective and collective experience of sharing.


We have to provide space for the participants to express themselves. Saying with words it is an atelier for the participants - especially young refugees and immigrants and asylum seekers who left everything behind them, who only have words to express their feelings. Words that may come from songs, from images, from playing but that is the way to express themselves. So let them talk with words and tell us what they feel and what they want to do in their new life.