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A novel approach to problem solving and creativity in creative practices and everyday life through movement and body and mind awareness.
Being Human Festival:
This event is part of Being Human Festival, the UK’s national festival of the humanities, taking place 9–18 November 2023. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, with generous support from Research England, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. For further information please see beinghumanfestival.org.
The activity includes movement through the space (of the room), following guiding questions, and self-reflection.
A Symbolic Space circle allows participants to experience a novel way to approaching problems that require thinking in novel ways. Symbolic Space approach offers us ways of exploring a relationship with the problem, not just its apparent aspects, using bodily awareness and movement in space. This allows to activate additional problem processing mechanisms in the brain that are otherwise unavailable to conscious thinking.
We will begin sitting in a circle; simple and brief body scan and breathing guidance will be given to everybody to bring full attention and focus to the room; then the activity will be explained. The participants will be asked to think about a meaningful problem (in a wide sense of the word) at work, in their studies, research or other creative processes which needs solving. After that, they will be asked a series of simple, non-suggestive questions. That will allow to externalise the problem and explore a relationship with it through feeling into the bodily sensations, becoming aware of any images and associations coming to mind, and also moving through space of the room. The activity will run for 40-45 minutes. After that, the circle will be formed again, and a 15-20-minute debriefing will be done and a short survey will be given. People will be invited to briefly share any thoughts on the experience (if comfortable).
The Event Organisers:
Ekaterina Shurkova, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist from the University of Edinburgh. Ekaterina is interested in how the mind represents the world, how it solves problems, and how it can be changed. Her research interests lie in creative problem solving and thinking about the world in terms of relations. She is also interested in the role of symbols and metaphors, as well as awareness of body states and awareness of the space around us in problem solving. In addition, Ekaterina has a private coaching practice, Symbolic Space.
Aino Venna is a composer, musician and performing artist widely recognised in Finland and internationally. Venna has a broad experience in cross-art work and has worked within established institutions and produced free urban culture works for unconventional locations. Aino Venna’s current work focuses on combining performance art and cognitive neuroscience latest findings. Their goal is to create immersive performances and installations that at the same time promote brain recovery and body awareness. Venna is also interested in ritual research and Finno-Ugric and Baltic Finnish mythology.
Please be on time. As the event starts with forming a circle and setting an intention for the event, we won’t be able to admit any latecomers. Thank you for your understanding.
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