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Visual Facilitation: Can Images Help Us Facilitate?
Updated November, 2003. Note: This page does not have the normal fullcirc.com background. You aren't imagining this!
In Visual Facilitation: A Humorous Look at Online Life and My Gallery of "Imaginary Friends" I've taken baby steps towards expressing some online facilitation concepts in pictures, rather than words. I've been moving in this direction for two reasons. First, more of my students in the online facilitation classes do not use English as a primary language. And I am one heck of a wordy teacher. So I need a bridge. Second, sometimes pictures just do a better job.
The pictures in the previously mentioned page are rather literal. I'm also interested in how pictures help us convey complex ideas, moods and feelings within a text based "conversation."
One of the barriers to doing work like this is any personal trepidation of sharing "art" work and one's self image. "It is not good enough" has to be tossed by the side of the road. This is not about "creating art" but using artistic means to express ourselves. Turn off the self-censor for a moment.
Here are a few dabblings that have emerged from conversations for me. I put titles on them, but wonder if that is a mistake. What do the images suggest to you?
Holding the Center
Sharing My Heart
Learning Across the Lines
Confused, But That's OK
The Goddess of Small Annoyances (for Lin)This came out of an online conversation with a group of women supporting one woman going through breast cancer treatment. At one point she said something like "I can't wait till I can experience small annoyances again."
The Practice of PeaceNovember 9-12 I participated in an Open Space event on the Practice of Peace (see www.practiceofpeace.com). Instead of taking notes, I drew each day as I was inspired from stories about struggles for peace. These images were then scanned and shared as part of the proceedings, available both to those who were at the event and those who participated virtually. The first one was capturing the opening circle, which included a Samoan four way dialog. The second emerged from a session on "How to bear it when we know it is our fault" and then grew deeper in a conversation about the Middle East. The third was started with the idea of "Peace Making" and "Piece Making," and continued through a Compassionate Listening Circle with a person involved in peacemaking in Palestine and Israel.
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