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The Messenger - Immersion#7: Collective Immersion

The Messenger
The Messenger - Immersion#7: Collective Immersion
By Socratus • Issue #51 • View online
Life at times may seem like a random customised individual experience with its own design, sometimes thick and sometimes thin. In these intense periods of personal experience, we sometimes forget to be aware of fact we are completely immersed in a collective immersion of the worldly kind. All that we do and will do, stands on all that has been done before. And hence it must follow that the quality of our personal experience actually depends on a collaborative collective immersion that we all have emerged from and will enable.

Collective Immersion
Imagine that we were to deliberate on the future of a gender equitable world. How can we go about it? Is one person’s perspective enough? Does having an opinion and an authority/office/expertise to deliver the opinion, supersede all the multiplicity of viewpoints? Historically problems have been exacerbated due to this behaviour, and people feel left out of the systems that are meant to support them. So how can we do it?
Here is an idea, what if we were to imagine our positions and play out our opinions and choices in form of augmented theatre, or an immersive play?
The thinking is that play might surface various wicked situations that we may not anticipate as individuals, but it may only be visible as a collective visioning exercise.
To work through an example, let’s go back to our premise of a gender equitable future, that we all desire. We know that each one of us have biases and when we work as a part of an institution or group, these biases also are carried to these entities. Also these biases manifest in different viewpoints and opinions of what the equitable future should look like. Even within the same group, there are often contrasting difference of opinions. So which opinions should be pursued?
Participatory theatre as a real world immersive experience, gives us an opportunity to test out many of our beliefs and ideas, in a safe space, where people understand that it is play, yet it is life, reinforcing the connection with the collective imagination.
Some links
Theatre of the Oppressed - Wikipedia
Immersive theater - Wikipedia
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Illustrating Wicked Problems

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