Cross-Border Languaging toward Common Understanding

From Digital Avatar

Cultivating a sense of social responsibility in the practice of psychology starts with acknowledging its situated cultural context. We are becoming more aware that psychology as a branch of science, with its creed of objectivity often has trouble with practical engagement in the world. This label of expert tends to encourage psychologists to remain a detached, a spectator theorizing from a distance. This has created a gap between words and actions and also between scholars and the struggles of ordinary people. Psychology’s responsibly lies in bridging this gap through working in solidarity with diverse communities.

In this workshop we will explore skills and practices to actively engage in this task. Concretely, we will follow 3 steps: 1) Explore the shift in the role of the psychologist from expert to a facilitator to lead dialogue toward co-creative process of collaborative action. 2) Gain literacy skills that are necessarily for becoming a facilitator. The idea of “cross-border languaging” is introduced as an essential capacity needed to perform the new role of the researcher. Cross-border languaging is an activity of moving between borders of cultures, political party lines, disciplines and religions. It encourages the participant to shift positions from a comfortable place to an unknown one. It is a path of artistic dialogue that evokes empathic imagination and can translate different perspectives into a shared understanding. We will explore examples of engagement of this process. 3) Bringing poetry as an artistic medium for entering into the cross-bordering languaging process, we will practice shifting positions and engage in creating a common language with others. At the end we will share the creative process that emerges through cross-border languaging.

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