Empowering to speak.

by Alex from Maybe ( ) Together

Today we have a new prime minister.IMG_6485
Well he’s not really new. We’ve had him before.
It’s a long story.
The twitterverse went nuts.
As did facebook.
And as Jeff Sparrow aptly writes

“God knows, there’s opinion enough whooshing around the internet today: in the online age, fast-breaking events provide an almost irresistible opportunity for pundits to blurt out whatever comes into their heads, under the familiar compulsion to say something – anything! – so long as it’s new.”

We have a compulsion to comment. To speak. To type. To offer our 2c.
Is the soap box well and truly back?

IMG_6478I have been working on a new project: What the World Needs to Hear. It was inspired by Improv Everywhere’s Say Something Nice and my own work in Small Voices and Occupy Small Street. It is a project wanting to:
– to think about what isn’t being said/heard
– to think of both the nice and the harsh
– to think of the world as one thing, that could be altered by the individual
– empower people to take  on that responsibility and Say what is needed.

Things I’m asking/answering through testing:

– this isn’t facebook or twitter – people are saying it to people that haven’t chosen to follow them.
– speaking is very different to writing. Let alone, yelling. It is a bit scary.IMG_6487
– kids are far more open to this than adults. Kids’ responses “i can help you!” to “the world needs more kindness” to “pick up your rubbish”
– there are more people taking photos of it and posting it online than using it.

Things that are coming to the surface:

– I understand now why “say something nice” works well. It’s because it’s an instruction. There is comfort in that.
– I also understand why Play Me, I’m Yours works so well. Not only is it non-verbal (which i think makes it more accessible), but it makes something “nice”. For those that missed my gem of a fb vent status this week – the brisbane city council parks and recc manager decided my work might be “annoying” to those wanting to have their lunch – so they only gave me morning and evening permission.
While my ego jumped on the offensive of this and his presumptions (of many things) – there is something very true about the sound of a megaphone. It’s not “nice” is it?

Things to think about:
– facilitating multi modal expression – draw, write,… then yell?
– write it for someone else (performer, other person) to say?
– have a selection of famous quotes?
– make sure it’s in a child-friendly area
– have 20 all over a space…does it look more like “art” then and less intimidating?
– do these things need to sit in a wider context of a festival? (and why does this matter?)
– how do I convey the irony of an empty megaphone – does the world really not need anything?