Crafting Gentleness

Monday, January 18, 2010

The School for Designing a Society

From their website:

There are no more than a handful of schools, in any country, based on the desire for social change; this school proposes in addition, that social change be based on desires. In no other school are the desires of its students given such a high priority.

This school is organized by people who make a point of knowing how to accept an invitation.

There are no administrators.

Unusual stress is placed on performance; but, performance understood in a particular way. Not athletic performance, bottom-line year-to-date economic or competitive scholastic achievement award winning performance. Performance, rather, in the sense of having an intent and choosing, from alternatives, a preferred way of presenting that intent. Thus, this school emphasizes performance not only in the sense of practicing music, movement, speech, the "Performing Arts", but also in the sense of daily performance, the performance of social roles, the performance of our identities. And further, the interest in performance is not academic, reporting the way things are, but active: performances, including the daily seemingly natural ones, are treated as changeable and choosable. There will be many opportunities in this school to have fun with, to play with, to experiment with ways of presenting intent.

"We want to address language: how we speak and how language speaks us. Inherited linguistic patterns form one of the strong arms of a social system, often hiding and justifying oppressive structures while ruling out the creation of alternatives to these. This strong arm is frequently left unexamined or considered to be of minor importance. In this school, while studying a subject, discussing an event, making a decision, we will squint nervously at the language used, prodding each other into moments of created eloquence."
-- Susan Parenti


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