It’s no surprise to hear that things have been Shaken right up once again!

The 5th Shake! intensive course began with a dive straight into the deep end, with the group discussing some of the impacts that capitalism has on society, the education system, and our relationships. This Shake! intensive focused on Headspace: from the repercussions of social media, to the influence that dominant narratives have upon the way things are viewed, to the importance of challenging these narratives, reclaiming inaccessible spaces and creating our own safe spaces. The discussion focused on how each topic affects our mental and physical well-being, and how to avoid the harms of these.

Just a few of the fabulous talks throughout the week included: an amazing lecture by Esther Stanford-Xosei speaking about Birthing Social Change: how the way in which we are birthed affects our capacity to love and the traumas our communities can inherit.

An inspiring talk from Platform’s Jane Trowell focused on many things including the importance of dialogue and solidarity between different fields, race, class, age and religion, that any solutions we seek will be found through collaboration. Our activism “we must out last and out wit those who do not want to listen,” because it’s a long game we are playing.

Josetta Malcolm gave an eye-opening session on  Black LBGTQI communities mental health. Paula Serafini gave another fascinating talk all about art and activism; the challenging and appropriating of space for political goals and culture as a struggle of resistance.

Themes that kept popping up throughout the week included the absolute necessity for resilience and unity, the need for alternative methods of education, and the need for dialogue.

With a combination of lovely, passionate, interesting , talented people and fascinating workshops, the week has been inspiring, engaging, exhausting and exhilarating all at once – it has been my first time as a Shake! facilitator and it certainly won’t be my last – I am eagerly looking forward to the next one already.

A more detailed run down of the weeks events will follow shortly, including sneak peeks into some of the poetry and, if you are lucky perhaps a snap shot or two of the film work to tempt and tickle and tide you over until the very exciting showcase so… Watch… This… Space…!

Big love, Holly x