Can you imagine fleeing your country, leaving everything behind you with only one thing left, to go to a new continent with different culture, different people, and different life without any help? Did you ever get attacked because of the color of your skin or your gender? Have you ever thought about your own identity and stereotypes connected to it? Did you ever think about the word “Power”?
I am a 20 years old Caucasian girl from Germany, born in Berlin. A city which never stops to grow. Not only in terms of population but also in the sense of people becoming more and more open-minded. With people from all over the world. Before the workshop started I thought that I was a person who included everyone. Or I tried to do it.
My opinions got changed on the 13th of December 2018. The day when our Workshop ALL-IN started.
16+ participants from all over Europe with different backgrounds and different experiences but with the same desire to become different. We want to grow. Life is too short to stay in a comfortable zone.
We had four meetings together. Every Thursday.
It started with the word Power. For me a word that means energy. I listened to the other’s opinions and I was surprised. Power can also be used to exclude someone, f.e. because of something that you don’t like about the person, like the gender, the skin color, the social level, etc. And only because you have the power of a group to discriminate this person.
Of course there is also a beautiful side to power. When you use power to include everyone, something beautiful gets created.
Do you know what the word intersectionality mean?
It means that a lot of institutions (gender, race, education, religion, social class, culture, age, ability, sexuality, etc.) are interconnected. The discrimination gets overlaped. You are a woman and you have a different skin colour. You are a man and gay. You’re religious but not conservative. Our onion has many leaves.
And so the discussion of stereotypes followed. But more about that later.
Next task. Next surprise. Next reality check.
Our trainer read a story: the walk in the park. We just needed to listen and relax.
After that she asked us about the persons that we saw in our mind during the walk.
Slowly, slowly I realized that I imagined only the “usual” constellation. Boy is playing football. Man and woman are holding hands. The foreigners are sitting in a big group of men. Except for them everyone else has white skin (Caucasian).
We discussed our feelings after that. You could feel that the atmosphere was depressing. It is sure that our environment has a lot of influence in our lives. Did you ever have a book when you were younger that included people that had another skin color than white?
Next task. Again a story. Again same feeling.
At the end of story, trying to experience the life of an asylum seeker, you only have one thing left. My last thing was a first aid kit. I don´t know if I would really choose it if I was in this situation but it was enough to realize at least a bit, how it must feel for a lot of people from all over the world.