Black Men's weekly Online Drama Sessions focusing on Mental Health issues

Online Event

13 Apr-2020

Black Men's weekly Online Drama Sessions focusing on Mental Health issues

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The Black Men’s Consortium present online drop in sessions

In these strange times with the current government advice against unnecessary social contact, the BMC wants to work together to experiment with creative drama online. We can’t meet as usual every Monday evening 5pm -8pm in Brixton. During our normal weekly workshops, we creatively investigate how black mental health issues impacts on us, our loved ones and society.

We use games, exercises and techniques from *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_the_Oppressed in order to:

  • build strategies for citizen action
  • analyse, understand and overcome situations of oppression
  • make theatre to understand the reality we live in, the collective search for alternatives to injustice, power imbalances and inequality in access to resources and opportunities
  • build solidarity to find concrete means for transforming unjust realities, overcoming oppression and building the future we long for

We recognise that the global situation is grave and unprecedented and we believe that Black Men need connection and healing especially during this time and we feel that using online drama activities can be the medicine that helps us to reconnect with like minded men. We plan to deliver these online sessions every Monday evening 6pm - 7.20pm We know it is not much, but we are determined to provide what we can with what we have.

WHAT PLATFORM ARE WE USING?

The BMC will be using a platform called Zoom, which is very stable and has some useful features for drama activities. These include direct messaging, break out rooms and a gallery view so you can see everyone at once. When registering, you will be sent a link to click on about 15 mins before the session starts, then all you have to do is follow the on screen instructions. The session will last for 90 mins.

HOW WILL THE SESSION BE?

There are of course, some things which are harder to do in the online space, but there are also many things that we have discovered work really well, and we are sure we will find more as we meet each week and experiment. In order to provide the best experience, we will be limiting spaces to ten to start with. We understand that people may be feeling anxious and isolated. We will be careful about the nature of the creative activities we want to play with and the topics we want to discuss as a group.

Participants will develop skills in active listening, debating, devising, rehearsing and performance skills. The session uses improvisation and storytelling to alleviate isolation, anxiety, depression and stress.

IS THIS JUST FOR DROP IN SESSIONS?

For the moment yes. We want to understand better how this could work, but if the current social distancing arrangements go on for a long time, we may look at longer sessions or workshops at different times. Please tell us your thoughts on that using the email address below. The drop-in provides creative opportunities to meet other Black men who identify, relate and connect to Mental Health issues. When the dust clears we want to meet as many of you as possible to continue the work in physical spaces to make theatre shows addressing this issue.

IS IT JUST FOR LONDON PARTICIPANTS?

Sessions are aimed at Black Men 18+ living in London because we would like to continue at our weekly base in Brixton after the current restrictions are lifted. If you are outside of London and there is sufficient demand, we hope to offer sessions at other times, when we can.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO BEFORE THE SESSION?

When you click on the link, your device should do the rest for you. We highly recommend that you use a laptop rather than a tablet (if you only have a phone then that’s fine too) and please be in a private room where you will not be disturbed and make sure that your device is well charged. That’s it!

ZOOM ETIQUETTE & HYGIENE

To save time we recommend trying out muting, turning the camera on and off and moving in and out of break out rooms right at the start. This will help with your confidence in using zoom for the first time and help you to focus on the exercise rather than the technical side.

We will be using these formats to begin with and welcome other suggestions: Sound can clash when people speak or laugh at the same time, so establishing a vocabulary of on-screen gestures to direct the flow is very useful. Hands up to ask a question/make a suggestion. Waving hands for agreement/applause with what is being said or done in a scene and crossing arms to show, crossing your arms to show disagreement. Using your body when sitting down, make sure you're sitting upright and leaning in a little. Create a focused body position and you will feel that way. Also sitting isn’t everyone’s favourite creative position, so just don’t get stuck there, stand up and perform if you want to!

WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY?

Sessions cost £5.00 for the 80 minute session to cover running costs. If you can help BMC by backing us we would appreciate it, but we know times are tough for everyone.

WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY?

This is, of course, an income stream for the company while this situation plays out, but we also know that lots of people are financially affected by the current situation. BMC never wants financial hardship to prevent men from being able to participate, so if you have difficulty paying for sessions, email Tony Cealy [email protected] explaining your circumstances.

WHAT INTERNET SPEED DO I NEED TO TAKE PART?

Zoom’s minimum bandwidth is 600kbps (up/down) and recommended is 1.5 Mbps (up/down). You can test this with https://www.speedtest.net/ or by Googling ‘speed test’ and clicking ‘go’.

WHAT IF MY CONNECTION DROPS OR I HAVE OTHER TECHNOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES?

This will no doubt happen sometimes. If it does and we are unable to sort it out in time, we will either refund you or roll your place over to another session.

WHAT IF I NEED TO TELL YOU SOMETHING WHILST ONLINE?

Zoom has a facility for private messaging, so you can always message the administrators during the session, and if you have anything to suggest, or any feedback of any kind afterwards, you can email Tony [email protected] 07956 877358



Where

Online Event
Online Event Online
London, England, United Kingdom

When

13 Apr 2020
Till
29 Jun 2020

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Event Info

Members will develop plans to create change within their mental health which will act as a catalyst to promote health and wellbeing and strengthen skills and local knowledge, particularly about how to access support.

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