In our bodies – On the streets. Generative somatics training for grassroots activists

cropped-cropped-paper-cut315-day generative somatics training in October near Warsaw, Poland, for grassroots activists in Central Eastern Europe.
19th–24th October, 2015
North of Warsaw, Poland

Application and full-time attendance required. Application deadline: July 15 – please apply early

In order to create the shifts we want to see we hold that individual and collective transformation are interdependent. It is not possible to sustain or achieve one without the other. We consider politicized healing and transformation as an integral part of activist work. We believe that we need our whole being, our brains, our hearts and our guts to work effectively towards systemic change.

Inside of our current movements we see inspiring commitment and spirit of people – and we also see burnout, conflicts, trauma, shame and blame, a sense of hopelessness and disconnection, the impact of privilege and oppression, as well as repression and state violence. We see the struggle of living inside of a system that harms and that we did not choose.

Why generative somatics?

generative somatics is a powerful approach to create embodied transformation on an individual and on a collective level. This body-based transformation methodology was founded in Oakland, California. It is currently being taught and practiced by a range of social and environmental justice activists, groups and organizations in the US and the Middle East, who are reporting deep shifts in their work and being. Now the work is finding its way to Europe. The word “generative” points to the possibility of finding new ways of being in places where we feel stuck. “Somatics” is derived from the Greek work “soma” which means the living organism in its wholeness. The combination of somatic, body-based practices, in-depth conversation, and healing work creates the possibility for lasting change and the ability to take new actions under the same old pressures, both individually and collectively. generative somatics combines dynamics from modern western psychology, findings in neuro-science, mindfulness, aikido and liberation politics.

Why the body?

Somatics focuses on the body in a way that goes beyond a mechanical, objectifying view of the body and includes the mind, emotions, spirit, relationship and the body’s interface with the environment. The body is a key location for liberation because it is the most direct and efficient way to address our deeply held practices and reactions. Changing our thinking alone is not enough to bring about the personal and political transformation we seek. We need to change what it is that we embody and what our conditions have embodied in us.

We all have what we call conditioned tendencies that have been useful at some point in the past and now get it our way, both personally and in our political work. Fear that paralyzes us, trigger that makes us angry or run away, situations where we space out or get stressed, pressure that make it hard to think or to stay relaxed and connected. Somatics offers practicable ways to learn ways of being that bring us closer to how we want to be.

Generative somatics training: October 2015 – Poland

In October 2015 we will hold a 5-day generative somatics training near Warsaw, Poland, for grassroots activists in Central Eastern Europe.

This course offers the opportunity to practice:

  • staying deeply connected to ourselves, others and our purpose
  • producing centered action under pressure
  • cultivating resilience: our capacity to renew ourselves during & after difficult times
  • staying present with deep emotion
  • healing what holds us back
  • using power effectively and accountably
  • holding our values inside of our political work
  • collaborating effectively
  • navigating contradictions
  • setting effective boundaries
  • deepening mutual connection
  • setting bold visions
  • noticing the impact of privilege and oppression while shifting to liberatory practices
  • building powerful movements together

Course Details:

This course is geared towards grassroots activists mainly from Central Eastern Europe. The group size allows for place for around 25 people, accepted through application. The course will be held in accessible International English.

  • Who is this course for?

Everybody involved with grassroots struggles within Central Eastern Europe is welcome to apply.  Applications from underrepresented groups within activist communities are especially invited. While we know that systems of privilege and oppression are always at work we do our best to create a liberatory space and appreciate everyone’s help in doing so. We are aiming for a room with shifted majorities, where usually underrepresented groups form the bigger part of the group while people from majority backgrounds within activism feel equally welcome.

  • Trainers:

The course is led by Gesine Wenzel, Nathaniel Shara, and Morgan Bassichis. All three have a long history of involvement in grassroots struggles and are part of the generative somatics teaching team in the US. You will find full trainer’s bios on the blog.

  • Logistics:

The training will be held at the Burdąg Studio for Performing Arts, 120 km north of Warsaw. Accomodation and Food will be provided.

  • Finances:

We hold a strong commitment to making this training accessible to folks regardless of monetary resources. At the same time we need to cover the costs of the course. We are currently applying for additional funding, but will still need contributions from participants. We are offering a sliding scale of 20-200 € in order to be a inclusive as possible. Please pay as much as you honestly can. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need support for travel costs or if money stops you from coming.

Please have a look at the blog. We would love to have you!

More information and application: