The images above are of clay models created at a Writing into Meaning session delivered as part of the Free University Brighton on Saturday 21st October by Rebecca and Emily. The models represent each participants’ writing, and were created by a partner who listened carefully to them speak.
Key themes emerged of how the writer and the writing they produce are inter-connected with multiple things – from the set boundaries of specific writing projects and what these make possible (and how much we can challenge them), to the personal connections we have with what we have to say. Flowers, watering cans and roots depicted something of our discussions about using creative techniques (from free-writing to drawing) to create and nurture the little roots of originality/critique/creativity that can easily be quashed by the bigger concerns of marking criteria or the final polished product.
While storm Brian bellowed outside, we had a wonderful afternoon together exploring feminist pedagogy, the relationship between audience and voice, the effect of writing as a technique to make (and not just represent) meaning and how talking about our writing collectively is both more productive and life-affirming than solitary, often competitive, writing practices.
There was also something very powerful about being outside the university in opening up a rebellious sort of space to say ‘what (or who) is academic writing for anyway’? Together we challenged the idea of writing as staid and dry and distant and made a collective claim for something ‘other’ – something with passion, with roots and with meaning.
The next session for Free University Brighton is on 13/01/2018 : 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm. These sessions are open to anyone but you need to book.