Our Future Selves – on being free

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The Our Future Selves project brought together Daisy (Disability Arts in Surrey) and DAO (Disability Arts Online) in partnership with resource centres across Surrey. On Monday 23 April, Colin Hambrook facilitated a creative writing workshop with a group of young people at Freewheelers Theatre company in Leatherhead. By Terri Winchester

A dramatic photo of a rusty metal frame on the seashore

Ben Small was commissioned to produce a series of photographs inspired by thoughts of the future.

“What a large and enthusiastic group!” Well yes… there were about 20 of us, nearly all clutching an object that we were eager to talk about. We were all encouraged to not only describe our object but to think about how it made us feel. Isn’t it funny how an object can make you feel invincible, in complete awe or totally happy. Sometimes it’s nice to re-live those feelings.

We made lists of words associated with our objects.

We then wrote down on post it notes, words or phrases that encapsulated the feelings that we had for our own objects. Now the fun bit, we jumbled them up and stuck them onto big sheets of paper… on the face of it they didn’t look like they would make much sense, but… when two people took it in turns to each say one of the written phrases or words at random, and to say it with meaning… magic happened.

We had a shared group consciousness and were very aware of the meaning attributed to each phrase or word – some of them were funny all of them were evocative.

Then we ran out of time and it was sad as so many people wanted to write a poem… we are however going to take our words and make poems, one of our group wants to make a dance. The future is undoubtedly influenced by the past, so perhaps we have to wade about in our pasts for a bit to mould our futures. Maybe we are now better armed to do so.

Thank you to Colin and Daisy for facilitating and organising this workshop, and all who took part and contributed or helped.

Being Free
What is the meaning of this, dad?
How can I get a sense of freedom?
I want to play, have a party, sing a song,
Enjoy it all
Moment by moment

These things make me feel young,
Make me feel happy.
I can be proud and independent
I can do anything

Keeping me a prisoner is not the answer
Locked in like Rapanzel

As witness to my own God and Angels
My castle makes me feel invincible
Get out!
I like the colours in here.