I did not have any particular expectations. I tried to be open. But I really did not expect to be moved, touched. But I was. And that was lovely. The very first thing that happened when I walked through the door, was that two hands stretched out to me through a curtain. I put my hands in those two hands and there was a moment of stillness. The hands did not want anything from me. They just were there. A transmission of a sensuous dimension occurred.

A strong atmosphere of acceptance was present throughout the three days and two nights I was at Boarding school. The idea that time needs time, was aloud. Waiting, in presence and without possibility to escape, was an enriching part of the daily life. I came as a Visiting researcher. The challenge of exploring the intersection between education, art and activism attracted me. At the preparatory meeting my poetic self came back to me; the old forgotten clown who was buried deep within. I knew I had to awake my clown, but I was a bit afraid, it was a long time ago.

I wanted to explore how to do a workshop in the intersection of the three areas. I asked myself – what do I want to learn more about? An idea took form. Education: learning more about this female philosopher Hanna Arendt that I would call a brave activist. Art: through imagination, movements and dramatizing explore bodily and sensuous responses. Activism: what does this means for our daily lives? And then, how can my poetic self, my clown relate to this? The clown is an image of our inner child; having trust in other people, in herself, in the world. Someone that fails, braking things, stumbles – but always raises again, making people come together laughing and playing. These were my thoughts I brought to Boarding school.

I brought some black and white pictures of Hannah Arendt with me, and some black fabric. In a state of inviting my spontaneity and creativity I nailed the fabric round my bed, to have some privacy in the huge dormitory. I tore the edges round the pictures and nailed them to the fabric. Looking at the pictures of Hannah, this female activist who fled Hitler and concentration camp and became a famous philosopher – I suddenly had a strong feeling of being a prisoner in a camp, looking round at all the beds in the dormitory. My imagination continued to move my thoughts around. I looked at the trunk I brought, belonging to my son who inherited it from my father to carry his favourite accordion in. It is a special trunk. Looking at it gave me an idea how to use it in my workshop. This process of creativity reminded me of important things. I realized I lost some of it in my work at the university. I made a decision to bring it back.

The sister came to visit me, in our dialogue she formulated an important question that became central for my whole visit; how can we surrender to play without loosing our critical thinking?

15-10-08 The Playmate

Anneli Einarsson