Humans are biological creatures all the way down. We create, carry, and express our moods and how we understand the world in our bodies. Despite the crucial role of our body in every aspect of our lives, over the course of history we have overemphasised the mind - traditional Western education doesn’t tend to associate intelligence with our bodies.
Involvement of the body had been consistently excluded from the educational practice, the process of learning and the interaction among learners. Most education of all kinds takes as a starting point the conveyance of new information, based on the premise that knowledge is power. Books, teachers, models and new ideas are all great places to start when learning something new. The problem is - most learning stops there. Once the book is shut and the teacher is gone, we head back to our lives, where we proceed to do things very much the same way that we did them before. That’s because exposure to new ideas is necessary but insufficient to enable us to take new action. And statistics confirms - despite all the effort to foster participation and initiative of young people, level of participation is low among young Europeans, and most of the young people don't believe in their abilities to make impact as entrepreneurs or civic sector activists.
And here we see the huge potential and importance of embodied learning. In our educational work we are integrating elements of various movement, stillness and bodywork practices including dance and contact improvisation, acrobatics, walking and outdoor adventures, yoga, massage, performance art, marital arts and other. Each of those practices gives us a chance to develop transferable skills and attitudes. Furthermore, body based work allows us to practice and live the change we want to make in our thinking or behaviour. It leads to better awareness and understanding of ourselves and better connection to nature and people around us. Embodied approach to learning strengthens our confidence and abilities to face challenging situations.
Our work is much about empowering individuals to start the change that is needed in their own life to become more successful and content, as well as to become more active change makers in their communities through civic activism, including activism through artistic and research projects, or social entrepreneurship initiatives. We believe that personal, community and social transformation are interdependent. One affects the next, and one can limit the other if not transformed. Embodied approaches to learning and activism looks at change, both creating and sustaining it, from an integral framework.
The impact of body and movement lies in its power to foster individual and collective transformation at the same time. Embodied transformation is foundational change that shows in our actions, ways of being, relating, and perceiving. It helps our values and actions becoming aligned, engaging us in our thinking, emotions, commitments, vision and action.
trainer and coordinator
Inese has been working as a trainer and coordinator of educational programs since 2007. She has master degree in communication and media studies, and her educational approach has been developed through explorations and experiments while living in Latvia, Macedonia, Estonia and France and learning and working with organisations from different parts of the world. As trainer Inese focuses on creative learning approaches and methods and at the moment she is researching how to design learning spaces and process to support wellness of learners and their communities better. Her favorite methods include creative writing and outdoor activities.
Ilze has over decade of experience in social and environmental activism, thus also providing trainings on climate change, environmental education, activism and campaigning for various organisations. She has experience working with women’s groups in prison and crisis centre, international camps and training courses, mentoring them to develop leadership, peace building skills as well as work on their personal development. Ilze is also a yoga teacher, bodyworker and certified embodied facilitator.
Antonio is a passionate trainer who loves to craft experiences for self-development, group awareness, creative expression and pursuit of a wise and joyful freedom. He regularly facilitates workshops for teenagers, students, youth workers and adults, using and mixing his expertise and experience from theatre, contact improvisation, contemporary dance, martial arts and clowning.
Born in 1986 in Chisinau (Moldova), Leo Zbanke studied social psychology and later turned to film studies graduating from All Russian State University of Cinematography (Moscow) with a degree in film directing. From 2007 to 2015, he directed four short films and a variety of self-produced videos. At the same time, he works on movie sets as second assistant director.
Since 2015, he lives in France and has a production company called Dis Donc Production. In the last 3 years, Leo is not only creating audiovisual content for governmental and non-governmental organisations but also facilitates workshops and training course on digital storytelling, media literacy and audiovisual tools. See here.
Anne is a nomad designer. She creates and animates trainings since 2008. Born in France, Anne studied art and interaction design there. She lived in Greece, Brazil, Seychelles, Portugal and now travels all year round, working from anywhere. She is an idea machine. Her curiosity led her to teach in the Himalayas, hitchhike on boats along the Amazon and camp through the Sahara. That gave her a chance to learn through myriads of experiences and sensations and made her a champion for embodied learning.