It felt unusual to have prolonged silence in the Zoom room at our 28th Unrehearsed Futures (Season 2) conversation. For the first time, we experimented with a new format: ‘Fishbowl’. A term borrowed from Gestalt psychotherapy, it is a group process that involves people sharing first-person experiences. These testimonies are witnessed by the larger group who hold space for all. Eventually, everyone becomes a fish swimming in the bowl.
The idea for our ‘Fishbowl’ was inspired by the break-through open letter, “White Colleague, Listen!” in 2020, cued by Hazel V Carby’s 1982 article ‘White Woman Listen! Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood’. This open letter listed first-person, anonymous testimonials by Black and Global Majority U.K. academics about their experiences of racism in the workplace.
Hearing each participant in the room share their experience of the feminine, many questions came up: Who is a woman? Is a woman inherently ‘strong’ or does adding the adjective before the word ‘woman’ make it any different? Are there things that seemingly legitimize the experience of the feminine?
A profound level of listening took place as we held space for each other. We hope to have more fishbowls in the coming season, and we hope to see you there.
Kindly note: This session was not recorded.