Pausing to reflect on richness of two ‘Co-producing Knowledge on Denial’ workshops


Dear extended network of peers

First, thanks so much to those who attended the workshops and for co-creating such an honest space for sharing our knowledge about denial. Second, to those who enquired about further workshops, for now, I feel a need to pause and to consult with current participants on a way to manage the rich data that these and the 2016 workshops generated. Also to consider ways of extracting and sharing key learnings with others.

This phase is so qualitatively different from previous phases, that I need to take a step back to register the different levels of learning generated by coupling the Paulo Freire and transdisciplinary approaches to knowledge production.

As I said, we make the road by walking it.  I now realise we also have to build in these pauses to take account of the avalanche of data that such a boundary crossing approach generates beyond the workshop event, including emotional and somatic effects post workshop!

Yesterday participants who are experienced in the area of ‘containment’ imparted important tips to us.  This was introduced into the process based on feedback on how ‘forgotten’ memories were dealt with by many of the participants, for days after the event.  This resonates because, to facilitate such an open-ended process takes everything out of me (which I do willingly b.t.w.), I can only imagine that it also has an exhausting impact on participants.

I need time for reflection and will check in with participants who are keen to attend a follow-up where we decide on a way forward.

A suggested process is to brainstorm a ‘draft contents page’ and to start writing draft bits from there as one of several phases of finding links, themes and abstracting.  The activity involved in drafting a contents page is also a way to make the process of deductive and inductive analyses easy.  We already started on an initial analysis during the workshops, based on knowledge gained during the first three phases of this action research process.

We can make a final decision on what we want to produce. Two possibilities are already on the table i.e. a Guide and a workbook.  We are limited only by our imaginations.  The overall goal is to share knowledge as openly and as widely as we can, and to enable others to test the conceptual framework produced and refined in incremental bits during practice (1994 – 2007), doctoral research (2008-2012),  and with the assistance of  a transdisciplinary spectrum of people – groundtruthing and calibrating  (2016)  and co-producing of knowledge (2017) phases.

Please drop me a note if you were a participant during the 2016 workshops on ‘Invisible/visible violence’  and you want to be part of follow-up activities.  There is an overlap between the different phases, although the last two workshops of phase 4 is generating data outside of the workshop ‘event’.  It seems this is going to continue and we need to discuss how to capture this together or individually as your own work.

And finally, thanks again for being part of this collective journey where we practice how to ‘see’, ‘hear’ and ‘break complicit silence’ for the greater good.  It feels like dynamite.

Once you see it, you cannot unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out.  There’s no innocence.  Either way, you’re accountable.  (Arundhati Roy).

Love & Peace



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