Krista- MIA- 2:00-4:00pm

This past week I observed Krista lead a circle discussion in one of the galleries at MIA for a workshop with the Jewish Artist Lab. The discussion took place in one of the shows that just came down, Resistance, Protest, Resilience—a photo show featuring images from protests and resistance movements throughout history and throughout the world. The meeting was a part of a project that the People’s Library, an on campus action group that I am a part of, was working on with the Jewish Artist Lab to create a poster containing statements from each member of JAL.  

The participants were asked to combine into three person groups and to pick an image to analyze how these photographs were important to us, the communities we are a part of, and to the world. I was a part of a group that looked at a few photographs from the part of the gallery containing photos from the civil rights era. We talked about the ways the photos we looked at resonated with us personally, and why we felt they were important—one of the most important things I heard mentioned was the necessity to stand up for others when they are being mistreated.

We then gathered together as a larger group and began sharing what each group felt. Krista facilitated the group in a respectful, calm way—diffusing any tension that arose from differing opinions with ease. She was able to create a comfortable environment where everybody felt free to express their responses from the individual groups to the larger group.

This is something that is very difficult to do, I am speaking generally for myself—when somebody expresses their thoughts on something that affects me, or those I am close to, it can be very difficult for me to rationally respond and mediate the conversation. I think the way Krista managed the discussion helped me understand different ways of doing this!