Post-It notes, thick pencils
Inclusion-related topics such as culture, identity, and belonging are often treated as if they were static, clearly definable, and therefore easy to categorize. This approach can quickly lead to generalizations and stereotypes – which are pretty much the opposite of what we try to accomplish with inclusion.
This exercise provides space for conscious reflection and a shift of perspective with regard to the nature of belonging and inclusion as fluid processes.
List of questions for the moderator:
What does it mean to be at home?
Where are you at home?
What does it mean to not belong?
What does inclusion mean?
All sit together in a circle holding a pad of Post-It notes and a pencil in their hands.
The moderator asks the first question: “What does it mean to be at home?” The group then gets around two minutes to think about this question individually and to make notes (one term per note). The answers can then be read out, without starting a conversation.
The second question: “Where are you at home?” is read out. While the group is again given a few minutes to reflect on the question and write down their notes, the moderator collects the notes from the first question and clusters them on the wall.
Now the answers can be shared in the group. At this point, the follow-up questions listed below can be asked and discussed to enable a shift in perspective:
Are the answers predominantly of a local nature, for example, “in Germany”, “in Dresden” or “in my house” or do they predominantly express a certain feeling, for example, “where I feel safe” or “where I feel accepted”?
Do you feel at home where you currently live?
Do you feel at home in more than one place?
How often can the feeling of being at home change?
What does this mean for our understanding of being at home?
The third question: “What does it mean to not belong?” is read out. Repeat the process of letting the audience reflect on the question, collecting the notes, and discussing the subject.
Potential follow-up questions:
Can you feel at home in a place where you don’t belong?
What role does interaction at the same eye level play in terms of belonging?
What is the relationship between inclusion and belonging?
How can a sense of belonging be promoted?
What does it mean “to include”?
Who defines which people must include and how they must include?
What role does power sharing/ interaction at the same eye level play here – or even more exactly: sharing power?
What role does interaction at the same eye level play in the sentence “But you must integrate” or “This is how inclusion/ integration is going to work”?
To what extent does your work enable “inclusion at the same eye level” or “power sharing”? To what extent does it hinder it?
What does this mean for your understanding of integration/ inclusion?
“Mediating Homing Desire.” – Laura Rus LINK
“Immigration countries can also be homelands” – Laura Rus LINK
“The unity of those who are different: Integration in post-migrant society” – Naika Foroutan LINK