photographic portrait of Daniela Whaley

Daniela Whaley

Historian, explorer of digital media, cultural promotion and non-formal education. In 13 years of professional experience she has worked in mexican cultural entities such as IMCINE, Filmin Latino, FCE, Animasivo, Green Peace, ESCINE and Procine. In2011, she founded a public library to benefit the community of Mazunte, Oaxaca in the southern Pacific coast of Mexico. ( https://www.labibliodemazunte.org ) It is anon-lucrative project, a place for cultural, social, educational and artistic encounters between all ages, with an emphasis on promoting literacy for children. It has grown to offer a collection of more than 4000 books. Currently, it is run by global volunteers and it is housed in a space that was built by the municipal government.She is currently developing Agujas Combativas , an online/offline research and educational project to promote the use of textile art tools for activism.

Testimony

In a year in which our daily lives have been shaken and social demand is for isolation, exploring pedagogies as a way of approaching each other virtually has been a light in the midst of uncertainty.

I approached the seminar with curiosity and a voracity for new tools. My intention was to share mine, and to enrich my practices with those of others; to look closely at something that is often taken for granted. When artistic practices take the form of a workshop, they tend to do so from the point of view of sharing knowledge or trajectories, but rarely do they specifically reflect on pedagogies.

My intention was to explore that moment together as a space of investigation and questioning. It was about how to provoke collective questions; how to sustain spaces for doubt without the urgency of response; how to learn not to define things, not to explain them; how to inhabit the overflow; and how to recognize the fabric that is woven when we look at something closely together.

The seminar experience has been one of constant movement. Each session, a surprise. Each session, a certainty that disappeared or was transformed. Each session a reconfiguration of what is important. Each session a nakedness, a shared secret.

"Intimacy is about sustaining the tension that produces shared vulnerability. The experiences that generate it are usually about lightening a burden and making a renunciation." Cesar Galicia.

At the time of this seminar, I doubted everything, I gave up on forceful answers. Those renunciations made me porous, they made me ready to allow myself to be affected by others. And when I let go of control, I became one more in the group, part of a lived-in house. I listened and was listened to.

That house that hosted us all was cyberspace. Our houses were everyone's home during the time we were together. I wonder if this would have been possible otherwise. I knew the kitchens, the moods, the tears and laughters, the worries, the exhaustion, the ways we made decisions, individually and collectively. And although we did not know our bodies, I am left with the image of a shared body made up of talking, feeling and loving heads.

Some final questions: How to disappear so that the group emerges? How to provoke an encounter without filtering it through one’s own words? How to allow the enunciation to happen in the bodies of others? And how to make a shared secret not a direct confession, but a moment?

Is that intimacy?

What will be left of us when we are no longer together? Is intimacy always in present tense, or can it be maintained over time? Where is what we share deposited?

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