This weekend Tidal had Dan over from Beautiful Trouble along with Leeds own Pablo and Anna to provide training in creative activism at Tidal HQ. Almost 30 people attended from a range of different organisations (some already involved with Leeds for Change) from as far away as London and Wales, all with their own unique skills, experience, stories and backgrounds. There was laughter (lots of it) and tears as the weekend provided us all with knowledge, ideas, hope, inspiration and friendship as we were taken on a whistle-stop tour of types of power, tactics for actions and points of intervention through a series of examples, games, discussions and group work.
Despite understanding that the world was inherently unfair from an early age and exploring this in recent years through my studies and reading I have only recently been able to start physically getting involved through volunteering with both Tidal and Leeds for Change and this weekend was my first contact with other activists. I was nervous but excited for the weekend ready to put my theoretical knowledge to the test and learn some new skills in order to put my knowledge into practice. I was immediately overwhelmed as we went around the group listening to all the amazing things everyone in the room had done to fight injustice, which also made me feel like I had maybe bitten off more the I could chew and that I didn’t belong in the room amongst all these amazing people.
This however was not the case and throughout the weekend I was not only made to feel so welcome by everyone, I was also encouraged to share my own opinions, experiences and stories which in turn were valued and appreciated by the rest of the group. This made me realise skills that I never knew I had as well as giving me the confidence to believe in my own convictions and ability. By the end of the weekend I was confident I did belong in the room with all the amazing people because I too am amazing!
However I have not written this blog post to nourish my ego and tell everyone how amazing I am. That is for a different blog post. This is about my personal experiences of this weekend. Politically this year has been a particularly shocking and upsetting one in so many ways for me, as I am sure it has been for many of you, and it is easy to get bogged down and upset about these things, particularly when the reaction to all these issues can make you feel like you are the exception and you should be grateful for what you have. Beautiful Trouble changed all that for me.
Anna, Dan and Pablo were amazing facilitators providing excellent training on how to make our actions more effective in the fight against injustice. But this weekend was about a lot more than just training. This weekend was about everyone coming together collectively to share their stories and experiences, realising that it is OK to feel angry and upset and that you are not alone in feeling that way. This weekend was about harnessing that anger, that passion, that love and collectively turning it into something beautiful. Keep an eye out around Leeds and beyond as I am sure there will be lots of beautiful things to come out of this weekend.
This is just my personal experience on the Beautiful Trouble weekend and I am sure others had very different but just as valued experiences of the weekend.
If you liked the sound of this then keep an eye on the Tidal newsletter and also the Leeds for Change website for any further events.
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The Beautiful Trouble website is also an amazing hub of knowledge and resources…