Thursday, May 29, 2014

On the ‘Dia-Tekhnē • Dialogue through Art’ methodology (by Alex Carrascosa)

Mandala-Circus at the University of Tolima, Ibagué (Colombia)

The ‘Dia-Tekhnē • Dialogue through Art’ methodology is a technique for group facilitation which provides communication between different people by complementing logos —the word— with tekhnē —art—.

Since its earliest experiment in Spring 2001, the ‘Dia-Tekhnē’ methodology has been developed at and from the Basque town of Gernika, double symbol of the denunciation of war through Picasso's Guernica and of the announcement of peace through the holy oak of civil liberties —“Europe's oldest democracy”, George Steer's words. Supported by the Gernika Gogoratuz Peace Research Center, the Gernika Peace Museum and local NGOs, this methodology has served many communities, mostly in Indo-Afro-Latin-America.

‘Dia-Tekhnē’ was initially created in the field of plastic and visual arts as a conceptual and participative tool related to the contemporary trend of “lifelike art” (so called by the creator of the happening, Allan Kaprow), and has grown very close to militant research, a meeting point between activism and academia.

The ‘Dia-Tekhnē . Dialogue through Art’ methodology is applied in a double format of laboratory and workshop (“LabShop”): a laboratory for analysis and scientific research and an artistic workshop. The ‘Dia-Tekhnē’ LabShop provides the structure and media, but not the theme and content, and can therefore be adapted to any human group or community and enable them to manage their conflicts creatively (with creativity and in action) and contribute positively to their empowerment. 

Mandala-Circus at the University of Tolima, Ibagué (Colombia)

The ‘Dia-Tekhnē . Dialogue through Art’ methodology runs along two consecutive phases: Relational Painting and the CreActive Assembly.

The purpose of Relational Painting is the cohesion of the group or community prior to addressing the issue that calls for intervention, while the purpose of the CreActive Assembly is the visual and, therefore, ‘literal’ analysis of the different points of view regarding this theme and the design of transformation scenarios where all parties win. Relational Painting promotes an affective change and the CreActive Assembly, an effective change.