This week we had a Movement-Workshop with the people from Mplus+, a non-profit organization based in Chiang-Mai, which works primarily to promote sexual health for men who have sex with men (MSM). Although male sex workers (self-identified as gay or heterosexual) are their most important target group, Mplus+ also serves the gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender communities.
The atmosphere was comfortable, as we waited for the participants to show up. I was really excited to get to know the people from Mplus+! We were lucky to be able to do the workshop in their air-conditioned office, avoiding the danger of heatstroke (the Health Ministry issues warning to avoid the high-temperature area in the beginning of this week!).
At first, we did a little warm up, to get a feeling for our bodies and to get over the self-consciousness. It was funny to dance together, and to see how different the ways to move can be.
Afterwards, we started a creative writing sequence. The participants were asked to start by thinking about a place they have been before, and to let their thoughts flow freely and spontaneously, as they wrote. Next, they were to choose a few lines or words from their writing and invent a dance expressing those words, which they would present to the group. After everyone presented, the participants combined their movements, developing group dances. It took a while for them to get into it, but I was really impressed by the powerful and moving dances they created by the end! There were dances about love and friendship; they were dancing at beaches, in bars and temples; they were together with friends or alone in an empty room. Distance and closeness were themes they often touched on with their movements.At the end of the session we gathered to discuss what had been created. Everybody seemed to be excited and enjoyed expressing and sharing emotions, attitudes and life experiences through movements. They told us it was a nice way for them to empathize with one another. It was an amazing and wonderful group, and I loved working with such open, creative and engaging people! Thank you Mplus+ for a great afternoon!
Another note: This is my last day working for CCT. I had an extraordinary time here in Chiang Mai. I appreciated the opportunity to work with so many wonderful and unique people, and I have had many invaluable experiences here! Continue the work – it’s great!