Getting acquainted with the sociodrama method28.04.2022
The participants in the first sociodrama session of Transition to 8, all residents of Eleusis, are emotionally involved with the issue of the environment. They recognise the improvement that has taken place in recent years in the quality of the atmosphere and the sea. However, the issue of environmental pollution remains exceptionally relevant. Eleusinians’ claims to set boundaries for industrial activity and get the public space back are still burning. The flame of the Hellenic Petroleum factory and the refineries of Aspropyrgos surround the city and continue to create insecurity. The smell reaching the city negatively impacts the locals’ psychological state.
Through the sociodrama sessions, our goal is to increase the participants' empathy by taking on roles different from our daily lives. What would a hurt citizen say to the Minister of Environmental Policy? What would our answer be if we were the said Minister? What would we say to someone who lost a loved one to the diseases of the cement? How would it feel to be in their shoes? What if we were the sea? How would we think if we were contaminated daily by the shipwrecks and the factories’ wastes? What about the monuments of antiquity? What would we feel if we had survived for centuries only to be damaged by humans? What would our thoughts be if we were the clock with the panoramic view of the city? What would our emotional and physical reactions be, being in these different places?
Questions like these sparked a fascinating discussion on the environment during the first sociodrama sessions realised within Transition to 8. Residents of Eleusis participated in the sessions getting the opportunity to interact with each other in a unique way. They surprisingly discovered all the things connecting them.
During the sessions, researchers observed and recorded what was happening and the tone of the discussions. At the same time, with the use of the equipment, the participants’ bodily reactions, such as temperature, galvanic stimulation of the skin, heart rate, etc., were recorded with their consent. Researchers will convert the extracted data into raw material and inspiration for artists who will create works of art.
Our first experience with sociodrama had a positive sign. Some participants expressed surprise during the re-acquaintance with their fellow citizens. Some showed anger for everything that has happened to Eleusis. Others noted relief for the current improved situation. Most of them expressed anticipation for the works of art that their experience will inspire. The facilitators were also satisfied with the course of the first sessions and everyone’s willingness to participate.