The Creative Process of Stepping Out of Denial
This Moving Beyond Violence creative process of stepping out of denial aims to change the way we previously perceived and denied an unethical situation, belief system, behaviours or collective narrative. The creative process will raise awareness of an internal shift rejecting that unethical situation. change the way we previously perceived, and denied an unethical situation, belief system, behaviours or collective narrative. The creative process will raise awareness of an internal shift rejecting that unethical situation. Hopefully it will be followed by moving into an Ethical Mindset.
What do we need to start the process? Here are some thoughts:
- The creative process starts off with the individual’s gradual or sudden discomfort with an unethical belief system, behaviour, or situation, or a personal, group, or collective narrative; the process may be an internal emotional process, or triggered by an external experience.
- The result is internal conflict, which if unresolved may cause the person to feel “I can’t live with myself”. The internal conflict is resolved if there is enough sense of self and agency to 'transgress' against the belief and behave congruently with the new understanding, for example speaking out.
- The aim of the creative process is to express the changed perception in such a way that other people can begin their own process and step out of denial. The Moving Beyond Violence film and workshops aim to engage with this creative process through our protagonists and participants stories and experiences.
Six stages of stepping out of denial:
- initial disassociation or denial, or unease, of an unethical situation
- awareness, through the creative process above, of the unethical situation
- internal conflict - feelings of betrayal and confusion, of shame or guilt
- acceptance of the new perception and resulting conflict -resilience and agency
- finding support to engage in congruent behaviour with the new belief system - eg speaking out, blowing the whistle, -which may be dangerous to the self -
- finding support with a group where it is safe to adopt a new identity, collective narrative and behaviour: the importance of support.
*When we first meet our protagonists Itamar and Bassam in Video PART 1 they are each within Klein’s paranoid schizoid position of a split between 'good victim' and 'bad perpetrator' each perceiving themselves as good victim and the other as bad perpetrator, a belief common to both their collective narratives. In Video PART 2 they move into Klein's ' 'depressive position' each now perceiving himself as victim AND perpetrator so that they now recognise their shared humanity: they have withdrawn their dehumanising perceptions and projections onto, their ‘enemy’. It has been a meeting of mutual 'ethical mindsets', sharing empathy, recognition, trust and behaviours that will promote mutual well-being. They also seek to repair their inevitable ruptures though empathy and witnessing one another's stories and trauma.