WHAT IS CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING?
Consciousness Raising (CR) is a way in which individuals as part of a supportive group, can aim to enhance awareness of their particular values, needs and goals and the ways in which individuals are being hindered from meeting those goals.
Feminist Consciousness Raising came about as a tool that the Women's Liberation Movement adopted in the 1970’s.
In these groups women would share examples of experience from their personal lives for the group to consider and attempt to draw some awareness and conclusion from, concerning the political or societal roots of women's ‘personal’ problems.
During the 70s self help and CR groups flourished as a means for women to support one another and validate shared experiences. They continue to be self-led or none-led, safe spaces for women to begin to understand how they are affected by the society in which they live, how they are oppressed and who is doing the oppressing.
CR groups are not group therapy but the self affirming and potentially therapeutic value of individuals sharing experiences in this type of group is recognised, with research (Rickard, 1987) evidencing the link between levels of feminist identity and high levels of self esteem.
Outskirts as an organisation believes in the benefits of a shared group experience in unraveling and highlighting common sources of oppression, and we plan to hold Art Making CR groups on a regular basis for women. Groups will run informally considering a chosen topic such as feeling safe in public spaces, experiences of everyday sexism, body image or experiences of gender stereotyping. Group members will be provided with a space to make art or not if they wish, share experiences though chatting or sharing artworks and use and provide the support of others. Skill in art making is not a requirement for joining the group.
If you are interested in joining an Outskirts Art Making CR group then please check back with us for updates on when we will have our services up and running.