The Spaces of Belonging Project is aimed at providing specialized for local refugee, asylum seeker and migrant groups in Scotland. Using bibliotherapy, logotherapy, and the program’s initial starting-point of walking meditation, I’ve worked to actively integrate theopoetic ideas, approaches, and conceptualizations of embodiment into the Project’s remit in allowing our active and intentional engagement in welcoming, supporting, and providing space in which refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants can not only experience safe space, but beginning to develop the tools and confidence to cultivate that space for their own communities—here, I apply a theopoetic lens with the intention of better emphasizing and cultivating the embodiment for the participants, which has this far proved a promising approach.
With collaboration with the Scottish Poetry Library, immigration counselors and activists, and a consistent emphasis on community and support amongst the facilitators, we collaborate with resources for writing, photography, and various artistic endeavors: all aimed at the same creative advance held “sacred” in process thought, and by extension in the prioritization of embodiment that theopoetics holds as a central principle.
For the workshop, my goal is to first discuss our program and how theopoetics has assisted in advancing our goal to empower vulnerable populations through writing, articulation, and return to communities to foster the same progress and space-creating/voice-cultivation for others. The second focus is to help the participants to brainstorm vulnerable communities that might be best served by bibliotherapeutic interventions via theopoetic means—embodying the ideas of the inarticulable espoused by Audre Lorde and attempting to help identify and facilitate the finding of voices, and by extension power and agency, in communities of particular vulnerability that can most benefit from such inteventions.