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Symposium thoughts: Tickets released on Wednesday 20 March

It's a special day today. Today is 17 March as I write and it is the birthing day of my daughter, Tsen. She is 23 years on this planet! I am sitting in my usual cafe spot on Byres road in Glasgow, thinking about the miracle of birth and also about the symposium in May and how to introduce it to everyone. Well here is Tsen (Day-Beaver) in the picture above in a scene from the film Parallel Realms where she acts the part of Corin as she negotiates the placings of Babushka dolls, pondering on ancestors and the impact of their lived experiences on the patterning in ours today. This scene is set with the brilliant Julia D. Gordon-Smith as the Mood Singer (those of you old enough might remember a younger version of Julia from the Hue and Cry song and video of 1989 Looking for Linda. We found Linda!) The location is the King's Cave on the Isle of Arran - you may know the one - it is famous for Robert Bruce and the spider that allegedly incited him to continue on: 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again'. I remember that being one of the stories my dad would tell. Well the caves are full of carvings and stories that go much further back in time. And do you know, of all of the scenes that there are in the film, it is the cave scene ones that are subconsciously coming forwards to become imagery for the sharing about the screenings and the symposium. I am thinking perhaps the ancestors will be represented at our two day event at Saviours Studios, Govan on 10 and 11 May.

Parallel Realms, the short film we made on location on the Isle of Arran and in Glasgow, is all about time and the links with the ancestors. It was written to be set in 1997, the year when my grandmother died and I had an experience that made me realise that there were more realms to this life than met the ordinary eye. It is built from a script taken out of the novel that I began to write at the age of 29 which grew into the title Mood Singer. The Mood Singer is a metaphorical character who was actually born out of my pen on the shores of the Ganges in India. I started writing a novel trying to trace and understand the unbreakable thread of connection between my grandmother and I. I was writing my way through grief and the conundrum of mapping this overwhelming way of feeling and sensing reality as a continuum through the emotional fields of ancestral waves of information that I now felt acutely and that involved nature

Well I won't write too much about all of this as the film tells the story in part. What I will share, is that this experience radically changed my life as I was now able to sense and communicate with realms beyond this one in a more heightened way. It cast me apart from the containers of everyday living as I found myself easily overwhelmed by too much information. Ironically, I couldn't watch films or TV for over ten years. This was the basis of the research project that went alongside the making of the film, where I wanted to find out how to include both my own needs and those of everyone else in the way we worked. I applied the pluralistic model of counselling (I have a masters in Pluralistic counselling) to the way we recruited, prepared and assembled conditions for working together. Pluralism is goal and preference based. The thought was that if divergency was catered for and everyone felt valued for and able to speak up about their needs, then the creative environment could be stronger and what was produced could be more impactful. An installation of autoethnographical films called Becoming Geese is exhibited as part of the two day event.

The symposiums look to bring people together to ponder and share ideas on firstly contemplating ancient ways of structuring our creative lives compared with contemporary ways and wondering what new ways are calling and then secondly, .mythological and ancestral themes.

These are the two themes of the symposium:

1.) How can we cater for cast and crew who perceive and interact with the world through a range of filters including those informed through neuro-diversity, culture, race, gender or non-gender identification and so much more?

2.) What exactly are we weaving with when we operate with site, mythology, ancestral imprints and everyday story fields, and laying it onto an audience who have these working within themselves too? And is there a way to open up possibilities to open up channels of communication and bring healing and more creative possibility to the stories of today through filmmaking?

There is room for around 20 people at each symposium. I will be approaching a few people who have specialist knowledge on each of the subjects. Whilst they will be welcomed to bring specific information and experience to the discussion space, we will be working as circle with no designated speakers to cultivate a gestalt 'the circle is greater than the sum of its parts' space. Everyone with experience of these themes will be a great resource. I will also bring in some short constellation exercises to help open up a field of enquiry.

Each symposium will be filmed and recorded to make more autoethnographical material which can contribute to research and be part of an ongoing discourse in Glasgow and beyond. You will need to sign a form to agree to the filming.

Lastly, thoughts on why is this symposium happening. It is one of the few things in life that comes out of nowhere. It reminds me of the sliding doors of how I came to Scotland. We filmed the cafe and roof scenes at Urban Office's School House and as a result of this connection were asked if we would like to put something on at one of their less known buildings Saviour's Studios as a way of breathing life and memories into the building and to collect some material for the website. I am very grateful for all of their help with organising, installing and locating equipment.

Tickets will be out on Wednesday 20 March: The first day of Spring and when the Mood Singer heads for the hills. There are tickets for the Premiere evening on the Friday. Exhibition entry and symposium tickets are separate. The link will be posted on the Creative Approach website page, which can be reached through the click me button.

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