by Steve Skitmore
‘Twas a dusty dusk that saw a bunch of intrepid Brisbanites pile into four wheeled transport and head west, following the dying sun towards its setting in the Bunya Mountains. On the eve of ANZAC Day, QEAN had once again formed out of the ether, in this instance linking students from across South-East Queensland for a weekend of awesome skill-shares and inspiring discussions in the bush and mountains.
Saturday morning dawned raw and gusty and with the arrival of Ben and Karina from the Sunshine Coast we kicked off into the Theories of Change and Facilitation workshops, some of the core ASEN skill-shares which proved relevant and thought-provoking for both seasoned activists and those of us who had never done the workshops before.
Emily then facilitated an amazing games workshop around the ideas of Augusto Boal and the Theatre of the Oppressed, a fascinating experience in which cultural criticism and personal empowerment are enacted through play. Some of us are really interested in seeing a Theatre of the Oppressed happen back in Brisbane in the near future and I for one absolutely love the use of tactile action in sometimes very heady activist work.
The last workshop of the day was on Climate Justice, jointly developed by Ellie and Clare, a fantastic mix of theory, critique and role play which has plans to be repeated at World Environment Day on the Sunshine Coast.
It was a packed Saturday, and as the wind died down and the sun moved slowly below the trees on the ridge, the fire was built and our pledges for action on Climate Justice curled and smoked towards the heavens. Imogen’s hard work over the previous two days saw us feast on some delightful vegan food over the weekend, and that evening’s curry was well received by hungry stomachs, as was Paulie and Ko’s screening of bell hooks‘ series of discussion starters on popular culture.
After the busyness of Saturday, Sunday sauntered along; except for a flat tyre (cue Ben!) that proved a tad more difficult to fix than the normal bike tyre change. It was also Suzy’s birthday (yay!) and we shared a delicious chocolate cake in the national park. The rest of the day was a combination of acro-yoga, bushwalking and waterhole dips, a really cruisy way to spend a Sunday afternoon. =)
All in all, while it would have been brilliant to have more people from outside of Briz able to come along, it was a fantastic weekend, spent with some awesome people. Big love to you all!