Rather than representing the underlying politics and the subjects of discrimination in a known mediatic format, Self-As-Other-Trainings address the necessity of educating our own bodies through the active embodiment of the ‘other’ in choreographed storylines, in order to evoke critical self-reflection and eventually provoke behavioural change.
As such, the rejection of otherness is not only a rational choice that one makes to formulate hatred and intentional discrimination but one that also involves the subconscious – what can be called ‘silent exclusions’. These exclusions are internalised, affecting our bodies without us being aware of it due to the layers of enculturation that reinforce pre-dominant power relations.
Instead of focusing on preconceptions “Self-As-Other-Trainings” emphasise the importance of the body as a point of knowledge which includes how we feel about, and understand, who an ‘other’ is, or what their personal experiences may be. Through the de-contextualisation of these silent exclusions, the experiential exercises seek to demonstrate that empathy is not only a rational capability, but also a physical state of bodymind through which we can reshape connections to people beyond our known scope.