Reflecting on the word ‘Imagine’

20 October 2022

by Dinos Aristidou, Executive Director

The selected card from the Reflection deck of cards reads ‘Imagine’.

It’s one of the most powerful words I know.

Not only is it at the very heart of creativity but it’s also the faculty that brings hope. It is through imagination that we can envisage a better world, and it’s through imagination that we can consider the actions needed to get us there. It’s the basis of empathy, the act of imagining what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes which inspires compassion, the actions we take to alleviate someone else’s or our own suffering. It’s also of course the root of theatre, imagining different worlds and creating them, imagining different people and becoming them. Viewing our creations through the eyes of an audience also helps us to problem solve and make artistic choices.

In terms of ISTA, we’ve had lots of conversations imagining what we could be and where the organisation could go. Facing the post-pandemic challenges and the financial impact of the time that many schools and organisations are also facing, we have had to imagine not only what we can do better but also what new projects, ventures and approaches we need to take. One area of course has been through partnerships so that we work in collaboration with other organisations that share our vision and values. Another way has been imagining how we can broaden our community and work with a diverse range of young people and educators. Of course, imagination is at its most powerful when accompanied by action and that’s something that guides all of us, here at ISTA, and that informs not only what we do but also what we imagine.

Reflection Activity:

Imagine what good friends would say about the qualities you have as a friend? Write these down and think about each of these qualities and how you demonstrate them. Make these the power anchors to help you in your interactions with others. 

Imagine a place of safety where you would always feel protected and safe. What does it look like? What is the nature of the light? What colours can you see? How does it make you feel? What can you hear?

Draw your place of safety and share it with a partner. Discuss elements are needed for someone to feel safe.

With a partner or in small groups, using only your bodies and sound create an installation of a place of safety for someone to inhabit.