Movement, film, poetry, drama, painting – throughout the conference, art and qualitative inquiry entwine: showcasing one another; exploring their (our?) possibilities; blurring boundaries; and becoming more than their constituent parts. Thursday gave us the opportunity to experience the keynote performance of ‘Heavier than Air‘, a play crafted from transcripts of interviews with queer teachers by Dr Stacy Holman Jones and Anne Harris PhD. The performance, directed by CCRI’s Edgar Rodríguez-Dorans, brought energy, movement and character to participants’ words, lifting them from traditional research spaces and forms into a work which held the audience in a triad of art, inquiry and activism. In this space we were encouraged to consider how we each enact the presence or absence of our personal lives in a professional context. Valuable conversations developed, flowing beyond the performance and into the coffee break.
Another key component of Thursday was the Create Art! space where delegates were invited to join artists, Tess, Gabriel and Susan, to respond to the conference conversations, presentations and encounters by making art. The freedom to step away from words proved hugely empowering for many so I’ll stop for the day and let your eyes feast on images from the large-scale collaborative pieces.