On Day 2 of our #AllGenders conference at India Habitat Centre, the predominantly youth audience, was in for a pleasant surprise, when they were engaged in the #SocialSurfing workshop. The fifth session of the conference was entitled #SocialSurfing: Using Technology for Addressing Violence against Women, conducted by Mr. Amitabh Kumar, Head of Media and Communications at CSR.
The session started with blank pieces of paper being distributed to the audience, and they were asked to draw their reflections of the conference so far, on it. Once every person was done, all the sheets were collected by the CSR team, and placed on the ground. Audience members were then asked to have a look, and identify what is the common feature among all of the drawings. After many responses, it was discovered that all the drawings were made inside a frame present in the sheets- no one ventured “out of the box”! The realization clicked instantly with the participants, and Amitabh used this opportunity to talk about mental blocks, which often come in the way of effective communication.
An interesting activity was conducted with bowling pins, where noted LGBT activist and one of our panelists for the conference, Mr Harish Iyer, enthusiastically participated. Bowling pins were placed in a straight line, and Mr. Iyer was asked to walk to the other side, without touching any of the bowling pins. Once done, he was blindfolded, and asked to repeat the same activity, but unknown to him, the pins were now removed. Still he walked carefully, thinking that the pins were there. The activity was conducted to give the message that sometimes earlier obstacles, cease to exist, but due to the metaphorical blindfolds, we are not able to go past them, and continue to work in previous ways. In a similar manner, stereotypes and old practices, might have been relevant earlier, but we need to remove the blindfolds, and see their relevance in today’s times.
The final activity, related to the four pillars of online communication – Block, Engage, Mute and Report. Eight volunteers were asked to come forward, and they engaged in an interesting activity, wherein verbal instructions had to be given effectively by one partner to the other, to ensure that the ball at the centre wouldn’t topple over. The idea behind this, was to explain that these four techniques are ways to engage in online communication, and they need to be used in tandem to ensure a safe and enjoyable online experience.
The highly energetic session, ended with a question and answer session, wherein audience members asked several queries pertaining to privacy settings on Facebook. We had Deepali and Sheen from Facebook India, answer several of these queries, which was a wonderful case of “coming from the horse’s mouth”. We would like to give a special mention to them and the entire team at Facebook, for working very hard against online misogyny and curbing hate speech, to ensure a safe and fun online space for all.
#SocialSurfing had a successful run in its first phase, and is currently on its second phase. Do contact us, if you would like the workshop to be conducted in your college, free of charge!
Read about the other sessions of the #AllGenders Conference!
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