Jamal Harewood is an artist who creates temporary communities through audience-led
participatory events that focus on ideas of identity and race. He believes the events should be
playful experiences that allow everyone to get involved. Creating unique experiences that
enable discussion around each individual’s interpretation of the performance allows for
attendees to leave the workshop with a refreshed insight on a topic.
Project freedom – On the 27th January 2022, Jamal Harwood led an audience-based workshop
that inspired conversation and showcased different perspectives on the term ‘Freedom’.
Attendees were encouraged to authentically share their views and oppositions through different
themes and activities. The end of the workshop brought together a final, collective definition of
freedom accompanied by a pledge.
Theme 1: The Sun Shines Down on Anyone Who (10 minutes)
A light icebreaker game. The objective of the first theme is to be seated at the end of each
round. The workshop begins with the audience forming a circle around Jamal who stands in the
middle to get the activity started…“The sun shines down on anyone who …”. The rounds focus
on three topics; clothing, feelings and ideologies, and those who identify with the subject scurry
across the room to find an empty seat.
– You cannot return to your seat
– You cannot sit in the chairs beside you unless it is your only option
Theme 2: Agree or disagree
Back in their chairs, the participants turn around and close their eyes. This element allows
everyone to remain anonymous and give their authentic responses and share their views
without any fear of judgement and criticism. Jamal shares several ideologies:
Freedom is the ability to be free
My freedom hinders others
I feel free in my town
I am free to express myself
I am free to love who I want
Theme 3: Guidelines
Sharpie or Fine Point Pen
To make the space more comfortable participants create their own guidelines and rules to
adhere to in the workshop, creating boundaries and understanding that all opinions are
welcomed and allowed and this is a judgement free zone. They collectively agree between
using a fine point pen or a sharpie and decide on the latter.
Don’t compromise your beliefs just to adhere to others
– Be a team player
– Be fully present where possible
– Have Fun!
Theme 4: Personal Definitions of Freedom
Participants are prompted to use as many cards as they would like to individually create a list of
words/phrases associated with their concept of ‘freedom’. They are guided to use sentence
starters; “I feel free when” and “Freedom is”. Participant responses ranged from stating when
they feel free and why they feel free, when they feel safe and when they feel happy.
Theme 5: The Sharing | Categorising definitions
*A photography of the dictionary definition can be utilised*
Returning back to a collaborative activity, participants share aloud what they have written on
their cards and begin pairing and categorising each and everyone’s personal definitions.
5. Expression (Physically)
6. Expression (Creative)
7. Creatively expressing
8. Other people
9. No judgement
Theme 6: Final definition
Using the newfound categories, the group decides on whether to create a final definition
collectively or in smaller groups. Collectively, they begin to create a distinct definition that goes
with each of their social values and expressions.
Final definition: Freedom is being satisfied with yourself, surroundings and social standing in
Theme 7: Pledge
To close the workshop, Jamal asks the participants to create a pledge that will allow them to
continue exploring their freedom in the future. Many ideas were shared across the duration of
time given to come up with pledge:
– Be as content with yourself, surroundings and standing in society
– Make choices that will make happy
– Pledge that suits the world you live in
– Commitment to ATTEMPT to trying
– Be reasonable with yourself
Final Pledge: ‘I pledge to make good choices for me in this current moment’