Were you involved in our dreaming about the archive?

Were you involved in our dreaming about the archive?


1 August 2016

Did you attend any of our social dreaming matrices over the past six weeks, or are you curious to see what we explored in the sessions?

If so we invite you to attend a review session on Wednesday 7th September at 3pm in the Wellcome Collection Reading Room.

(Please note the original time has changed, the event was at 2.30pm but will now be taking place at 3pm).

This will be a chance for social dreaming facilitators and staff from the Tavistock Institute and Wellcome Library to make sense of this series of events and their extraordinary content. We would love it if participants of the events could join us in this work.

We’ll aim to understand a bit more about the experience of running these events over the last six weeks, how we teased out and explored the questions we took into them:

If dreams are in part the expression of our unconscious, can we work with the archive as the unconscious of organisational life?

What then happens when we begin to excavate, dislodge, relocate, reassemble the uncovered records of over 70 years of pioneering social science practice?

How will this affect the organisation, what impact does this have on the library that takes on the material?

What is the relationship with the world we live in now?

Our first weekly session took place on 24th June, the day after the European Union referendum. The night before, we had fallen asleep still part of the EU; some of us staying up to count in the votes, each with our own hopes and fears about what the future would hold. On that morning, we each woke up to the reality of Brexit. As individuals and as a society, we are in the process of coming to terms with what this means, trying to keep up with the news as it unfolds in this period of unrest and uncertainty.

Over the course of the past six weeks since that result, we have been meeting every week to share our overnight dreams to see what collective meanings we can find. With the political shockwaves still reverberating in the Brexit aftermath, how do our dreams reflect the world we find ourselves part of today? How do we associate to these dreams to consider what they might tell us about our shared experiences and understandings?

Our six sessions have brought together visitors to the Wellcome Collection, providing a space for strangers to form a group in which to freely and openly share their dreams and associations.

Dreamers, thank you for taking part, and for weaving a rich communal fabric of dreams with us. We would like to hear from you about how you found the experience, and to think about what common threads run through the six matrices.

Social Dreaming was developed by Gordon Lawrence as a way to help groups, organisations, and society to collaboratively connect with, make sense of and work through their collective unconscious.

Wellcome Collection is a free visitor destination for the incurably curious. Located at 183 Euston Road, London, it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. The venue offers visitors exhibitions and collections, lively public events, the world-renowned Wellcome Library, a café, a bookshop, conference facilities and a members’ club.

We really look forward to continuing the conversation there (and here).

Curious to find out more about social dreaming in practice?

  • Read the write-ups from the six social dreaming matrices
  • Read more about a social dreaming project run by TIHR for organisers of Tent City University, the educational arm of the social protest movement, Occupy London, 2011.
  • Explore the Tent City social dreaming blog
  • Visit the Gordon Lawrence foundation website

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