Strategies for ethical engagement

Developed by John MacCallum, Teoma Naccarato, and Jessica Rajko, for the purposes of the Dance Computing Studies Discussion Group.

We understand that the discussion of difficult topics such as marginalization and oppression can produce discomfort for different people at different times and for different reasons. In many ways, the goal of this group is for all of us to cultivate a certain comfort with this discomfort, and for that, we must work together to ensure the space is one in which people can rest in discomfort, comfortably, and publicly. We recognize that learning about a topics such as race, colonialism, and diaspora simply reinforces our existing relationship to it, without destabilising differentiated standpoints nor the power relations through which they are sustained. The thing that must shift is our practice of relating to people and ideas. More than simply being here to share ideas and be exposed to those of others, we are here to share and witness the cultivation of practices of learning to see, hear, speak, and relate in new ways, ways that may feel uncomfortable at first.

In the following document are some strategies for engaging critically and ethically with one another, not in spite of but thanks to the valuable differences in perspectives that each and every person brings to the (virtual) table.