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Image of Oppression

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Raise sensitivity on oppression issues; to use human body as a tool of representing feelings, ideas and relationships;

Description of the tool

Small groups – My oppression 20 min
Divide into groups of 5. Within your small group, each of you will make a picture of oppression (my oppression). This is a silent game – absolutely no verbal communication. You’ll make your image of oppression using other people’s bodies as clay – you are an artist who sculptures. Present how you feel this word, the meaning for you. Don’t analyze. Don’t think the story in advance, just do it. Put all your team members in a frozen position, and then put you in the picture. All of you remember the picture. Then the second member of the group takes a turn to model the bodies according to their idea of oppression etc. Each group will have 5 images of oppression.

You’ll have about 10 min for making pictures, and 10 min more for repeating them. When you make all pictures, repeat them, one after another (picture 1, picture 2 etc) to remember them. Then we’ll show them on a big group.

Big group – watching the pictures. 25 min
1 group. Showing all pictures (on my sign picture 1, picture 2…) The rest of the group is watching. From each small group we’ll choose one which mostly touches us – we’re not choosing the best or the prettiest – we’re choosing one which is most resonating with our experience. When we choose, the one we’ll do multiple projecting on that picture - making associations as to what it could mean. This is projecting – not guessing, the more different associations we have the better.
Second group, and so on.


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

This tool is for

15 - 30 people

and addresses

Anti-Racism, Conflict Management


45 min

Behind the tool

The tool was created by


(If you can claim authorship of this tool, please contact !)

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Marija Farmer (on 14 September 2003)

and last modified

17 December 2008

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