The “We” in Me – Global Sisterhood through InterPlay
“There is a ‘we’ in me,” writes Cynthia Winton-Henry, co-founder of InterPlay.* That is, “the group” is within each one of us. However, what happens to the “we” when the individual is a refugee, a person seeking asylum, or an international visiting the United States and is feeling like a fish out of water?
The InterPlay tools and forms offer the international women of SIS an easy yet profound body-to-body connection while they are here adapting to our American culture, which as we all know, tends to be individualistic. This American penchant for individualism leaves many internationals (and Americans) with a feeling of separateness or isolation. Yet, InterPlay’s basic forms, help alleviate this isolation while honoring cultural and individual differences and nourishing the communal body.
Take for example the InterPlay form, “Walk, Stop, Run.” Individuals are invited to pay attention to their own needs (or body wisdom) and given the choices to walk, to run, or to stop at any given moment during the activity. While attending to their own personal needs (the me), they are also moving within a community (the we) of other women making individual choices. We are independent women “dancing” or moving and co-creating a community – the dance of a new American life while here in this country.
|IMAGINE. Each circle represents one woman from a different culture – a “me” – collaborating and making a “new” communal circle or “we” where the circles overlap. The magic is simple.|INTERNATIONAL BOUQUETS. In August, the Dancing Flowers for Peace visited SIS and offered us the opportunity to choose a flower to embody and then to make a moving bouquet in groups of 5 to 6 women.
We took more than 150 photos! I’m so appreciative to the “photo station” created by Canan that gave us a gathering place for “posed” photos, which was staged with balloons, birthday cake, gifts, and SIS 1 sign! To share in our celebration, watch our SIS First Birthday photo video below:
IN GRATITUDE: Thank you to InterPlay co-founders Phil Porter and Cynthia Winton-Henry for creating this deep, rich and playful way of coming together as a community (InterPlay.org). InterPlay is 30 years old!
Many thanks to our InterPlay Atlanta (a 501c3 non-profit, that uses improvisational structured play to foster freedom and play, decrease stress and build just communities), for holding SIS up and supporting us. Heartfelt appreciation for all of the women who attend SIS each month and share their lives with us.
Finally, I am so grateful to the powerful ways my collaborator Canan Arikan has of moving our vision for SIS into reality. Her calmness and sense of fun bring sunshine to the cakes, messages, food, signs, and all that she does for sustaining us SISters. Visit the website Canan has created for us: https://www.sislife.org