We prepared a creative writing workshop in Želechovice under the Just Scapes project

The one-day weekend workshop taught participants new creative writing and creative visual methods. It focused on works and ideas connected to nature, the landscape, and the environment.

This workshop took place as part of the Just Scapes project, which deals with the just transformation of society and the landscape in the European countryside. We collaborated on the project with other European universities and research institutions (the University of East Anglia, INRAE ​​– Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, L’Université Catholique de Lille). The other two Just Scapes creative workshops took place in Scotland and France earlier this year. We all worked with participants from the Scottish, French, and Czech local communities to share the workshop results (with the participants’ consent) across the three research areas. The result of these workshops will be a book of the participants’ works from all three research cases.

The one-day weekend workshop took place in a wooden gazebo of a secondary school’s garden in Želechovice nad Dřevnicí. The participants received training in the basics of creative writing related to language, theme, structure, story, form, and genre. At the same time, they were able to try different creative writing and visual creation methods (automatic, accessible, and sensory writing, drawing mental maps, working with associations, and writing in the landscape). In the process, they also explored their creative potential. Each part of the workshop was designed for the participants to uncover their stories related to their places of residence: the village of Želechovice nad Dřevnicí and its surroundings. The workshop was led by Andrea Selzerová, a creative writing lecturer.

We did not require that participants have any previous experience with creative writing. The only condition was that they would be open to discovering their relationship to the landscape and the environment of the village.

This workshop showed the great potential that creative methods have in the process of data gathering and provided us with a new research perspective. We discovered more emerging topics and reached a new level of trust among participants. It offered us more insight into and understanding of the situation in the area.

You can also take a look at our previous blog posts about the Just Scapes project.

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