When is social exercise not helpful?

People in motion

The method illuminates social movements that oppose the extraction of resources (mineral resources, fossil fuels, land use) and their consequences in Europe and Latin America. In small groups, the participants deal with one social movement and present it using a still picture and a profile. Finally, they deal with the various forms of action of the movements and with the question of the legitimacy of certain forms of action.

Working materials for download:
+ Worksheets on the social movements
+ Template for the profile

background
Social movements is a collective term for networks of organizations, groups and individuals who are politically committed to (sometimes also against) social change. To pursue their goals, they use a variety of strategies that are not part of the formal political process (such as parliaments and governments) and that aim to disrupt the established course of events. They can achieve political influence at various levels by pointing out social problems, showing alternative development opportunities and influencing public opinion.

Although social movements do not always represent majority opinions, they can
in this way become important actors for social change. A frequently cited example of this is the anti-nuclear movement in Germany. Since the 1980s, it has made a significant contribution to a skeptical attitude towards nuclear power in Germany. In this way, it prepared the ground for the decision to phase out nuclear power soon after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011 - in contrast to other European countries that are still sticking to nuclear power.
With regard to a socio-ecological transformation, social movements play an important role
Role, as they provide important political and publicity impulses on the one hand and
be able to take on an important role model function for others through the concrete design of alternatives. In addition, those affected by injustice can organize themselves in social movements, draw attention to grievances and fight for an improvement in their situation.

Resource extraction as a field of conflict
The current economic system is based on the promotion and utilization of more and more resources and areas. This development strategy is called extractivism. The destruction of the natural foundations of life is often accepted. This strategy was and is still shaping the economies of many countries, currently especially in the Global South. However, there is also increased resistance. Alternative development concepts such as B. the Latin American "post-extractivism", which among other things. striving to limit resource extraction to indispensable extraction are gaining in importance.

preparation
The instructors deal with the issues of resource extraction and social movements
apart and are able to convey the basic ideas. The template for the profiles
(see working material for download) will be printed out in the appropriate number.

execution
1. Entry into the topic (10 ')
The instructors lead with a short interactive input into the topic of resource extraction
a. Key questions for this can be:
> Why can resource extraction be problematic?
> Where does resource extraction come up against limits and resistance?

Then the leader of the discussion establishes the connection between resource extraction and social movements: Various actors deal with the problems of resource extraction, for example parliaments and governments, but also non-governmental organizations. In many cases, social movements are also active
whose perspective we want to focus on below. Here, too, the topic can be developed using key questions:
> What is a social movement? How does it differ from other political actors?
> What are the reasons for people to get involved in social movements?
> What actions do you associate with social movements?

Finally, the procedure of the method is presented and it is explained that, among other things, will be about depicting social movements in a creative way in a still image. Now the introductory exercise on embodiment is followed by: “Social movements are a lot about movement and emotions. In order to empathize with this, we start with a movement exercise. "

2. Entry embodiment (10 ')
The participants walk through the room, filling the room as evenly as possible and avoiding it
larger gaps. By varying the running speed (e.g. on a scale of one
up to ten) the demand for this exercise can be increased. In a second step, terms are given in the room that the participants spontaneously translate into a still image. Possible terms for this are: worry, anger, determination, community, joy, fear, satisfaction, disappointment, success, solidarity. In response to a signal from the instructing person
the participants dissolve the respective still image and continue the walk through the room.

3. Group work (40 ')
Groups of four to six people are formed. The participants read a text in each group in which they get to know a social movement in Europe or Latin America (see working material). Using the information, they create a profile (see working material) about "their" movement. Afterwards they think about how they
Flict that the social movement shows that other groups can present in a still image.

4. Presentation (25 ')
The groups imagine their respective social movements. At first they just name that
Name of the movement and in which subject area it is active. The still image is then staged. The instructors ask the other participants what they see and what they associate with it. Then a person from the performing group explains the still image and, referring to the profile, provides further information on the movement.

evaluation
First, the exercise is reflected on together. The following questions can be helpful:
> How did you feel in your role in the statue?
> Was it difficult to put yourself in the shoes of the role?
> What helped you? What else would you have needed?

At the end of the method, the following questions can be discussed:
> Is there an example that you found particularly interesting? Why?
> How are social movements perceived by the public?
> In your opinion, can their demands be implemented? What are the consequences?
> How do you rate the individual forms of action?
> What do you think is legitimate? What not?
> Which of the forms of action could you imagine yourself?