Hand in Hand is a new model of inclusion that uses cultural action to facilitate moving from resistance to reconciliation by creating public art together. This work explores and challenges the capacity to humanize “the other” in our lives. The result of this experience is the recognition of our common stories. This project will create bridges between populations, which typically experience conflict with one another. The current focus of the Hand in Hand project is bringing Boston Police officers and young community members together in an all-day workshop. Each participating young person is paired with a police office for the day.
Each workshop begins with an informal introduction. Young people and police officers are then guided through a meditation, as an icebreaker. Each pair is then guided through molding and casting each other’s hand with quick-set molding and casting materials. They unmold their cast hands together, sharing the experience of discovering an exact duplicate of their hands cast in plastic. At a later time the hands will receive an aged bronze patina.
Following a shared lunch, the pairs of young people and police officers are brought to a commercial photo studio to have their portraits taken. Portraits are both individual and as pairs. As a closing to the workshop all participants are invited to spend some time in quiet reflection by writing a facilitated “I Am” poem. They respond to a series of prompts, which encourage sharing of their experiences and insights of their lives. The poems will later be recorded into an audio narrative.
The art-work created through these workshops will become the components to an installation piece, which will be displayed publicly at different locations across Bos