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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

ISPSO AM 2022 Conference

27 June - 3 July 2022

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Reflective Citizens Koinonia and the Cultural Shelter
Sibling Methods Engaging with Social Trauma

Marina Mojovic and Stefan Cerovina

Keynote
Saturday 2 July
12.15-13.45 CEST
Moderator: Jim Krantz
CE credits available

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Keynote Address


Reflective Citizens (RC) Koinonia
 is a unique method for the creation of reflective spaces with and for a wide range of citizens.  It was founded and developed in Belgrade, Serbia in the early 2000s by Drs. Marina Mojovic and Jelica Sataric.  RC grew out of the need to cope with social trauma during the “Horrible Nineties” (with the destruction of Yugoslavia, multiple Civil Wars, and the NATO bombing of Serbia).   Conceived of as a grass-roots activity, RC is based on learning-through-experience jointly with  citizen-participants and citizen-hosts.

We found ourselves in the trauma paradigm, flooded by unbearable pain and unspeakable dissociated fragments -- all orphans of the world we had known before, facing the evil around us and in us.  Where could we and our fellow citizens find soothing? Feeling betrayed by authorities and systems, how do we understand the up-side-down perspective of the new fractured realities? Is it too ambitious or grandiose to hope for the deconstruction of the vicious spirals of destructive forces involving the transmission of trauma or to unravel the trauma sequels?

In the carefully designed transitional spaces in the therapeutic communities of our Clinique we have often seen that trust in peoples’ capacity to help each other, to learn about dialogue culture and community responsibilities, hasn’t been just wishful thinking. At the same time, we saw how various forms of citizens’ cultural guerilla in the wider context were able to disolve the walls of the "inner migrations“ and of other sorts of "social-psychic retreats“. The new RC-method has gradually found its focus and impact through learning from the events, as well as from sibling professional fields (i.e.; psychoanalysis, group analysis,  group relations, operative groups, social dreaming, listening posts) – while "thinking under fire“.  It has given us and the participants a new attunement to the impact of changing circumstances on the meaning of citizenship and to the power of "social creativity“.

The basic building blocks of the approach – RC-workshops and the RC-Training for RC hosts – developed and spread to different cities and villages, regionally (Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Montenegro) and internationally (e.g. Greece, Italy, UK, US).  New adaptations were made:  RC in organizations, traveling-RC, walking-RC, RC for children & parents, as well as, the International RC (IRC) were born during the pandemic. The RC enables learning about the art-of-listening and about the art-of-dialogue. It supports transforming hate into culture of dialogue. RC hosts and participants need to continuously search for fresh encounters with our own vulnerabilities and with all the paradoxes of the human condition, both horrendous and wonderous. 

The presentation will also focus on the specific qualities of leadership within the RC field. This will be viewed through the lens of the Cultural Shelter method. In the continuously traumatizied areas of Kosovo and Metohija, Stefan Cerovina created “Cultural Shelter” jointly with a youth group. They discovered and repaired an old cottage and, over five years, created rich reflective activities on daily bases that ultimately engaged many citizens, including RC, film, literature, history, art and other discussion groups and inter-group events. It is evolving into the Cultural Shelter-Art in several locations. Participants are learning about the psychosocial healing of trauma wounds and Participants are learning about the psychosocial healing of trauma wounds and about the skills of traveling between dissociated realms.

The presentation will also focus on the specific qualities of leadership within the RC field. This will be viewed through the lens of the Cultural Shelter method.  In the continuously traumatizied areas of Kosovo and Metohija, Stefan Cerovina created “Cultural Shelter” jointly with a youth group. They discovered and repaired an old cottage and, over five years, created rich reflective activities on daily bases that ultimately engaged many citizens, including RC, film, literature, history, art and other discussion groups and inter-group events. It is evolving into the Cultural Shelter-Art in several locations. Participants are learning about the psychosocial healing of trauma wounds and Participants are learning about the psychosocial healing of trauma wounds and about the skills of traveling between dissociated realms.

We are inviting you to engage in the discussion of what we can learn from such valuable and so relevant to the current war  trauma experience that Reflective Citizen and Cultural Shelter have collected over the years and how we can help people and organizations to make efforts towards dialogue rather than alienation.

Presenters/Moderator:

Learning Objectives

After this session participants will be able to:

  1. Describe how the Reflective Citizens (RC) Koinonia and Cultural Shelter methods can work with social trauma to mobilize capacities for social creativity.
  2. Describe how and why various psychoanalytic traditions (e.g., group analysis, group relations, listening posts, Latin-American tradition of the operative groups, therapeutic community) are integrated into the RC method and the Cultural Shelter method.
  3. Describe what distinguishes the RC method from similar methods.

References

Mojovic, M. (2007). The Impact of the Post-totalitarian Social Context on the Group Matrix. Group Analysis. 40/3:394-403.Mojovi?,M.(2011).Manifestations of psychic retreats in social systems. In: Earl Hopper&Haim Weinberg (Eds).Social Unconscious in Persons, Groups and Societies, pp. 209–234. Karnac:London.
Mojovic, M, Despotovic, T. & Sataric, J. (2014). ‘Conception Trauma’ of Group Analysis in Serbia. Group Analysis, 47(2): 111–127.
Mojovic, M. (2015).Disrupted Matrices.Challenges and Changes. Group Analysis,48(4):540-557.
Mojovic, M. (2016).Serbian Reflective-Citizens Flourishing in the Leaking Containers. Group  Analysis 50 (5):370-384.
Mojovic, M.(2017a).“Untouchable Infant Gangs” in group and social matrices as obstacles to reconciliation. In: G.Ofer (ed.) A Bridge Over Troubled Water. Conflicts and Reconciliation in Groups and Society,pp119-139. London:Karnac.
Mojovic, M.(2017b). Reparative Grand-mothering. Knitting/Patching Social Trauma Black Holes in Foundation Matrices. Presentation at GASi Symposium in Berlin.               
Mojovic, M. (2018a). Serbian Reflective-Citizens and Otpor – Power with(out) Money. Workshop presentation at OPUS Conference, London, November 2018.
Mojovic, M. (2019a).Totalitarian and Post-Totalitarian Matrices: Reflective-Citizens Facing Social-Psychic-Retreats. In Bernd Huppertz (Ed), Approaches to Psychic Trauma: Theory and Practice. p.159-177. Lanham,Boulder, NY & London: Rowman&Littlefield.
 Mojovic, M.  (2019b). Serbian reflective citizens and the art of psychosocial listening and dialogue at the caesura.  Journal of Psychosocial Studies, Volume 12, Numbers 1-2, July 2019, pp. 81-95(15).
Mojovic,M.(2020). The Balkans on the Reflective-Citizens Couch Unraveling Social-Psychic- Retreats. In: Anna Zajenkowska&Uri Levin,Eds. The Psychoanalytic and Socio-Cultural Exploration of a Continent, p.175-187. London&NY:Routledge.
Mojovic, M.(2021). Reflective Citizens Koinonia. Methode und Internationalisierung. Die Kunst des Zuhörens und des Dialogs. In: gruppenanalyse. Zeitschrift für gruppenanalytische Psychotherapie, Beratung und 31. Jahrgang 2021 Heft 1 und 2. Mattes Verlag Heidelberg.
Mojovic,M. & Sataric,J.(2022).Tesla and the Social Unconscious of Serbs. The Dance of Science with Poetry–the Earthly with the Heavenly. In: Earl Hopper&Haim Weinberg (Eds).Social Unconscious in Persons, Groups and Societies.Vol.4. London&NY:Routledge. (in publish).
Mojovic, M. (2022).  Tesla Transformers in the Analytic Fields in Serbia. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling – Special Edition on Field Theory Morgan-Jones, R.J. & Snell, R. Guest editors. Spring

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