Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (UNL) Conference System, 1st Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference

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Dodging dominant, de-humanising narratives: In life and in therapy.
Manja Visschedijk

##manager.scheduler.building##: B Tower
##manager.scheduler.room##: T11
Date: 2015-09-25 06:30 PM – 08:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-08-08


This will be an interactive presentation offered by a ‘polyamorous dreamer’ currently living and working in the intersections of age, illness, culture and sexuality.

By sharing images and telling stories from the kaleidoscope of my 60 years of lived experience I will take a lighter look at the particularities and conundrums associated with living the story of the ‘Dutiful Daughter' of an immigrant family, caring for an ailing and elderly mother in the bosom of a straight family of origin while trying for a polyamorous lifestyle within a Queer family of choice.

I hope to shed some light on the serious problems that can bedevil many aspiring polyamorists, when dominant culture narratives, or new exclusionary norms emerging from within same-sex communities, gain a strangle-hold on our lives. I will consider what the real effects of normative judgements about ‘success’ and ‘failure’ might mean for anyone interested in living, loving and 'doing family' in Queer communities across culture, age, illness and sexual preference .

Drawing upon my skills and experience as a Narrative practitioner, I will point to some possibilities for loosening the grip of some of the harsher stories told about us, by using ideas and practices associated with Narrative Therapy and Community Work, including the use in therapy of Collective practices; Deconstruction; and Outsider Witness practice.

Participants will be invited to respond to the stories told by using the ‘Outsider Witness’ format. Instruction will be provided and participation is not mandatory!