“Depression is the inability to construct a future.” "In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning."
This is the question we would like to explore with you. Through our work, we have seen how acknowledging our losses and connecting to our creativity can be powerful for healing and making change. This is true for individuals, for communities and for organisations.
To start the conversation, we would like to share some short films and our experiences of working on these topics. From that starting point we invite you to connect any of your experiences or questions which you would like to explore personally, professionally or in terms of wider society.
We will publish opportunities for discussion here soon. Feel free to contact us if you would like to find out more in the meantime.
join the conversation
How do we hold creative spaces for loss and create opportunities for positive change?
Our first cohort of this 10 week programme has now finished. We hope to be able to offer a similar programme again in the future, please do get in touch if this is something you would be interested in joining or supporting.
Do contact us if you would like to take part if we are able to offer this again.
The Dark is Bright is a 10 week programme of conversations and creative activities to explore loss and think about the future. The course takes roughly 2 hours a week and will happen over video calls in groups of 5 - 8 people.
So far there has been one group focused on the Black experience of loss called Unequal by Rooted and two groups focused on experiences of loss from all backgrounds.
Join a community - Try guided activities - Get creative
If you have had a loss that you would like to explore then we would love you to join us. This could be any loss that has really affected you, e.g. loss of your job, your hopes, a loved one, your home, your community, your energy, your sense of purpose... Your loss is as important as anyone else's. Everybody is welcome.
our 10 week programme
Is this for me?
How does it work?
Scroll down to find out more
Why are we doing this?
What is this?
We want to share with the world what we’ve learned about loss and our hopes for the future.
We believe that creativity and connection can help us to better understand our own experiences, and that of others, and ultimately change the world.
Each group spent some time getting to know each other, sharing and listening to each other's stories of loss.
We then used our personal experiences to make collaborative short fiction films. Our members played a variety of different roles inventing characters and stories and reading voiceovers.
You don’t have to think of yourself as creative and all you'll need is a mobile phone or a computer to join the calls.
how it works
Only you decide what your story means
We help you explore creative ways to express your loss and find a vision for a brighter future. *You don’t need to think of yourself as creative already!
We create an accessible and safe space where you can get to know other people with stories of loss.
Our guided exercises take you through a series of self-reflections to help you make room for and make sense of your loss.
We don't try to fix other people
We honour our differences
We are all here to learn
You only stay as long as you want to
You only share what you want to
We honour confidentiality
find hope in your future once again
Human nature is resilient and everyone is finding different ways to cope. We are creating this space to go even further and make space for hope.
We are creating a space to:
no longer feel alone with your loss and connecting with others
BE SEEN AND HEARD
hold and process your pain
Our coping mechanisms can often be:
keeping your experiences to yourself out of fear of burdening others who might be grieving too
not knowing how to hold and sit with complicated emotions
not knowing how to move through loss and make space for hope
If you are looking for more intensive support around grief there are a range of options out there. We have included a few ideas on our resources page.
Please note that this is not therapy and we are not therapists. This is not an alternative to professional support with your mental wellbeing. This collaborative is a personal and shared learning journey in which we all take part as equal members.
The intention is to provide a positive and empowering environment, but the nature of the course and the content is likely to trigger memories and feelings related to loss. We provide an opportunity for support within the sessions in a separate breakout room, and provide links to supportive groups. However we do recommend that you are conscious of this element when signing up and feel in a space ready to explore this.
Loss is a part of life that isn’t always easy to talk about. Right now it’s more important than ever with many of us struggling with loved ones gone and loss of freedoms & jobs. Covid-19 has brought conversations about grief into the public eye, but we still have to ask, ‘What do we do when the futures we imagined for ourselves disappear?’
the loss of an imagined future
Isn’t it morbid to focus on loss? Perhaps it can be, but research shows that healthy mourning actually helps us to live more fully. When we mourn the pain doesn’t go away, but gradually we become able to hold our losses alongside hopes for the future. Pain of loss can show us what’s really important and give us the energy to do something about it. Life is short and we want our pain and our losses to mean something.
mourning brings new life
The burden of loss is not spread equally in our society. Covid has highlighted how unjust our society is and has been for generations. We’re facing a world with systemic racism, rich and poor, and nature under threat. People talk about getting back to ‘normal’ but ‘normal’ wasn’t working even when it was ‘normal’. As a society, we need the focus and energy that comes from mourning loss to inspire the changes we want to see.
mourning for social change
what's the big idea?
The dark is bright is brought to you by a partnership of three organisations who all work for social change in different ways. Beyond that, we are a group of people who have experienced losses and we want to learn more about how to use our experiences to make a positive change in the world. You can hear us talking about some of our experiences of loss below.
We work across the UK and beyond connecting people in local communities through the universal experiences of grief, loss, death, dying or trauma.
We work to create the conditions for imagination and building new possibilities for the future. We call it ‘Social Imagination’.
We are a community of Black designers and problem solvers, deeply concerned by the disproportionate and structural inequalities UK Black communities experience.
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We'd love to hear from you if you want find out more, make a connection, give us any feedback or join our mailing list.