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Creative Community Programme – Think Differently

14 September 2017 5:00 pm - 14 December 2017 6:00 pm

Image credit: Public Assembly, Occupy London Stock Exchange. Photograph: Neil Cummings

‘Think Differently’ is a series of discussions on topical issues led by Middlesbrough-based philosopher Gary Widdowfield. In line with progressive educational initiatives, its intent is to foster critical thinking towards the production of useful knowledge. In an informal setting, participants engage with concepts relevant today by searching for answers to a set of questions. Informed by news stories, theory, public debates and history, themes include democracy, citizenship, identity, conflict, consumption, and media. Through the sessions, participants create a toolbox of techniques to understand the current state of affairs in a different way.

The discussions take place on Thursdays from 14 September onwards (dates below), from 5.00pm – 6.00pm

Themes are:

14 September           

Existence – Why consider this question at all? Can we prove the existence of things by rational thought alone? Things exist and that’s that – isn’t it? So why is the existential important? How can questioning the nature of existence have political ramifications?

21 September

Nature – What is nature? How has ‘the natural’ been used to  obscure historical and social reality? How can we analyse myths of the natural? Is it possible or desirable to live according to nature?

28 September

Truth – What is the difference between opinion and truth?  How can critical thinking help reveal the distinction? Or is that a fruitless endeavour because there is no one truth, just a series of discourses which make claims that they are true but really aren’t?  How can we renew a belief in the reality and value of truth?

5 October

Work – Is work a natural predisposition of human beings? Does work have to be characterised by drudgery and alienation? Are alternative ideas about how to live ones that would involve the eschewing of the concept of work altogether?

9 November           

Democracy – How can we get our voices heard? How can we become ‘democratic’ beyond the ballot box?

16 November

Identity – What characterises a person? Is there such a thing as ‘Britishness’?

23 November

Media – What is the power of images? How can they encourage empathy, identification or solidarity?

30 November

Consumption – What do we need? What influences what we buy or choose not to buy?

7 December

Conflict – Is there such a thing as a just war? How can we approach the ethics of dissent?

14 December

Citizenship – What constitutes personhood? Who is a citizen?




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