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Sitting in my dungeon with the usual suspects, oops, I mean sitting in my office and with the usual office mates on a Saturday afternoon exactly one week after an exciting weekend at the Arts Access Advocates: A National Partnership workshop, my heart longs to go back to the fun times of being with like-minded people (with no disrespect to the usual suspects here), of feeling "belonged" and of not being afraid to try. 

Participants at the Arts Access Advocates symposiumHaving been in New Zealand for six years now, I was really touched by the power of art, and music, that instantly brought us all together at the workshop. And six years since I left my old label "musician" behind and put on a new label "researcher," I have often felt myself to be living in liminality.

When I started my field work for my doctoral study, I was lost, really lost, in liminality of being neither a student nor a teacher in my case study. It took me half a year before I realised, and before someone said to me: "You are a researcher." This person is now a very important figure in my life who have created a condition for me to find myself in my label as a “researcher.” In much the same way, the workshop has created the condition, and a huge opportunity, for me to be “liminal”. After the weekend in Wellington, I came back to Christchurch with not just a new label, but also a new identity: "Liminal."

So what? Now what?

If this is a reflection I am writing after my supervisory meeting, I know what four words my supervisors will email me back with: So what? Now what?

So with my new liminal self, I am not afraid to be seen, to be present, to be visible. Now what? I need to go back to work, and instead of trying to see the forest for the trees, I shall now go wander in the forest of inclusion, and to embody the value I have taken back with my from the workshop – whakawhanaungatanga - building partnerships through conversation, everyday involvement, compassion, giving and vulnerability. Ka pai!

 

A reflection on liminality

 
 
 
 
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