Chula University Right Livelihood Summer School 2018

“Healing Earth, Healing Society, Healing Self ”

21 July, – 4 August 2018, Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Right Livelihood Summer School enables laureates annually to multiply their transformative insights through informal personal contact and mutual learning processes. The Right Livelihood Summer School is organized by a partnership of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; The Royal University of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan; the Right Livelihood College with its secretariat in Bonn and the Sathirakoses Nagapradipa Foundation (SNF), also based in Bangkok, Thailand. Together they shapea Wellbeing Studies Programme. In this framework we celebrate the annual Chulalongkorn University Right Livelihood Summer School, in brief CURLS.

Therefore, the Chulalongkorn University Right Livelihood Summer School (CURLS) 2018: Healing the Earth, Healing Society and Healing Self will be a platform for participants to establish tools for healing self, society and the earth by getting into sessions in our programme.

In the CURLS 2018, the participants and resource persons together represented over 15 different countries including America, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, India, Israel, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. The resource persons attending were the Right Livelihood Award 2010 awardee Nnimmo Bassey from Nigeria; facilitator from the Philippines, Ryan Bestre; senior researcher at the Center of Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn in Germany, Dr. Till Stellmacher; and various other professors and researchers from Chulalongkorn University.

Participants ranged from age 18 to age 76 and their backgrounds ranged from recent high school graduates to experienced social researchers. The activities started at Chulalongkorn University the participants were providing an introduction to the objectives, aims of the programme, and overall of the two-week programme was divided into four modules.

Module I: The focus on gaining theoretical knowledge through lectures, panel discussions, and workshops. The highlight of Module I was The Right Livelihood Public Lecture 2018: Healing Earth, Healing Society, Healing Self on 21 July, and on the other days CULRS participants had discussed on various topics such as Global Transformation, “Understanding Neoliberalism and Post-Development”, Gross National Happiness, Participatory Action Research (PAR). They also joined In the Body & Mind Activities, daily recaps, and personal conclusion and evaluation.

Sulak SIvaraksa gave the lecture on Global Transformation

CURLS participants in a small group discussion at the CUSRI meeting room

The Keynote Speaker and Panelists of The Right Livelihood Public Lecture 2018: Healing Earth, Healing Society, Healing Self on 21 July

Module II: The focus on artistic activities like singing and painting.

CURLS Participants arrived in Chiang Mai in the morning and traveled to Makhampom and 7 Arts Inner Place where the 3 main facilitaors, Anupan Pluckpankhajee (Kruu Moss), Napat Chaisubunkanok (Kruu Mai), and Vichapa Meethongklang (Kruu IB), shared and touched on painting, singing, and pottery to the group. The objective of the art healing was for participants to have complete freedom to express with creativity. Participants were also asked to share how they felt after having had completed their tasks. In the evening session, it was personal and group reflection, and in the spare time, participants discussed and planed for the upcoming final exhibition back in Bangkok.

Art and Healing (The Elements) at 7 Arts Inner Place

Module III:  The focus on participatory action research at Karen community. After reaching the Karen community, the team was welcomed by the community Youth Group and the headman, Paw Luang. He gave some information on their community and the way of life in the area, as well as introducing some of the issues of natural preservation, land protection and ownership that the community had to deal with. This Karen community has been living in the area for over one hundred years and now stands at one hundred and twenty households. The community heavily value the ideals of sharing and communal living.

In the afternoon session, the group split into teams and rotated around three different locations in the community where the community leaders had organized some activities in order for the team to better understand the Karen lifestyle. At one place, women from the community demonstrated how they weave their own clothes. At another, Karen leaders displayed to the team the major crops and spices grown. In the third station, participants got the opportunity to make the popular Karen dish Khao Pook, sticky rice with sesame, by pounding the sticky rice and spices with a large pestle. After the activities, the participants moved in with their respective host families.

Afterwards, everyone gathered at the headman’s house for a question and answer session with the community leader. The participants asked the leader about the history of the Karen community, the issues and problems they have with the government, their language and script, and other things related to their lifestyle.

The second day in the community, all the participants gathered a house of a youth committee member. They broke into their designated research groups and drafted their research presentations. Each group, Cultural/Tradition, Social/Development, Environmental, and Economic, presented their findings from conducting the research process. Each group also led the other participants to sing a song from 7 Arts Inner Place. They presented to the CURLS participants as well as some community members. Then, the participants worked on preparing for the final exhibition in Bangkok.

Community Study and Analysis at Baan Pa Tung Ngam, Chiang Mai

Module IV: The focus on reflection of the program, performances, and conclusion. The participants met and worked together at Chulalongkorn University to prepare for the final exhibition the next day. There were two teams, which were the Exhibition Team and the Play Team, with every member In each group all played a crucial role.

The Play Team had written a script about “Healing Earth, Healing Society, Healing Self,” drawing on all the concepts the group had learned throughout the course. The play discussed the modern world’s separation from nature, the structural violence engendered by neoliberalism, and the harmful practices like fossil fuel extractions that are destroying the environment.

Meanwhile, the Exhibition Team collected photos from the group members and selected which would be portrayed, as well as pieces of art from 7 Arts Inner Place. They also designed backdrops and scenery for the play and for the walls of the exhibition. Also, the highlight of the last module was the CURLS final presentation and the Sombath Somephone Public Lecture which was on 2 August 2018 and also a part of the ASEAN Week 2018 at Chulalongkorn University.

The CURLS final presentation and the Sombath Somphone Public Lecture, by Seng Raw Lahpai, Co-founder, Metta Development Foundation on 2 August 2018, ASEAN Week.

The last part of the programme was CURLS Evaluation and Future Design. The participants gathered to complete evaluation forms about the course. Every participant filled out a form with feedback that would help with the next CURLS programme’s Improvements. Another activity was a final partner appreciations and suggestions activity with all the CURLS participants. Every participant was paired with a partner and had one and a half minutes to offer positive reflection on their partner as well as some constructive criticism. This activity provided room for people to describe their appreciation for the other participants of the course personally and individually and potentially offering places for growth and improvement. The activity was liked by all and with the final pair CURLS 2018 officially was closed.

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