Yesterday I read an article – Philosophy for the People: Commencing a Dialogue by Laura D’Olimpio – on The Conversation. In this piece D’Olimpio recounts her interests in philosophy and the influences and life events that lead to these emerging for her. D’Olimpio covers broader ground in her delightful piece, but the things she had to say about film resonated with me.
“I have always been interested in how we try to understand the world in which we live, and artworks provide us with a great stimulus for such discussions… My PhD thesis focused on whether or not films could be morally educative and encourage critical and compassionate responses from audiences.”
I am also deeply interested in how creative works such as films, works of literature, plays can be used to encourage critical, empathetic and creative responses from those who experience them and, further, how discussion of and reflection on these responses can be used as learning experiences.
“By imaginatively engaging with characters who we may not meet in real life, or by considering scenarios we may never actually find ourselves in, we can practice empathising with others and seeing from another point of view. We can learn from fictions in this way by being open to new experiences that we see in our mind’s eye.”
Beautifully put! I am very interested in how art (from any discipline) can engage people on a deeply emotional and empathic level – people can go deep diving into the emotional or imaginative depths in the privacy of their own heads.
Allowing yourself to capitulate to the pull of a compelling narrative or character or mood while experiencing art can be an odd but wonderful mix of safety and risk.
“There are moments that are made up of too much stuff for them to be lived at the time they occur.” John le Carré Jonathon carroll Tweet
Artworks can allow people the chance to process this stuff, to unpack it and hold it up to the light before re-joining the hurly burly of day to day living. Finding frameworks to help facilitate this creative and critical thinking process can be a useful adjunct for any individual who wishes to challenge themselves in this way.
To read part 2 of this blog, and to find out why exactly I am interested in this stuff, look at Deep Diving into the Creative – Part 2.