SILENT FLOOR DISCUSSION
Racism, anti-Semitism, intolerance and xenophobia,
what does it mean to me?
A way of encouraging a group to
think about the issues of the campaign 'all 'different
- all equal' with each other is to use the Silent
Floor Discussion. The basic rule is that no one speaks
during the exercise.
• 20 Coloured markers (thick)
• Flipchart paper or wall
• Paper tape
1.5 - 2 hours
10 - 20 people
Everybody sits in a circle around
the 4 big sheets of paper on the floor. Write than
the following words in large letters on the paper.
RACISM ANTI-SEMITISM INTOLERANCE XENOPHOBIA
Depending on the size and interest of the group,
you can also take 2 or 3 words. Ask people to write
down everything what comes in their mind or what they
associate with the word. They can also respond to
something that has been written by somebody else.
They can give counter-arguments, make links, ask questions
etc. The basic rule is: NOBODY SPEAKS.
It is alright if more people are writing at the
same time. Indicate that the discussion ends after
ten minutes or at the moment that nobody is writing
any more. After the silent session there is time to
continue by a verbal discussion. Some questions can
be posed, or some explanations can be asked about
things written on the paper. The discussion can explore
the topics of the session and people's thoughts and
feelings about it and/or their feelings about the
silent discussion approach.
This session can be especially helpful
for people who take some time to consider their reactions
or for whom speaking in a large group is difficult.
A 'Silent Floor Discussion' can be a very useful introductory
exercise to a topic.