An activity to encourage people
to talk openly about their feelings and ideas concerning
the topics of the campaign "All different - All
equal" to other people. The exercise also allows
for one to one communication with a large number of
different people in a short space of time.
• Trigger questions, 13
- 15 questions are probably enough.
• Chairs, arranged in one
outer and one inner circle facing each other.
15 - 30 people
People are asked to sit opposite(and
facing) another person arranged around the room. Chairs
should not be too close that pairs can overhear conversations
taking place near to them. Spacing the pairs out will
help them to concentrate on their partner. If there
is an odd number of people one chair is put slightly
outside the circle for a person to sit on (to make
The people are told that they will move around,
so they will not only speak to the person opposite
them now. They will have three minutes each time to
speak to each other. Every time you will call out
the question. The question can vary according to the
topic you are working on and the age and level of
The following questions are some suggestions:
• What is your reaction
if your best friend told you (s)he had mobbed someone?
• A good friend of yours
tells a racist joke to a group of friends. What do
• On the wall of your youth
club somebody writes racist graffiti. What is your
• What is racism?
• Why does it say "Blacks
go home" on the wall?
• Already for a long time
it is very popular between your friends to use racist
name-calling such as Four Eyes, Paki, Blackie, Gypsies.
How do you react?
• What does it mean when
you stereotype people?
• What could be done to
challenge some of the negative views and stereotypes
of minority groups?
After each question and three minutes conversation
the people on the outside of the circle are asked
to stand and shift one (or more) place to the right.
Then they discuss the second question, which you have
called out. After five or six questions like this,
ask the inner circle to shift one (or more) place
to the left. Another five or six questions, with changes
of place should take place.'
For the last two or three questions ask both circles
to make up their own questions to get an answer. By
this stage they have an idea of the exercise and the
type of questions.
At the end ask people generally whether it was easy
to answer the questions? Did they find something out
about their personal limits concerning the issues?
Would this exercise influence the way in which they
train or inform other young people?
This exercise can be good as starting
point to consider the complexity of some issues. It
can also be useful near the end, if people are planning
to spread their ideas further, by using peer education
or other kinds of action. It is a very useful way
to enable them to continue their discussions with
each other if they wish, so it could be structured
to take place prior to time off or a break.
Another technique that you may like
to try for getting people to express opinions about
issues is that described in "Just
a minute" in Compass.