Building community, kneading dough.

by alexandrakellyg

Last month, Nadezhda Savova, founder of Bread Houses Network hosted a breadmaking workshop in Clinton Hill at MIMA Studios.  The space was beautiful – newly refinished wood floors, an area for performance and a perfect, long table for us all to sit around and knead the dough.

In addition to several people from class, there were also community members from the nonsense listerv who attended the workshop.  We all introduced ourselves, bringing our varied experience and interest to the table before we put our hands into the group work of kneading the dough.  Nadezhda opened up my eyes to a few key elements in event planning to promote group cohesion amongst strangers:

1.  Candles.  This may seem simple, but as Nadezhda said, “It would have been a completely different workshop if there were no candles on the table”  And, it’s true.  The candles contributed to the intimacy of the workshop – a tone established by lighting and the collection of people around the candles themselves; almost imitating the gravity of a circle of people around a campfire.

2. Getting back to our hands.  “We are all constantly moving away from every sense except for the sense of sight,” Nadezhda said.  By collecting as a group to use our hands, there is a powerful quality of togetherness that is facilitated.  We are building something and connecting with a part of our bodies that we do not often used.

Here are the photographs of the event below – I encourage anyone who is interested in hosting a breadmaking workshop to consult Nadezhda for her global experience and inspiring dedication to group building through breadmaking.

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