On January 14th 2019, LISFE organized a talk around the theme of nonviolent communication. Jonathan Heppner, a student of psychology and philosophy at Leiden University, used the film Life Compass by Chloë Saint-Denis as a starting point for this discussion.
The short documentary depicts children playing in an imaginary safari. It is a film which shows the role that imagination plays in these children’s lives, especially in relation to their construction of an alternative world. This world, which they truly inhabit, changes with time and fades away with age. Through this talk we hoped to bring a bit of it back.
Aiming to question the role of imagination in adult life, we incited conversation using the scenes from the documentary serving as evidence and illustration. Rather than having a purely philosophical talk about non-violent communication, cinema was used as a means to incite critical dialogue around the topic. A subheading in Marshal B. Rosenberg´s book Non Violent Communication succinctly conveys the parting message of the talk, which also perfectly fits with the film: Don’t do anything that isn’t play!