15 people attend and present 8 dreams.


1.   I go to my wardrobe and there is a body in it. I am able to touch it and it does not contaminate me, but others would be contaminated by touching it. The dream is linked to a river where I hold the torso.

2.   I am engaged in my early morning routine at a friend’s house. There is lots of domestic stuff lying around like knitting and a kitten is playing with balls of wool. I have to go into the bathroom to shower and I want to get on the weighing scales and check my weight. The scales then levitate and I think this is interesting, but I do not have time to explore. I am simply trying to find out my weight. My partner comes into the bathroom and says that I am not reading the scales properly – the readings are on the side of the scale and I am looking down.

Associations: things are in unusual places, not where they should be; public reaction is that Tent City should not be where it is – there is fear of contamination. The press describes the protest movement as shallow. Reaction to this is that it’s not what others think of us but more about how we think of ourselves.

A woman does her make-up – combs her hair, puts on blusher. Her attention to self seems out of place at Tent City. She offers a thought and leaves with a red handbag. This interaction seems to represent balancing the tension between individual needs and social participation and engagement. The two seem at this moment difficult to reconcile – looking after myself, I have to leave.

There is a discussion on the theory of dreams. A participant is in ‘teaching mode’ about dreams, but when he is asked to present his dream, he is unable to.

A woman who says she is a healer, massages the bruised foot of another woman with olive oil. The mix of chaos and massage suggests a conjunction of shallowness and care, self-grooming, looking after others’ physical needs, healing and caring.

3.   I am in a fancy restaurant and having to drive afterwards to Peru with my team. In the restaurant there are amazingly beautiful Greek statues and I would like to stop and look at them for a while, but I am also responsible for taking my team back on their journey. Associations: conflict between one’s responsibilities and enjoying oneself – “go for it” – “move from one space to another.”

During the meeting a person arrives with a movie camera to record the session. People are asked if they are comfortable with this and they say it doesn’t matter, we want transparency, but their body language suggests a pulling back, but they say normally people want to hide things, but over here we are open.

Association: reading books and seeing the film afterwards often loses the capacity to imagine the story of the book. What is removed by the presence of the camera? But the filming goes on and no one is concerned.

4.   A man in a wheelchair speaks about the contradiction between being grounded like he is and floating. He says he does not dream but he has intense physical sensations in his body. He therefore doesn’t believe that dreams are symbols. The group discusses the theory of dreams – four levels of consciousness or four states of mind. There is a strong ‘teaching’ element – the way to move out of one level into another is by pinching/killing oneself/being shaken/waving one’s arms. This ‘teaching’ is considered by the group as rebellion against the group’s task as the man refuses to share his dream – he is rebelling against the ‘social dreaming system’ as a microcosm of Tent City’s rebellion against the social system. “We don’t want rules.”

5.   Excitedly, a man remembers a dream which is an extension of the dream he presented the day before – watching a showcase of models of an ideal society in a museum. He sees the model one day becoming the ideal society, but then the model becomes idealised, institutionalised and the same cycle runs again.

6.   I see people and I have strong feelings for them especially feelings of trust, like the pastor of my church, but on the other hand, I think of the Queen and the monarchy and she looks like a reptilian creature who cannot be trusted. I feel the pastor in my heart. The issue of disappointing fathers/parents is raised again.

7.   The conflict of dealing with practicalities and being in a dream is expressed. I am travelling and I dream that I can have whatever I want. If I think of something it happens in a whimsical way. I am with my boyfriend. However, I feel cold and I am always getting hold of cardigans to wrap around myself. There are associations to tents and snakes – tents looks like snakes unfolding as they are removed from their sacks. Associations to snakes are healing and fear and also transformation – the shedding of its skin.

8.   I’m running through the dark – someone is behind me. I go up to the doors of houses where there are lights, but no one opens their door for me. Eventually, I reach a house where someone is willing to help me. Associations: “The universe always conspires to help”; “one should only do what one wants to do – that is love.”

I was once a crackhead – I tried everything, but when I gave up drugs I began dreaming – it’s about giving something up and finding something else.


1.   Tent city is about community, trust and love

2.   There is rebellion against the task of social dreaming, mirroring Tent City’s rebellion against society and the political system.

3.   The luxury of rebellion. I want to be able to opt in and to opt out when I want. Linked to personal journeys. Omnipotence of the baby – I want what I want, when I want it. The group is startled by the announcement outside: “who’s going to do the washing up?” – but reality gets short shrift.

4.   The group struggles with contradictions – the ability to accommodate people with different needs – standing on scales and not being able to look – a search for meaning and having to deal with the practical/the mundane/the essential – the maintenance needs of everyday life and the ‘politicisation’ of these – anger towards the kitchen people who bossily impose rules. In contrast to daily practicalities there is a sense of urgency about valuing living in the moment – but a father calls his son on the telephone and the son says: I have to go and meet my Dad for lunch.

5.   Another announcement outside is made: “clear up the camp”. There is rubbish to clear and washing-up to do, charging of telephones and seeing to the generators.

6.   There is little connection with the other protest venues – St Paul’s, Tahrir Square in Egypt. There is no application to the global society. Finsbury Square is bounded. What kind of engagement will Tent City have with those outside of its boundary?