2nd December 11.00am  #20

6 male participants are present – two during the first 10 minutes (one awake and one sleeping).  10 minutes after the session starts, one leaves and four join in two pairs. A pairing dynamic is present throughout the session.

When we arrive, the tent is occupied by a sleeping person.  Before the session, a facilitator spots a passer-by who might join future sessions.  The Tent City Co-ordinator tells the facilitators not to feel failure – the time will come when everybody experiences a session and won’t want to return.   The session started with one participant who has had previous social dreaming experience – he doesn’t have a dream and is basically keeping us company, he says, for the first 10 minutes.  A facilitator wakes the sleeping person who slowly joins the session. The first participant leaves.

Two new participants arrive.


1.                  A “lucid dream” about China taking over.

Associations are made to the death of philosophy and a totalitarian system telling one what to do and how to behave. The protest movement is going against this tendency of linear thinking and sees in the unconscious a good way forward.

2.                  A nightmare about a previous job and forgetting to tell them that she is starting a new job.

Association:  the need of spaces for transition – but this cannot be explored as two more participants arrive and one tells his dream – a daydream wanting to fight knife crime. The man describes himself as a dream-maker and not a dream-stealer who is trying to connect people in the movement.  

There is little space to think and associate, because the tent is constantly being ‘invaded’.  Participants refer to difficulties dreaming and working 21hours a day – not dreaming because of doing what others dream while they are sleeping. 

Association:  to a feeling of déjà vu for a regular protester – he has experienced all this before and this leads him to the share a third dream.

3.         He is in jail. The dreamer has not had dreams for ages and finds himself arrested for carrying a knife illegally.  It was planted on him.  While in jail, he slept 20 hours a day, and was woken up by the officers checking to see that he was alive.   The officers wake him up and he dreams of being chased through a school. 

This dream is followed by sarcastic references to the ‘American Dream’ – the nice house, nice car and the wife. 

Association:  to Libya and the resources and opportunities people had in Gaddafi’s time – social care, health, education, housing, economic support for children, etc. – all taken away by the American occupation.

Our general association: we are in an unsafe space where things can be planted (knifes and ideas). There is general lack of trust among TCU towards the facilitators – a general lack of space for thinking and associating – an interest in finding collective meaning through rationalization and day-to-day experiences.

The session is fragmented, with different conversations taking place at the same time. Towards the end of the session, there is an intense inquiry about us, our interest, financial sponsorship and mission of the Tavistock Institute. The session ends with a clear expression of distrust by one participant who wants to continue this exploration, and he is invited to follow it up in the next session.

Note: Here-and-now observations generate feelings that everything is occupied by everything else – no boundaries, no space for transition.

Facilitators: Monica Velarde, Milena Stateva.