Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Creating and creative liminality

In 1990, anarchist and poet Hakim Bey coined the phrase Temporary Autonomous Zone, to describe a place and time where normal rules and roles were suspended, where alternative realities could be imagined without the harshness of judgment or ridicule or what he saw as inevitable betrayal.
In a TAZ, beauty and peace are undisturbed, undefiled, and creativity is given free rein.
A simplistic example might be waking up to find that it had snowed heavily overnight, roads were blocked, schools were closed... People would abandon their plans for the day, they would clear the snow from their neighbours' path, ensure the elderly and infirm had food and warmth - they might even get together, have fun in the snow and drink hot chocolate together... I'm sure you get the picture.
In that state of suspension, that Temporary Autonomous Zone, there is space for creativity, for dreaming, for behaving differently. There are no hierarchies and alternative communities are created.
It struck me that we could use a few TAZs in the church - suspension of rules and roles, space to dream and create, where there are no critics or saboteurs, no systems to consider and maintain. No need to think about what happens when the snow melts and everyone retreats to their customary places, where getting caught up in the mission of God was unhindered by structures and negativity.
And, who knows, maybe some of that would stick even after the TAZ had been dismantled....

No comments:

Post a Comment