Doodle Justice.

Doodles. We talked about and used doodles often during my two most recent classes at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute: Arts and Media Based Peacebuilding (578) and Research as Art and Transformation (524). Doodles were encouraged, a “gallery of doodles” was on display in our classroom and as a group we created a doodle culture. It became a method of sharing ideas and thoughts. Doodles created dialogue. Personally, doodles help me process, organize and create ideas. When doodling I become an “active listener.” Maybe I should call it a “visual” listener, as I doodle I am able to focus, hear and understand on a deeper level than when I REALLY, REALLY TRY to listen. 

However, doodling while listening has a bad rap in many settings. Doodling is often considered the antithesis of listening. I recall a time when I was with a group of girls and we were creating circle guidelines, we decided that drawing in our notebooks would be considered distracting to others, as a result we banned the doodle. A friend expressed her doodle injustice to me just yesterday. The one and only time she was “sent to the hall” was when she was doodling while listening to a fellow classmate reporting in front of the class. She was told that doodling was disrespectful and inconsiderate to the person speaking.

The past month I created several doodles while I was in class at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute.   Doodling as note taking.

Doodling as organizing.

Doodling as processing.

Doodling to create.

I have known for some years that I am not alone in the visual and kinesthetic learning, knowing and understanding department, however for many years prior I thought I was. I wondered why I struggled to recall anything from the teachers pontification of information that was spued at the speed of light or when reading the same paragraph 4 times and I still had no idea what it said. Okay! This time I am REALLY, REALLY going to listen. Yeah, right.

Shaming a person because they doodle perpetuates a cycle that oppresses creative thought and action. As a society we have created perimeters that guide our actions down a conveyer belt of conformity. When we start to move outside those perimeters there are pressures placed upon us that keep us wrapped tightly in a ‘nice’ little package. I will suggest that we unwrap the package, remove the perimeters and see what will happen. Maybe we could begin to expect the unexpected. Cultivate mystery. Create a new pathway. So I guess what I am advocating for here is Doodle Justice.

Doodles cultivate the creative mind. Let’s have a conversation about why doodling is an important component in learning, listening, life and peacebuilding.

Doodle for One. Doodle for All!


About makingchangeonepeaceatatime

My name is Danielle Taylor. I currently live in Central Minnesota and spend my summers in northern Wisconsin along the shore of Lake Superior. My deep belief in the interconnectedness of all life drives my passion for equality and justice. This blog will contain: doodles, photos, brainstorms, running thoughts, research process, reading reflections, movie reflections, video interviews, silly videos and many other seemingly random, yet actually interconnected thoughts and ideas.
This entry was posted in Arts and Media-Based Peacebuilding, Research as Art and Transformation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Doodle Justice.

  1. storydoula says:

    Doodle Justice! I like it! Maybe connect to Freire readings in some way??

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