“DRAUMAR: A new project invites us to become dream collectors” (by Pelio Papadia, published in “Talk” on 28/05/2020)

We are invited to become dream collectors by a new collective project entitled Draumar-The anthropocene era of dreams that began in Greece at the end of April, by the visual anthropologist Alexandra D’Onofrio and the journalist Dafni Scaglioni. A project already running in Italy, at the initiative of the anthropologist at the University of Palermo Matteo Meschiari and the author Antonio Vena, recording the dreams of people of all ages in the transitional era we are going through. In Icelandic “draumar” means dreams, but there appears also a link that bridges the words dream and trauma.

And the truth is that we are currently experiencing the first true great collective trauma of the Anthropocene Age*. Because pandemics, quarantine, self-isolation, social distancing and changes in every facet of life that seem to affect us for a long time create a collective trauma worldwide. And it’s not about political or ideological dialectics, it’s not about opinions and classes. If during the day we feel fears and insecurities, at night our subconscious processes and produces dreams and narratives. And right now people are dreaming differently. Even if they don’t see the dangers of infection or masks everywhere, something has changed in the way, in time, in the intensity of dreams.

It is important to record all this, as it was important what Charlotte Beradt did in the 1930s, by recording the people’s dreams during the Third Reich. Her book left a trace of the trauma that the authoritarian regime created in the German people. Today we are in a similar situation, only the problem was created by a virus. How do we dream? What changes in our dream activity? Quarantine may be over, but the phasing out of measures is by no means a “return to normality”. This fever of dreams we live in is worthy of attention, study, of a collective experiment. There’s something there to find and prove. Our subconscious has a lot to reveal to us if we pay due attention to it. And dreams can open that door for us.

“Both I and Alexandra try to approach our work through a storytelling framework, and this is the way with which we approach Draumar. But this is a collective project, so we are open to ideas, proposals and collaborations about what will happen in the end. In Italy, where Draumar started, their aim is to come up with a book, to which we may also contribute. With the material we will collect here, in addition to the possibility of a book, which will map in a way the dream landscape of people in Greece at a time marked by the emergence of the pandemic, we think that an audiovisual narrative can also emerge…” says Daphne Scaglione at Talk and adds: “At the same time we are conducting extensive research on many levels, and we are going deep into the world of dreams, of collective subconsciousness, of symbols and artistic expression that draws its inspiration from dreams…”

In turn, Alexandra D’Onofrio points out: “We are looking to find references to the world of anthropology, psychology, but above all art, to understand, take inspiration and create our context. In the book that we would like to emerge, there will clearly be some texts more “scientific”, but the first reason will be dreams, images… So write down your dreams, your children’s dreams, ask the elderly and your friends to tell you theirs. Paint your dreams, collect your children’s drawings. Or record the narrative of dreams, yours or others, and send the audio file to Draumar. Through the composition will emerge some interpretation or even inspiration. This dream puzzle is waiting for your pieces to be completed.”

@Deirdre Barrett

If you want to participate in this mapping of the collective imaginary, composed through the individual pieces of expressions of the subconscious of each of us, the process is simple: Take a notebook and leave it near the bed. If you see a dream (which if it hasn’t happened to you yet, you’ll soon dream), write it down as soon as you wake up. Tell it in the simplest way. If you want, draw. Or record it. Do not write literary text. It’s an anthropological opportunity to record the sound of a historical event that’s never happened before, now it is the time when analysis stumbles and vision supports it. If you have a habit of recording your dreams, check out your last few weeks notes and share them with Draumar. If you still think you don’t see dreams, collect what’s in the books of people who dreamed of a collective trauma before us. Or just write your thoughts on all this.

Please note that the principle of anonymity applies. The data of those who send dreams are strictly confidential.

The time capsule of your dreams is open and awaits your contribution to  draumargreece@gmail.com

Whoever opens this time capsule one day might be able to understand us better. In the meantime, we’re going to have to process this black dinosaur that’s entered our living room and is in danger of melting us down. We’re going to have to start coming into contact with the submerged side of the iceberg.

For further information follow Draumar on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/draumargreece/

*The term “Anthropo-New Age” was introduced in 2000 by the Nobel prize atmospheric chemist Paul J. Crutzen to describe the geological period we are in, during which humans exert a decisive influence on the planet