The Bonobo Experience Bristol


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"Unlike humans and all other primates, Bonobos live without war, murder or abuse. The females govern with wisdom, not violence. They have found a way of regulating one another’s emotions using touch that reduces aggression and fosters harmony in their community. Bonobos have worked out that pleasure subverts anger and use play as a tool for learning right into adulthood and old age."

Overview

The Bonobo Experience teaches bonobo behaviour to induce an altered state of consciousness – one in which we can examine, challenge and subvert what we know about our society and ourselves. Humans coming on this journey will learn about bonobo group dynamics, conflict resolution, gender roles, group co-operation and the need for connection. Experience new perspectives on how humans can be with one another while disrupting our single-species, mono-cultural experience.

Our aim is to promote a culture of kindness and compassion through heart activism. A place to share our dreams and fears, desires and longing for community. By taking a leaf out of the Bonobo book, we can start to tap into the creativity that is present in a state of play. Bonobos show us how to use touch and intimacy to create and foster social stability, as well as resolve issues of conflict, without resorting to violence.

This workshop will start with an introduction to bonobos and their fascinating social structure. Then we enter into a safe, held space for consensual interaction and touch. Participants will be guided on a consciousness-altering journey in which they literally return back to the womb and allow themselves to be re-born, with an openness to play, pleasure, and fun. Then, we will explore how Bonobos interact whilst feeding and grooming each other, as well as learning about body language and non-verbal communication.

Duration: 4 hours with a break
Number of participants: min of 10 and a max of 30

Aims

In this shared experience, we'll gain a unique insight into Bonobo wisdom, group compassion, open love and touch.

  • Explore Bonobo social skills in order to reflect on our own
  • Find new methods of interaction whilst inhabiting your Bonobo
  • Role-play how Bonobos use group intimacy to diffuse conflict, say hello and develop strong bonds
  • Increase awareness of Bonobos and how we could use their behaviors to bring about change in our lives

What participants can expect:

This workshop will be clothes on and include consensual, non-sexual touch. This is a space to gently explore what it is to live more like these peace loving apes.

  • Experience being born a Bonobo
  • Develop relationships of sisterhood
  • Experience a sense of community
  • Enjoy sharing the taste of the fruits of the jungle
  • Take pleasure in a Bonobo grooming
  • Learn about group compassion
  • Reframe ideas around group interaction through touch and play
  • Explore the queer dimension of bonobo culture