We wanted to set up an activity that would facilitate free conversation, rather than us rattling off a list of questions for them to answer. It was important to make sure individuals felt comfortable enough to just casually talk and be themselves. First meetings with strangers can be rather awkward and at time difficult. The idea of making friendship bracelets with community members came up; in addition to being a conversation starter, if people get nervous, they can always break eye contact and simply focus on the bracelet. Each colour of thread that of their choice, and create a friendship bracelet with the threads. The different colour threads represents a different topic and they can choose to work with all the colors or just a few. The methodical action of weaving allows them to slowly acclimate to talking and delve deeper into their topics.
We hope that these bracelets can become something meaningful for the community – something that will allow acquaintances or strangers within the neighbourhood to strike up conversations with one another, a physical representation of their membership in Hazelwood. We also hope that through the action of weaving these, they can open up and express whatever’s on their mind, and relieve some stress.