036 – What am I? What Do I Want?

(Adapted from Augusto Boal, Games for Actors and Non-Actors) 

  1. In pairs, ask the participants to tell their partners: 
  1. Three things about them that are the same as everybody else in the room
  2. Three things about them that are the same as some people in the room but not others 
  3. Three things about them that I feel make me different from everyone else in the room
  4. Three qualities/characteristics that I feel other people in the room have that they do not have.


Ask the group: how did it feel doing this exercise? Do you ever feel different to others and what does it feel like? Explain we can be all different yet equal. 


  1. Distribute a pen and a blank piece of paper to each person. Anonymously, each person writes down three definitions of themselves answering the questions: (a) What am I? and (b) What do I want? 
  2. For ‘What am I?’, each person lists three words in order of importance to describe themselves. A person may write ‘I am a man, an artist and a friend’. 
  3. For ‘What do I want?’, each person writes three words that describe what they want. This may be love, happiness, success, etc. When everyone is finished, collect the pieces of paper, place them on the floor, face up and read what is written. Then analyse what you see, asking the group for their responses.


Notes: The aim of the exercise is to get in touch with what makes us different or similar, identify the many layers identities have and share feelings that might arise in the group. Through this activity, participants can express themselves, reflect on what makes them unique or part of something, and respect differences.

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