2022: Dr Marie-Anne Chidiac “Fields of Power”

From Brexit to this year’s disturbing war in Ukraine and the overall deepening of political divides around the world, events in the last few years point to people feeling marginalised,  even in countries that assert themselves as beacons of liberal democracy. The feeling of powerlessness arises as well in our work spaces and individual lives. Issues of privilege and power seem frequently confusing: they are either over-emphasised or totally ignored.

Understanding power, its impact and how it manifests, feels more urgent than ever. It is no longer an option to assume we live in a world where power dynamics are simple and straightforward – they are constantly in play. Power is both explicitly and implicitly present in our personal lives, work and societies. It is our ethical responsibility to illuminate and bring it to awareness as enablers of presence and dialogue.

In this talk, building on both her clinical and organisational experience, Marie-Anne put forward an understanding of power as not just coercive but as a structuring aspect of the field. She addressed a theme that she has explored in her writing – namely that power moderates the field. She shared her thoughts, from the point of view of a practitioner, on how the work of Kurt Lewin and other field theorists can be a support to our work both clinically and organisationally.

In the afternoon, Marie-Anne facilitated an experiential exploration of issues raised in the lecture.

About Marie-Anne Chidiac

Marie-Anne is a Lebanese-British UKCP-registered psychotherapist, organisational consultant, coach, trainer and supervisor. Alongside her work with individuals in clinical practice, she is an experienced OD practitioner. She supports teams and organisations internationally, both in the public and private sectors. Marie-Anne is one of the UK’s leading trainers in Organisational Gestalt and the author of “Relational Organisational Gestalt: An Emergent Approach to Organisational Development”. She is a co-founder of ‘Relational Change’, an organisation that works to develop relational skills in individuals, teams, and organisations.  She is an Accredited Coach and Associate of Ashridge Business School.

Originally from the Lebanon, Marie-Anne came to the UK in her early twenties having experienced war, conflicts and power struggles in varying contexts (politically, socially, economically). She has explored the topic of presence and power in her Gestalt writing. She is particularly interested in how power and powerlessness manifest socially through context and culture and not only through the more visible coercive or violent practices.

Lecture recording

You can listen to a recording of the lecture here. Because of technical issues with the original lecture recording, this is actually a recording Marie-Anne kindly made afterwards.

Marie-Anne concluded her lecture by playing a recording of the song Nina Cried Power. The song and words are available below.

This lecture will be the subject of a published paper in due course, and listeners should appreciate that this is a pre-publication version of what will appear in that paper.

Marie-Anne’s lecture

The song Nina Cried Power sung by Hozier with Mavis Staples

Words of the song

It’s not the wakin’, it’s the risin’
It is the groundin’ of a foot uncompromisin’
It’s not forgoin’ of the lie, It’s not the openin’ of eyes
It’s not the wakin’, it’s the risin’
It’s not the shade we should be casting
It’s the light, it’s the obstacle that casts it
It’s the heat that drives the light
It’s the fire it ignites
It’s not the wakin’, it’s the risin’
It’s not the song, it is the singin’
It’s the heaven of the human spirit ringin’
It is the bringin’ of the line
It is the bearin’ of the rhyme
It’s not the wakin’, it’s the risin’
And I could cry power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord!
Nina cried power
Billie cried power
Mavis cried power
And I could cry power
Power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord!
Curtis cried power
Patti cried power
Nina cried power
It’s not the wall, but what’s behind it
Oh, the fear of fellow men is near assignment
And everything that we’re denied
By keepin’ the divide
It’s not the wakin’, it’s the risin’
And I could cry power (power)
Power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord!
Nina cried power
Lennon cried power
James Brown cried power
And I could cry power
Power (power)
Power (power)
Power
Billy cried power
Joni cried power
Nina cried power
And I could cry power
Power has been cried by those stronger than me
Straight into the face that tells you to rattle your chains
If you love bein’ free
Ah, Lord, I could cry power
Power (power)
‘Cause power is my love when my love reaches to me
James Brown cried power
Seger cried power
Marvin cried power
Yeah ah, power
James cried power
Millie cried power
Patti cried power
Billie, power
Dylan, power
Woody, power
Nina cried power

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Andrew Hozier Byrne
Nina Cried Power lyrics © The Evolving Music Company Limited


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