This learning activity features a clothesline with quotes by well-known and unknown people on a specific topic, e.g. solidarity. Participants are invited to discuss the citations and reflect on them. The students can also research additional quotes and add their own thoughts to the line.
- to get inspired by thoughts
- to gain a wider understanding of the concept of solidarity (or another selected topic, e.g. peace, diversity, intercultural dialogue, participation or volunteering)
- a string or clothesline (minimum 5 metres length)
- clothes pegs (minimum 30 pieces)
- cards with quotations (hand written and/or printed)
- empty rectangular (moderation) cards
- markers or felt tips
- enough space and gadgets to hang the line
- poster or handouts with instructions
- Research, collect and write or print a range of quotes on the chosen topic.
- Install the line and hang up the prepared cards with the citations.
- Prepare a poster or handout with the following (or a similar) instruction:
What is solidarity? Many people have thought about this question over the centuries. They have tried to define, describe and explain their understanding of solidarity.
Read some of their words here. Discuss in your group or with a partner. Do you have a description that you like epecially? Do you agree with all the sentences?
Do you know an additional quote? Please add it to the line of thoughts!
Below is a list with citations on solidarity. If you choose another topic, you can research the quotes on pages like Wikiquote or www.goodreads.com/quotes or Pinterest.
"You don't fight racism with racism, the best way to fight racism is with solidarity." Bobby Seale, American activist
"Climate change does not respect border; it does not respect who you are - rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call 'global challenges,' which require global solidarity." Ban Ki-moon, UN General Secretary
"The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings." Albert Schweitzer, Physician and Theologist
"One of the main points about travelling is to develop in us a feeling of solidarity, of that oneness without which no better world is possible." Ella Maillart, Swiss writer
"We've all seen the power music has to spread messages of solidarity and hope." Conor Oberst, musician
"I think isolation is one of the greatest problems, an ever-growing obstacle to political solidarity." Elfriede Jelinek, Austrian writer
"I can promise you that women working together – linked, informed and educated – can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet." Isabel Allende, writer
"We don't need unity in theory, we need solidarity in practice." Curious George Brigade, an anarchist collective in New York
"If solidarity is unity of purpose or togetherness, how to span this great divide of inequality, privilege, universal rights, political agency, and even our seeing things completely differently? In constructing this great bridge of international solidarity across the globe, where do we even begin?" Ramor Ryan, Zapatista Spring
"We’re better together than we are apart. The American Dream has us looking out for ourselves even at the expense of our neighbors. That shit ain’t true, man." Trevor D. Richardson, American writer
"Perhaps the saddest part of coexistence is the concept of interdependence being necessary for any form of solidarity to be realized. Being encouraged to lean on the weak, does not sound like a long term viable solution to attaining strength." Justin K. McFarlane Beau, writer
"With solidarity, you will be more talented and handier, you will be taller and stronger, faster and wiser!" Mehmet Murat İldan, Turkish writer
"I now understand that my welfare is only possible if I acknowledge my unity with all the people of the world without exception." Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer
"We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race." Cicero, writer in times of the Roman Empire
"You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free." Clarence Darrow, American lawyer active in the Civil Liberties Union
"Individual commitment to a group effort -- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." Vince Lombardi, American football player.
Suggestions for adaptations and variations
Researching, writing and/or printing the quotes for the line can also be done by the students alternatively.
Reference / original source of the method
The line of thoughts was initially introduced at the "Learning Ocean" during the aces Kick-Off Meeting 2010 (back then on the concept of peace). It was also used at the aces Kick-Off Meetings 2011 (on volunteering) and 2012 (on media literacy) as well as during the aces Academy 2016 (on solidarity).