How Privileged are You? A workshop to expose Privilege, Oppression and Otherness

Davina Wilson, Beth Pickard, Wendy Magee

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


Oppression takes many different forms and its purpose is to uphold wealth and power to those who sit at the top of the privileged system (Freire, 1970, 2016). In order to truly understand how oppression works, it is vital that we pull apart the entire system to see how these oppressive structures have been assembled in the first place and subsequently maintained. In this workshop, several techniques are used to physically highlight our privilege, to begin to understand how we as individuals have participated in a system which supports oppression and its ideologies. With the use of a ‘Privilege Walk’ (Young, 2006) and a ‘Web Chart’ technique, highlighted by Bishop (2015), the facilitators will take the participants through a journey exploring oppression and embodying privilege: questioning how they are interlinked in order to maintain the status quo of society as we know it. The workshop will also support participants in identifying their dual roles as oppressors and oppressed in a complex matrix.
The facilitators will share their rich, global lived experiences, spanning three continents and historical contexts to frame the practical elements of the workshop. We hope that this will provide opportunities for participants to deeply reflect upon their own life experiences, in a safe and contained environment, and disrupt limiting practices and perspectives in music therapy practice (Fansler et al., 2019).


Bishop, A. (2015) Becoming an Ally: Breaking the Cycle of Oppression. Fernwood Publishing Co Ltd
Fansler, V., Reed, R., Bautista, E., Arnett, A., Perkins, F. & Hadley, S. (2019). Playing in the borderlands: The transformative possibilities of queering music therapy pedagogy. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. 19(3).
Freire, P. (2016). Pedagogy of the oppressed (Penguin Modern Classics). Penguin Classics.
Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Continuum.
Young, Tira J. (2006) The Privilege Walk Workshop: Learning More about Privilege in Today’s Society.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Oct 2021
EventThe 12th European Music Therapy Conference: Music Therapy in Progress: Please Disturb - Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Jun 202212 Jun 2022


ConferenceThe 12th European Music Therapy Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • privilege
  • oppression
  • anti-oppressive practice
  • music therapy


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