Instruments of harm reduction

On November 27 we had our third research meeting, and this time explored some of the tangible, iconic items that staff at DURC handle every day in service of harm reduction. Each participant chose an item and introduced it the group as their guest. We then did some writing in the first-person from the perspective of that item. We asked questions such as: what is my name? What is my job? What are the best and worst parts of my job? What do I see, smell, hear, taste, touch in the course of my day? What is my role in harm reduction? We heard from the daily Job Draw jar, the office keys, a packet of Zig Zag cigarette papers, a meth pipe, a Brew Coop bottle, and a pair of latex gloves, among other guests. All essential players in the day-to-day work of saving lives!

This exercise helped us to imaginatively open our minds to the sensory realities of our work on the frontlines. Some powerful poetry and performances came out of just this short process, and we are excited to develop the pieces further when we meet again in the new year.


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