The Love Project is a co-creation of diverse individuals. We are in the process of establishing a core group of people who are dedicated to the project. In addition, so far more than thirty people have helped with one aspect or the other to get this project underway. We will publish their names and roles here as the project progresses.
Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person,
they are almost indistinguishable.
– David Augsburger –
The project itself was initially established by me, Lars Weckbecker. I am a former Professor for media and communication. Currently I am engaged as a media producer, researcher and facilitator of change with many and one passions and interests. I am particularly interested in emancipatory, co-creative & critical media forms and storytelling and in rendering visible new progressive and resilient paradigms of being and becoming in the transition from the current socio-economic status quo.
So, how did I come up this project? Since I can think of, I have always been a critical observer of the world we are living in and also been concerned with facilitating social, political, economic and personal change towards a potentially better future. “Love” was never an issue or a concept I was concerned with – until several years ago when it became central to my thought and work for progressive change. As so often, the trigger was a personal experience. In short, I “fell in love”. Then, my heart was “broken”; by myself and by someone who appeared to be traumatized and who lacked love in her childhood. My life fell apart and it took me almost two years to fully recover. I spent days and nights pondering on what had happened; pondering on the question what love is, what it means, how it can be so powerful – positively as well as negatively – and how to cope, being at once with and without love.
I became fascinated with the topic and began researching love and human relationships and learned about the vastly different conceptions, ideas, practices and experiences related to them. I also began interviewing people about love and human relationships. Once again, I was intrigued by the huge variety of definitions, ideas and experiences as well as by the expressions of joy, happiness, fulfilment and purpose, but also of fear, anger, sadness, melancholy, jealously, disappointment, emptiness and loneliness. Many of these stories I will never forget.
The reason why this project is co-creative and participatory in design is not just grounded in political thought, but even more so in my personal experiences. While I was doing my interviews, I began to realise one very significant and important skill, which we seem to be losing in a hyperactive, individualistic and self-centred world. It is the art of attentive and compassionate listening. I was amazed by how quickly many people I interviewed were opening up and willing to share their innermost thoughts, sorrows, fears and emotions. After the interview they often expressed gratitude that someone had deeply listened to their concerns, pain and suffering, and their inner emptiness – without expressing judgement. There was a sense that they could truly open up to someone and on both ends there was a sense that a meaningful and deep connection between human beings had been made.
Hence, the idea was born to create a project that not only explores the many meanings, manifestations and practices of love, but one that at the same time directly promotes meaningful and deep encounters between people by encouraging them to interview each other and to talk openly about what is an ultimate goal for almost all of us: LOVE. Through the act itself, I believe, we can nourish love between people in the form of meaningful encounters and connections and mutual understanding. And this is what is most-needed in times when human relationships seem to be becoming increasingly ephemeral and qualities of trust, compassion, care and commitment seem to be further dissolving.
This is a main reason why The Love Project exists.
I wish to send my gratitude and love to all those who have already taken part and made it possible for our journey into the heart of love to begin. I hope that at the end of our journey we will have all learned how to truly love.