Witch Coven

Credits Indira Cornelio, Alma Uguarte Perez Last Updated 2017-06

This dynamic exercise will help you raise participant energy levels and keep the group stimulated. It provides a welcome break from technical training content, while still connecting to digital security themes.

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This session was developed for, and should be attributed to, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting resource “Cyberwomen: Holistic Digital Security Training Curriculum for Women Human Rights Defenders” under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International CC BY-SA 4.0 License

Materials to Prepare:

  • Chairs (exactly one less than the number of participants)

Running the Exercise:

Step 1 | Ask the group if they are familiar with the game “basket of fruits” (if not, “musical chairs” is another close reference) – explain that this game is a slightly feministified version.

Step 2 | Have the chairs arranged in a circle, and invite participants to have a seat – there should be one less chair than there are participants, so one person will remain standing.

Step 3 | Assign each participant with the name of an outstanding woman in the her-story of technology or feminism (your choice) – you can even use the same women covered in the exercise “Her-Story of Technology”. Assign the same name to multiple participants.

Step 4 | Explain to the participants what a witch coven is – a night meeting of witches, where they tell stories and cast spells – and tell them that together you’re going to have a witch coven of your own!

Step 5 | Start the coven by beginning a (made-up) story about some of the women in technology you’re honoring:

  • Each time you mention one of these women’s names, the participants who have been assigned that name must quickly change their seats (the one participant who is standing gets to sit down).
  • The participant who is left standing must now continue making up the rest of the story until they mention another name and participants change seats again.
  • If at any point in the story the word “coven” is mentioned, this means that everyone must quickly get up and change seats.

Repeat the steps above several times until all the women’s names have been called, or until everyone has had the chance to tell part of the story.