The Bubble

About this learning activity

This is a visualising exercise. The purpose of this exercise is to facilitate discussion about privacy and for the trainer and participants to understand varying concerns about privacy in the room.

This activity is not meant to deepen awareness of privacy, but rather have the participants reflecting on their individual notions of privacy.

This activity should be paired with either Safeguarding Un-secure Spaces or Input + Discussion: Privacy, Consent and Safety.

Learning objectives this activity responds to

  • develop an understanding of privacy issues, and how privacy affects women and their lives

Who is this activity for?

This activity can be used with participants with different levels of experience with privacy issues online and offline.

Time required

This activity will require about 40 minutes.

Resources needed for this activity

  • flip chart paper
  • markers


This is a visualising exercise. Participants will be given flipchart paper and markers to draw.

Individual visualization: 15 min
First, ask them to draw an avatar of themselves in the centre of the paper. Then ask them to draw a circle around that avatar. The circle represents their individual bubble of privacy. There are things inside and outside of the bubble.

Ask them to put the things that they keep most private and people they share the most private things with in their bubbles and to place things they consider public outside of their bubble. Ask them to reflect upon the following:

  • people in their lives: place them in relation to inside or outside their bubbles; also get them to think about the proximity of people who are outside the bubble in relation to their bubbles
  • responsibilities they have: place them inside or outside their bubble
  • emotions / feelings that they have: place them inside or outside their bubble
  • things they want to say / express: place them inside or outside their bubble

A secondary bubble
Once these elements are drawn on paper, ask the question: Is there a need for a secondary bubble? Who in that secondary bubble? Who is outside of it?

Participants will have their own reasoning for drawing secondary bubbles or not. For example, some may think of responsibilities like work or family as more important or of secondary importance.

Full Group Debrief: 25 min

To process, ask them about the exercise and reflections / insights that they have as they were drawing.

Ask them how they decided who was in and outside their bubbles, and about the proximity of those outside the bubble to their bubbles.

Reflect on how their individual bubbles relate to creating safe spaces for themselves — online and offline.

Some guide questions for the debrief:

  • How did each participant group the people and things in and outside their bubbles?
  • Was there a need to have multiple bubbles? Why?
  • What were their insights around the responsibilities that they deal with, and the emotions / feelings they have, and the things that they want to express? Was there a difference? Did their drawings show that difference?
  • Has any of the participants ever experienced being forced to take a person / an emotion / an issue outside of their bubbles? How did that happen? How did they deal with it? Were they able to put those things back in their bubbles?
  • Of the things in your images, which things do you communicate about, which people do you communicate with in online spaces? Discuss.
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