Bodies of Knowledge

Three commissions using performance workshops and experimental documentary to explore the body as a site for the production and retention of knowledge.


(Photo credit: Bodies of Knowledge: edited by Laura Purseglove, published by Radar and Live Art Development Agency)

Screen Shot 2019-08-07 at 12.08.00

(Photo credit: Photo by Sam Williams, of Bodies of Knowledge workshop led by Joe Moran and Cara Noir)

Main photo (credit Isaac Scott Briggs)

(Photo credit: Photograph by Isaac Briggs, taken during first round of Raju Rage's workshops and exhibited at Attenborough Arts Centre in November 2019.)

The Bodies of Knowledge book, edited by Laura Purseglove, is now available. Click here for more information and to purchase.

Bodies of Knowledge ran from 2019-2021 and was a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary project exploring the human body as a site for the production, retention and transformation of knowledge. 

At the heart of the project were three groups of artist-facilitated workshops, each of which brought together people with embodied expertise, arts practitioners and academics. Tara Fatehi Irani, Julia Giese and Kesha Raithatha used Kathak dance and movement as a means of sharing individual, collective and familial memories of Partition, migration; and to explore negotiations of gender. Raju Rage worked with Isaac Scott Briggs and Nat Thorne, using analog black and white photography as a means to rethink photographic representation of trans people away from the cis gaze. Joe Moran worked with Claire Warden and Thomas Dawkins (aka Cara Noir) to explore relations of care, violence and the performance of gender in wrestling and contemporary dance.

Rather than commission a photographer to document the workshops, project producer Laura Purseglove sought alternative forms of documentation which went beyond the straightforwardly representative. Kathak dance was transcribed into annotated Laban notation; the film-maker Sam Williams used video footage of Moran, Warden and Dawkins' workshop to create a new film work; and participants in Rage, Briggs and Marchock's workshops themselves took their own photographs in response to issues discussed. These creative forms of documentation formed the basis of two exhibitions: one bringing the whole project together at Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester in 2019; and a second consisting solely of works from Rage, Briggs and Marchock's workshops at Loughborough University's Martin Hall Gallery in 2021. 

The project has been explored in a book edited by Laura Purseglove, co-published by Radar and the Live Art Development Agency. This features aspects of the documentation alongside conversations with participants and a newly commissioned essay from the interdisciplinary artist-scholar and choreographer Adesola Akinleye.


Tara Fatehi Irani

Read more

Joe Moran

Read more

Raju Rage

Read more

Project Partners

Dr Claire Warden

Senior Lecturer in English and Drama
Read more

Notts Trans Hub

Read more

Kesha Raithatha

Read more

Dr Jennifer Cooke

Senior Lecturer in English
Read more

Migrant Memory and the Postcolonial Imagination

Read more

Cara Noir

Read more


Transitions and Trans Lives

Wed 18 May - Wed 18 May - 2022

09:30am - 12:30pm

A screening and discussion panel exploring filmic and photographic representation of trans lives. Read more

What Makes This Image Trans?

Mon 24 May - Fri 4 June - 2021

12:00pm - 14:00pm

An exhibition of works by trans photographers exploring the reflection and construction of lived experience. Read more

Bodies of Knowledge: Transgender-Run Photography Workshops

Sat 6 March - Sat 3 April - 2021

17:00pm - 19:00pm

A series of three workshops exploring the reproduction of transgender bodies through photography. Open to transgender participants from the East Midlands. Read more

Movement with Meaning: Dance, Identity, Knowledge

Wed 24 February - Wed 24 February - 2021

19:00pm - 21:00pm

An online event with film and discussion exploring how dance produces meaning for audiences and dancers. Read more

Movement with Meaning: Dance, Identity, Knowledge

Wed 24 February - Wed 24 February - 2021

19:00pm - 21:00pm

An online event with film and discussion exploring how dance produces meaning for audiences and dancers. Read more

Bodies of Knowledge in Residence at Attenborough Arts Centre

Fri 25 October - Sun 3 November - 2019

Radar presents ongoing work exploring the body as a site for the production of knowledge. Read more

Related Texts

Wrestling and Embodied Knowledge: Reflections on a Workshop

Dr Claire Warden reflects on Joe Moran and Cara Noir's workshop exploring wrestling's relationship to embodied knowledge.
Read more


Bodies of Knowledge: Three Conversations on Movement, Communication and Identity

Read more