Bodies of Knowledge
Three discrete commissions using performance and experimental documentary to explore the body as a site for the production and retention of knowledge.
Human bodies both individual and collective hold and produce vast amounts of knowledge. They undertake complex physical tasks without conscious reflection or understanding. They serve as terrains upon which pasts - painful, pleasant, mundane - emerge into the present. They communicate desires and identities.
These knowing bodies are subject to and productive of power and resistance. Deeply inscribed by relationships of race, class, gender, age and (dis)ability - and by binaries of object/subject, nature/culture, life/death - they nevertheless refuse capture and push beyond that which might easily be known. Put to work, denigrated, celebrated, honed, trained, transformed, made-up, injured, repaired: bodies and their knowledges remake and are remade by each other, and the world.
Bringing together dancers, academics, writers, artists, wrestlers, choreographers and community organisations through performance workshops and public events, Bodies of Knowledge explores the capacities and potentials of the human body - and bodies of humans - as sites for the production, retention and transformation of knowledge.
The first stage of the project will see three sets of workshops delivered by artists in collaboration with academics and creative practitioners during the summer of 2019.
Artist and choreographer Joe Moran will work with professional wrestler Cara Noir (aka Thomas Dawkins) and Dr Claire Warden to lead a group of performing arts students and trainee wrestlers in an exploration of “the real” as it relates to wrestling and performance, with attention to the ways in which this concept plays into representations of violence and gender in both disciplines.
Raju Rage and Notts Trans Hub will collaboratively run a workshop exploring what it means for participants to be transgender in their worlds. Using video and photography to co-produce a body of images, the workshops will use narrative as a starting point to exploring issues such as medicalization and transitioning.
Tara Fatehi Irani will work with the Kathak dancer Kesha Raithatha and researchers from the Leverhulme funded Migrant Memory and Postcolonial Imagination project to explore the body as a site for the embodied production and retention of knowledge among Loughborough-based women from the South Asian diaspora. Tara's part of the day will focus on exchanging personal histories and movement, using family photographs as a starting point. She will lead exercises that explore how memories, places and gestures are connected to each other and to our bodies. Kesha's part of the day will consider Kathak dancing as a form which holds memories, and experiment with movement and stories as ways of remembering.