In Conversation #6: Im/Purity

In Conversation #6 approaches the idea of the integrities of the body from the perspective of im/purity. Soumyabrata Choudhury – based on observations from the Indian context – and Siegmar Zacharias – reflecting on her artistic practice with uncontrollable material such as slime or drool – discuss how bodies become bordering territories in the process: how is a body’s capacity to participate in society linked to and defined by imaginations and representations of shame, danger, or uncleanness? How are political forms of control and governance enforced by embodied, visceral, and affective experiences?

All videos of the series  Unversehrtheit: Conversations on the Integrities of the Body will be online here until 28th June.

Dr. Soumyabrata Choudhury is a theater maker and Professor for Theater and Performance Studies. He currently teaches at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi. He has previously taught at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies Kolkata, and has been a fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi and at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) in Shimla. His book “Theatre, Number, Event: Three Studies on the Relationship of Sovereignty, Power and Truth” was published by IIAS, Shimla in 2013. His new book “Ambedkar and Other Immortals: An Untouchable Research Programme” came out in 2018. He has also acted and directed in a number of performances across the country for the last thirty years. His latest performance was an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s story “A report to the Academy” at the Expression Lab, Pune, in July 2019.

Siegmar Zacharias is a performance maker, researcher, curator. She explores the politics of alienation and intimacy in embodied thinking/being with matter and matters in collaborations with humans and non-humans. Her work has been shown internationally. It develops formats of performances, installations, discursive encounters dealing with questions of agency, ecology of artistic practice, modes of visceral rationalities. Learning from uncontrollable materials like, smoke, slime, swamps, earthquakes, the nervous system Zacharias is working towards a posthuman feminist poet(h)ics. Zacharias studied philosophy und comparative literature in Berlin (FU) and London (UCL) and performance at DasArts Amsterdam. She teaches internationally and is a regular guest lecturer at DOCH Stockholm, HZT Berlin, Bard College Berlin. Since 1993 she has been working on non-violent communication strategies with workers’ representatives. She is a Phd candidate at Roehampton University on a AHRC TECHNE scholarship.


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