Bodies, un-protected

International programme series on the body, art and protection

Which bodies are worth protecting (to us) and on what basis? Which bodies will we campaign for and which ones elude our notice and action? “Bodies, un-protected” is dedicated to these questions – which had already assumed a key position in our communal lives before the onset of the pandemic. They highlight a long history of structural inequalities and the associated conflicts and debates around sexism, colonialism, ableism and racism. Experiencing protection, either individually or as a collective, has a range of meanings: as well as preserving the physical integrity and legal status of a body, it is also a matter of symbolic protection and ethical recognition.  Art plays a central role in this process. How we imagine bodies and how we transpose them into words, movements, images and ideas is closely linked to the way in which bodies become visible both aesthetically and socially and acquire agency.

In “Bodies, un-protected” Künstlerhaus Mousonturm highlights the unequal distribution of bodily protection in a programme of performances, lectures, films and dialogue formats. At the initiative of the theorist and dramaturg Sandra Noeth, international artists and experts come together from a variety of fields of research and practice to engage with how we can use aesthetic, performative and discursive means to create visibility for diverse bodies and their specific protective needs. The project will unfold over the course of ten months and manifest itself in two programmes of public events at the beginning of the project (10–14 November 2021) and its end (6–10 July 2022). In between these two phases, further events modules are planned in an international context.

Curated by: Sandra Noeth

With Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (artists); Omar Al-Dewachi (medical anthropologist); Núria Güell (artist), Bharati Kapadia (artist), Shahram Khosravi (anthropologist, migration researcher), James Martel (political scientist), Sophie Mendelsohn (psychoanalyst), Hakan Topal (artist) and others.

“Bodies, un-protected” is a Künstlerhaus Mousonturm project in co-operation with the Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT), funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation.