In the radical self-care, anti-discrimination and anti-racist body-based practices of conflict management and healing, settling the body is one of the primary aspects to begin the process of coming back to the body. Settling the body is a crucial moment in working with the body in performative and dance practices as well.
These practices of settling the body, as private and intimate as they might appear at first glance, bear a micropolitical meaning. They also disclose body-based connections between artistic, social and activist practices. The possibility of settling down is unequally distributed, so that some bodies are forcefully dispossessed of their basic capacities to maintain themselves: to breathe, to be attentive, to settle in the space and time, etc. From this perspective, the practice of settling the body as an embodied and visceral process shows to be connected to the political and social field. It appears to be the battlefield of several current conflicts around the protection and security of the bodies, where some bodies become systematically unsettled through continuous violence, agitation and aggression (social, economic, environmental); while to the others, the capacity to settle is offered in excess.
The lecture series inquires into different aspects and dimensions of settling in (in the world, in the community, in relations, in environments) as well as different modalities of unsettling the bodies (by lack of protection, because of racism and sexism). It examines the consequences of denying the possibility to move through coercive detention or internation, in order to outline the functioning of current politics of insecurity by its operating on an intimate and visceral level.
Departing from this socio-political background the lectures will also address questions about the role of artistic practices. Can art and performance challenge such body-based inequality and unequal distribution of the capacity to be/have a body? What does it take to maintain a body, to settle in the body, and, also in light of experiences of exposure and disintegration, to sustain it through relating to other? How can performance not only contest the normativity and hierarchy of embodiments, but also makes us more attuned and sensitive, and settled for the experience of bodies?