Moving Radical Identities: Finding Old Relationships (Our New Lexicons in Discovery)
12:30 - 13:00
In this talk I use physical exercise (guided movement exploration) and verbal discussion to interrogate the notion of ‘discovery’ within the context of somatic practices. I ask if the concept of ‘discovery’ itself is flawed if we adhere to an embodied/emplaced perspective where things create/respond to each other.
Drawing on Indigenous world views and Western Pragmatism I explore the somatic (felt, sensed, bodily) as part of a transactional, interconnected understanding of the world (Dewey, J 1958, 1989, 2008; Mahina, ‘O. 2004, 2002; Pratt, L.S. 2002; Smith, L. T., 1999). Within this paradigm of emergence, and using the framework of Indigenous knowledges, I explore how in the shadow of modernity 20 th & 21 st century indigenous ‘somatic’ practices have been ‘discovered’ and produced out of context of the worldview they have emerged from. This includes the notion of appropriation. I argue that to begin to heal and reconcile knowledges of the bodily, we must also interrogate the language and concepts with which we contextualise what we are doing when we engage in them. If we remove the notion of ‘discovery’ (and the ownership that is often implied by that word) then do we also find a better knowing of
the somatic practices themselves. Within the workshop together we will explore alternative words (across languages) to form a lexicon for healing wounds and restrictions sometimes inflicted on the somatic by the complacency of ‘understanding’, ‘discovery’ and ‘ownership’.
I have begun discussion on this in a series of podcast I have made
while resident artist at MIT. The first episode particularly addresses discovery. Future episodes include discussion with Dr Mahina and Dr Pratt referenced above.
Dr. Adesola Akinleye is an artist-scholar. She began her career as a dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem, USA she later worked with Green Candle Dance UK and Union Dance UK. Her company DancingStrong, currently creates interdisciplinary-performance work touring UK and North America. www.dancingstrong.com
Her teaching, writing and choreography weave together to inform her creative practice which centers on exploring the lived experience as embodied, and 'bodily' knowledge as central to meaning making.
Her current work includes working in response to the Brexit Referendum exploring/dancing on boundaries and borders with communities in Northern Ireland, Poland, UK and beyond – Freedom of Movement, MNM Project.
Adesola is a Fellow of the RSA. She holds an interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy in dance/sociology/embodiment (Body, dance and environment: An exploration of embodiment and identity) from Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. She has a Master of Arts (distinction) in Work-based learning: Dance in education and the community from Middlesex University, UK.
She has been a guest teacher / choreographer in institutions and companies in UK, Canada and USA including Dance Theatre of Harlem Summer program. She is a Fellow of Higher Education Academy and holds a PG Cert in Higher Education as well as being a licensed Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis teacher.
Her monograph Dance, Architecture and Engineering is published in April 2021.