Moving Beyond: From Body-Cultures to Bodies of Culture
16:30 - 17:00
This short talk reflects on articulations of practices of embodiment as processes of liberation, resistance, communal un-conditioning and regeneration. It traces a historical lineage from western modernist proto-somatic - yet often eugenic inflected - ‘Body – Cultures’ (Mensendieck 1906), via Feldenkrais’ utopian vision of societies of aware individuals (1972) and Thomas Hanna’s articulations of ‘bodies in revolt’, part of ‘a somatic culture’ which ‘encourages sensing’ (Hanna 1991), to contemporary writings on race, embodied trauma, ’bodies of culture’ and the potential for a ‘somatic abolitionism’ of Resmaa Menakem (2017). How do we nurture compassionate practices of embodied undoing of cultural trauma in the face of ongoing oppression?
Thomas Kampe (PhD) has worked with somatic processes for over 35 years, often in Holocaust reconciliation arts contexts. He works as Professor of Somatic Performance and Education at Bath Spa University. Thomas is a teacher of the Feldenkrais Method ®, which forms a foundation for his teaching and research which focuses on legacies of critical somatic practices. Thomas co-edited JDSP Vol. 9 (2017): ‘Bodily undoing: Somatics as practices of critique’, and edited the IFF Journal Vol. 6 (2019): ‘Practices of Freedom: The Feldenkrais Method and Creativity’. In 2021 he co-edited the book ’beyond forgetting: persecution / exile / memory’ with his brother Gerhard Kampe. Thomas co-directed Body IQ Festival 2019, together with Kai Ehrhardt.