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Thinking through movement

Regenerative thinking and embodied ecology?

Published onOct 05, 2020
Thinking through movement

As a social arts practitioner, I find myself responding with bodily movement to whatever literally ‘moves me’. It could be a scene in my book, a tree that catches my attention, an email exchange or a theoretical text. Through moving I become more present and can better tune into my sense perceptions. Sensing through movement enlivens a dialogue within me and brings me closer to aspects of the world. Movement helps me think. Or, perhaps more accurately, I am thinking through my movement.

I have begun building my capacity to precisely articulate this thinking through movement. I am currently experimenting with filming myself improvising around a specific text, idea or gesture; transitioning between art and mark-making, dance, social theatre, song, storytelling and theory.

I bring all this to my work with a major social project:

La Bolina is a regenerative social/ecological business and community development project in the south of Spain, where I live and work. La Bolina began as an idea 4 years ago and now supports the social/economic integration of migrants and refugees, regenerates abandoned land, creates networks, gatherings, trainings and events and is an eco veg business. La Bolina is made up of relationships - a weaving of actions and conversations, the detail of which I find myself obsessively attentive to. I am always exploring how I and others are moving in this relational web. I am curious about what creates experiences of aliveness between people (project members, migrants, local villagers, local authority officials) and how this aliveness sparks possibility - how what had before seemed impossible, begins to happen.

As a choreographer, I invite exploration of migration, belonging and diversity with a group of locals, migrants and refugees. During sessions, we work with raw, unedited and unfinished personal stories/song/movement. I support people ‘live’ to stretch open their chosen forms of expression. I am fascinated by the qualities of presence in the space as people share their stories; the striking moments of collective recognition; and the visceral experience of non-verbal knowing that is created.

I am interested in how attention to this social moving might be understood as regenerative thinking emerging in an ecology of bodies, and I am beginning to write a fictionalised account of such an understanding by interweaving 5 short stories based on members of La Bolina; their backgrounds, histories and ways of perceiving the world and how they came to be in La Bolina. This format enables me to write more freely and expressively, than straight factual reporting.

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