A RESISTANT BODY

Last weekend (24th March 2018) I participated in Phoebe Davies and Nandi Bhebhe’s workshop for their new project, A Resistant Body. Davies’s practice revolves around how people perceive their social framework and her presentation of the information is often in the form of a live performance or video and audio work. 

The workshop itself was aimed at a diverse group of people, including individuals of different ages, genders, socio-economic backgrounds and race. This undoubtedly aided the workshop, as it enriched the conversations taking place, with all participants contributing valuable insights and perspectives. Before beginning the workshop, all participants were required to state their preferred gender pronouns, i.e. 'she and her', 'he and him’, and ‘they'. This initial request indicated that the nature of the space was to be inclusive. This theme ran throughout the workshop, with all activities being structured, with the aim to give everyone a unique role.

Interactions were used to examine how we occupy space and to investigate the different power dynamics, abilities, and voices in the group. One activity demanded that we adopt three separate 'power poses', an activity which, I believe, proved extremely fruitful, due to the diversity of poses presented. It was interesting to see how the diversity in the group was reflected in the positions. It would be interesting to further investigate the roles of age, gender and race, or their interaction, in the decision to adopt a pose which is meant to resemble power as, if my suspicion is correct, it may reflect the inequality which currently runs throughout society. This potential discrepancy is something which I would like to investigate and potentially integrate into my own work.

Later in the day, we were also divided into small groups of four or five and asked to choreograph and act in a short piece. Prior to this we had been asked to write down a couple of words which we associate with power, examples included 'home’, ‘work’, ‘strength’ and ‘perseverance'. Our group selected the word 'connection' for our piece, as we felt that connecting with different people and forming new relationships equated to becoming more powerful.