DIY 2020: Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin & Jamila Johnson-Small/SERAFINE1369 – A VAST AND INCIDENTAL KIND OF HOLDING

25th November 2020
10:00-17:00 GMT/11:00-18:00 CET

Conversations on expanded multi-dimensional ideas of anatomy, divination, geography and language, seeking to bring transformational movement to ideas of trauma and healing as they are shaped by oppressive systems and given form in our bodies

This DIY is run in partnership with Cambridge Junction

About

“hyper awareness is violence to myself / it is not a choice to be in a continual state of friction”

“What is this work and if it is survival work, why can it leave us feeling devastated? This is not necessarily a sign of growth or healing, or if it is a part of these processes, how can I/we support that? What do we do with it, how can we move through it?

I guess I want to think together about/allow a being in, this wake, hitting up against hostile architectures that exist inside and around us.”

We (Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin & Jamila Johnson-Small/SERAFINE1369) are hosting a conference with guest speakers working across different fields invited to discuss their strategies for and approaches to facilitation; on how embodying the work that they do invites an approach to and views on holding, guidance, navigating and working with language to support the communication and manifestations of their visions and intentions. The speakers are Charlotte Cooper, Kopano Maroga, Daniella Valz Gen and Selam Testfai.

We are thinking about expanded ideas of anatomy, divination, geography, and the ways that ideologies in/form language and bodies/gesture as ways to think about – and bring movement to – trauma as it is held in bodies and perpetuated by systems, including ideas of healing and the wellness industry.

Trauma and healing are two words come up often in the work that we both do, and we take issue with how they are situated within, and mobilised (sometimes weaponised) by, pop and queer cultural discourses and practices, and as such, absorbed into our lives, daily practices of relating and communicating and conceiving of ‘self’. There are lots of monolithic and slippery words that we would like to think about together and with others, untouchable unbreakable seemingly immovable shape-shifting looming objects of false promises and disguised violence.

The conference will be a collage of questions, predicaments, criticism, strategies and responses that come up as we navigate how to embody the things we aim to share as artists and facilitators. We want the day to offer some energetic cleansing, some poetry and the opportunity to speak critically, curiously and kindly as we think together about crafting and sharpening tools for the destruction of oppressive systems.

A public fragment of our ongoing conversations can be found here.

 

SPEAKERS

Charlotte Cooper is a psychotherapist working in East London. She performs as Homosexual Death Drive and is known for her work on fat. More at charlottecooper.net.

image credit ©Christa Holka

Daniella Valz Gen – I both hate and love to write. I resist and struggle with the process and frustrate myself with the idea that writing is a discipline. I’m not a disciplined writer, or artist. I write in spurts and I often let the creative stream of consciousness wash over me, unwritten, unperformed, unmade. I tell myself this is ok, healthy even. I’m more interested in the tactile, as in the things that I feel, that envelop me and others. My oracular practice centres Tarot and playing cards and I’m happiest when I can compose from this space. Sometimes I’m happy just looking and nurturing a practice of contemplation.

Kopano Maroga is a performance artist, writer, cultural worker and co-founding director of the socio-cultural arts organization ANY BODY ZINE. They are currently living in Brussels, Belgium and working as a curator and guest-dramaturge at Kunstencentrum Vooruit in Ghent, Belgium. Their debut anthology of poetry Jesus Thesis and Other Critical Fabulations is forthcoming through uHlanga Press. They very much believe in the power of love as a weapon of mass construction. 

image credit ©Louis Kerckhof

Selam Tesfai – “I was born and raised in Milan by an Eritrean family, my father, a marxist involved in the Eritrean Liberation Front and my mother a wise pragmatic african woman. If people would ask me what I do, I wouldn’t know how to define all the things that matter to me, but people like definitions so I sometimes say: I’m a human rights activist. 

I’m part of a rebellious community of people that daily fight to take back their rights and live with dignity against a system that would better like to rip us apart. My aim is to help this community to survive and do that myself too.”

Schedule

Times below are in GMT/CET

10:00/11:00Intro/welcome/group practice (20 minutes)

10:20/11:20Presentation 1 (25 minutes)
Question/Note writing time (5 minutes)

10:50/11:50Presentation 2 (25 minutes)
Question/Note writing time (5 minutes)

11:20/12:20Pause (10 minutes)

11:30/12:30Questions (30 minutes)

12:00/13:00Break (1 hour)

13:00/14:00Presentation 3 (25 minutes)
Question/Note writing time (5 minutes)

13:30/14:30Presentation 4 (25 minutes)
Question/Note writing time (5 minutes)

14:00/15:00Pause (10 minutes)

14:10/15:10Questions (30 minutes)

14:40/15:40Break (10 minutes)

14:50/15:50Group conversation (40 minutes)

15:30/16:30Final words (15 minutes)

15:45/16:45Closing/group practice (15 minutes)

17:00/18:00END

Attending

The conference is open to anyone who is busy/in friction with/questioning the words trauma and healing in their practice/thinking/making/moving/facilitating ++, (ie. facilitators/therapeutic practitioners/body workers/activists/organisers/agitators/educators/divination practitioners/writers/doctors/health workers/energy workers particularly those with a creative and/or artistic practice);

We are holding a maximum of 18 places for participants, to sign up please follow this link.

We are wanting to ensure that there is a range of practices/knowledges/geographic locations/generations/race/gender.

Precedence will be given to BQTIPOC.

The conference will be in english and is free to attend. 

Deadline for expressions of interest is Sunday 22nd November. 

We will write back to confirm attendance by 12pm GMT on Tuesday 24th.

About the artists

Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin is an artist, independent researcher and queer agitator of Armenian descent. Trained in dance, their work exists in the shape of movement, video, text, choreography, sound, gatherings and deals with narratives of hostility, rest, friction, sensuality, healing.

SERAFINE1369 (previously Last Yearz Interesting Negro) is the London based artist and dancer Jamila Johnson-Small. SERAFINE1369 works with dancing as a philosophical undertaking, a political project with ethical psycho-spiritual ramifications for being-in-the-world; dancing as intimate technology.

For more information please contact [email protected], [email protected]
image credit © F. De Isabella
image credit © Amy Gwatkin for The Wire

Banner image credit:

Image credit © Kamee Abrahamian

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