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The Body Politic
Social & Ecological Justice, Art, Activism
6 courses for adults, 2004 – 2009
with Birkbeck, University of...
What makes you want to act for justice?
Racism? Climate change? Poverty? the price of food?
Are you looking for new creati...
Must STAY AWAKE!
MUST MAKE ART THAT
SAVES THE WORLD
'Oil City' immersive performance,
City of London, 2013
about
Platform...
'Degrees of Capture', Exhibition, ICIA,
University of Bath, 2004
Report,
2011
'Oil Road', 2012
Research supporting 'Liberate Tate'
art-activists, 2010
'Battle Bus', Sokari Douglas Camp,
for Remember Saro-Wiwa, 2006
'Tate a Tate', alternative audio tour;
3 sound art commiss...
Sai Murai & Aidan Jolly
'C Words: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture'
Exhibition and season of events, Arnolfini, Bristol, ...
“The educator, generally,
produces answers without
having been asked anything”
Paulo Freire, 1970:35
'Shake' course, Feb 2013
“Equality is neither given nor claimed,
it is practiced, it is verified.”
Jacques Jacotot in Ranciere, 1991:xxii
“I came to theory because I was
hurting”
bell hooks (1994)
“theory as
liberatory practice”
bell hooks (1994)
“It’s not an ego trip, it’s serious,
it’s politics, it’s economics, it’s everything.
And art in that instance becomes
so m...
The Body Politic
This course is designed for people who want to study how social justice, the environment,
arts and activi...
1. Inner Ear: Introductions to Platform, and each other; political and artistic
“epiphanies”.
Listening to ourselves as a ...
Hopes for the course...
2. Outer Ear: what’s happening now in the world &
who are we listening to? Listening to places and communities,
invisibili...
3. Workshop 1
Participants decide content and methods
4a) Tongue: the use of silence and the use of speech;
articulation of language as political danger Egs. the documentary fi...
5a) Frontal Cortex and Solar Plexus: the limitations of using
facts alone to effect change; connecting information to expe...
6. Workshop 2
Participants decide content and methods
mid-course review...
7. Heart and Sex: where is the drive to do this work?
What is ‘activism’ feeding off? Is there a blinding “ecstacy of prot...
8. Benevolent Viruses: what can collaborative practices
bring to this work; cooperation and solidarity; how do we find eac...
9. Workshop 3
Participants decide content and methods
10a) Eye: witness, bystander, perpetrator? Going and seeing/analysing
for yourself; the dangers of empathy; walking the is...
11.Lungs: endurance and stamina; how can you keep focused, evolving
and working over time without burning out/becoming cyn...
12. Stomach: Digestion, reflection, actions. Summing up and
feeding back. What have we learnt? What might happen next?
And...
writings, performances, actions,
and drawings...
evaluations...
“Progressive, holistic education, ‘engaged pedagogy’
is more demanding than conventional critical or
feminist pedagogy. Fo...
That means that teachers must be actively
committed to a process of self-actualisation that
promotes their own well-being ...
Paulo Freire on humility
Humility is not something we can speak about with an absence of humility.
I cannot make an arroga...

understanding oneself in the
process of being, with all the
abilities and all the faults

neither to deny or emphasise ...
Autonomous women-only
Body Politic, Nottingham, 2012
2009 Body Politic
1. Inner Ear
2. Outer Ear
3. Workshop 1
4. Tongue
5. Frontal Cortex and Solar Plexus
6. Workshop 2
7. He...
The Body Politic presentation (2013)
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The Body Politic presentation (2013)

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Presentation and workshop given by Jane Trowell, on 'The Body Politic, art, activism and social & ecological justice', a course for adults that Platform ran 2004-9; part of 'Student as Producer' Conference, 26/27.6.13, University of Lincoln http://studentasproducer.lincoln.ac.uk/events/student-as-producer-conference-2013/

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The Body Politic presentation (2013)

  1. 1. The Body Politic Social & Ecological Justice, Art, Activism 6 courses for adults, 2004 – 2009 with Birkbeck, University of London www.platformlondon.org
  2. 2. What makes you want to act for justice? Racism? Climate change? Poverty? the price of food? Are you looking for new creative ways to make change happen? Do you want to study how to work better together?
  3. 3. Must STAY AWAKE! MUST MAKE ART THAT SAVES THE WORLD
  4. 4. 'Oil City' immersive performance, City of London, 2013 about Platform...
  5. 5. 'Degrees of Capture', Exhibition, ICIA, University of Bath, 2004 Report, 2011
  6. 6. 'Oil Road', 2012 Research supporting 'Liberate Tate' art-activists, 2010
  7. 7. 'Battle Bus', Sokari Douglas Camp, for Remember Saro-Wiwa, 2006 'Tate a Tate', alternative audio tour; 3 sound art commissions, 2012
  8. 8. Sai Murai & Aidan Jolly 'C Words: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture' Exhibition and season of events, Arnolfini, Bristol, 2009 Become the Bike Bloc
  9. 9. “The educator, generally, produces answers without having been asked anything” Paulo Freire, 1970:35
  10. 10. 'Shake' course, Feb 2013
  11. 11. “Equality is neither given nor claimed, it is practiced, it is verified.” Jacques Jacotot in Ranciere, 1991:xxii
  12. 12. “I came to theory because I was hurting” bell hooks (1994)
  13. 13. “theory as liberatory practice” bell hooks (1994)
  14. 14. “It’s not an ego trip, it’s serious, it’s politics, it’s economics, it’s everything. And art in that instance becomes so meaningful both to the artist and to the consumers of that art” Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, from TV interview 1994; executed 1995
  15. 15. The Body Politic This course is designed for people who want to study how social justice, the environment, arts and activism work together. Whether you're concerned about local, national or global issues, we investigate how creative approaches and collaborations combined with research can make your work more compelling, politically effective and also sustainable. This is also a chance to reflect on your own position and experience, think about where you are, and how you want to proceed...
  16. 16. 1. Inner Ear: Introductions to Platform, and each other; political and artistic “epiphanies”. Listening to ourselves as a prerequisite for any act of creation; learning to trust ourselves; under what circumstances do we stop listening?
  17. 17. Hopes for the course...
  18. 18. 2. Outer Ear: what’s happening now in the world & who are we listening to? Listening to places and communities, invisibilities, “others”, “othering” and ourselves. Egs. The writings of Arundhati Roy, Ziauddin Sardar, Paulo Freire.
  19. 19. 3. Workshop 1 Participants decide content and methods
  20. 20. 4a) Tongue: the use of silence and the use of speech; articulation of language as political danger Egs. the documentary films of Claude Lanzmann and Patricio Guzman; writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa and Susan Griffin. b) Workshop 1: participant-led session on issues or activity identified from previous sessions. Plus FEAST (evening)
  21. 21. 5a) Frontal Cortex and Solar Plexus: the limitations of using facts alone to effect change; connecting information to experience, and going beyond the rational. Egs. Platform’s project Gog & Magog, Free Market Cafe (Beyond the Free Market). b) Workshop 2: participant-led session on issues or activity identified from previous sessions.
  22. 22. 6. Workshop 2 Participants decide content and methods
  23. 23. mid-course review...
  24. 24. 7. Heart and Sex: where is the drive to do this work? What is ‘activism’ feeding off? Is there a blinding “ecstacy of protest”? What role does sensuality, pain, love and dysfunction play when working on difficult and distressing issues or in extreme situations? Egs. Women in Black, clown army CIRCA and more. Plus Mid-Course Review
  25. 25. 8. Benevolent Viruses: what can collaborative practices bring to this work; cooperation and solidarity; how do we find each other? how do we begin to work together? The importance of networks/good faith: Egs. Climate Camp, MOSOP, Balata Camp (Palestine)
  26. 26. 9. Workshop 3 Participants decide content and methods
  27. 27. 10a) Eye: witness, bystander, perpetrator? Going and seeing/analysing for yourself; the dangers of empathy; walking the issue. Egs writings of Sven Lindqvist and Rebecca Solnit b) Workshop 3 (1.30 - 4pm): participant-led session on issues or activity identified from previous sessions, building towards whole day workshop tomorrow
  28. 28. 11.Lungs: endurance and stamina; how can you keep focused, evolving and working over time without burning out/becoming cynical; resistance; reflective practice. Egs. writers bell hooks and John Berger, artist Joseph Beuys
  29. 29. 12. Stomach: Digestion, reflection, actions. Summing up and feeding back. What have we learnt? What might happen next? And final FEAST.
  30. 30. writings, performances, actions, and drawings... evaluations...
  31. 31. “Progressive, holistic education, ‘engaged pedagogy’ is more demanding than conventional critical or feminist pedagogy. For unlike these two teaching practices, it emphasises well-being...
  32. 32. That means that teachers must be actively committed to a process of self-actualisation that promotes their own well-being if they are to teach in a manner that empowers students.” bell hooks, 1994:15
  33. 33. Paulo Freire on humility Humility is not something we can speak about with an absence of humility. I cannot make an arrogant speech to teach humility  the need to practice humility, needing courage and stamina  controlling vanity  acting without thinking that by acting I am the best  being wary of loving being loved
  34. 34.  understanding oneself in the process of being, with all the abilities and all the faults  neither to deny or emphasise the values we have  not to be afraid to be criticised  not to be full of yourself because someone said you are interesting  resist compliments (From 'Paulo Freire at the Institute', 1995)
  35. 35. Autonomous women-only Body Politic, Nottingham, 2012
  36. 36. 2009 Body Politic 1. Inner Ear 2. Outer Ear 3. Workshop 1 4. Tongue 5. Frontal Cortex and Solar Plexus 6. Workshop 2 7. Heart and Sex 8. Benevolent Virus 9. Workshop 3 10. Eye 11. Lungs 12. Stomach Other body parts in previous versions: Legs Feet Hands and Fingers Body parts have changed order but always starting with Inner Ear and Outer Ear

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