Embodied identity, mindful movement and social change - what can transformative awareness of embodiment of identity bring into the mindful movement field?

Tamara Borovica & Hanne Tjersland

This presentation focuses on the ways the intercultural body is present and understood in mindful movement and dance spaces. We, two academics who also practice and teach a movement meditation called Open Floor, explore how orientation towards more authentic diversity in this field can be supported by a practice of self-reflexivity in relation to our embodied identities. We follow Deleuze’s notion of identity as created through processes of stratification (Deleuze and Guattari 2017), which are processes that tend to assign dualistic, fixed and often mutually excluding categories of identities onto individuals and groups. We explore how self-reflexivity can unfold a relational and empathic awareness of both the effects of stratification on bodies both similar to and different from ours, and for how there is always also a space beyond in which different possibilities can unfold. With this we seek to unfold a transformative both-and awareness (Murphy 2018) through which both the strata and what lies in-between, through and beyond can be engaged, lived and acknowledged. We propose that this both-and process can create a vital in-between space where creative tensions can manifest more authentic possibilities for richer diversity and inclusion in mindful movement practices and education.


  Bio: Dr Tamara Borovica is researcher at the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Tamara’s doctoral thesis offered a creative exploration of the embodiment of womanhood, and was awarded Doctoral Research Award for best doctorate in the field of Philosophy of Education by Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne. Tamara’s research focuses on embodiment, mental health, embodied and arts-based research methodologies, interdisciplinary and critical approaches to health, well-being and belonging.
  Bio: Hanne Tjersland, Doctoral Program in International Studies in Peace, Conflict and Development, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón de la Plana, Spain. Hanne Tjersland is a PhD Candidate in International Studies in Peace, Conflict and Development at the Universitat Jaume I, Castellón de la Plana, Spain. She focuses on arts-based and embodied approaches to peace education and conflict transformation, in particular theatre and Open Floor mindful dance and movement practice. In addition, she facilitates different groups, mostly in Europe, through her initiative Peace in Movement (www.peaceinmovement.com) where she uses theatre and Open Floor to explore and engage questions and dynamics of peace.

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