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Emotional Resilience While Performing Traumatic Narratives: Part I


Vendredi, mars 8, 2019 - 17:30 to 20:30
Erin Manning / Carlos Eduardo Melo

Presented by the Acts of Listening Lab (ALLab) at Concordia University’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS)

Curated and Hosted by Dr. Mariana Marcassa and Susie Showers

Please join us for a workshop and a discussion at LB-1042.03 on Friday, March 8th, from 5:30-8:30. Snacks and soft drinks provided.

At the ALLab we acknowledge that the process of performing and listening to painful memories can be emotionally challenging. We are in the process of developing resilience tools to prepare performers and artistic teams (playwrights, musicians, dancers, directors, facilitators) for practice with trauma survivors. This series of events, curated and hosted by Dr. Mariana Marcassa (postdoctoral fellow at the ALLab) and Susie Showers (Drama Therapy MA student and research assistant at the ALLab) is the first step towards achieving that goal. This event is the first in a series of three meetings.

Discussion: Sympathy - Other Ways of Feeling

With Erin Manning

In Scenes of Subjection, Saidiya Hartman is suspicious of empathy as the reigning gesture of feeling. Writing of the “difficult and slipperiness of empathy,” she defines empathy as  a feeling for oneself. As mechanism of projection that lands squarely in the realm of its own self-recognition, empathy is that which most coherently gives us back to our own measure of what it means to be human. In this intervention, I propose to move beyond the all-too-human operations of empathy’s alignment to Whiteness. Working with Henri Bergson’s notion of sympathy, and with the notion of relation as that which recasts both the form and the force of the encounter, I will explore Lars Spuybroek’s proposition that “sympathy is what things feel when they shape each other” (2016:3). This more-than human account of how worlds shape each other will be an attempt to consider what is lost in the practice of presupposing - and presituating - the shape of the worlds that move us.

Erin Manning is a professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). She is also the founder of SenseLab (www.senselab.ca), a laboratory that explores the intersections between art practice and philosophy through the matrix of the sensing body in movement. Current art projects are focused around the concept of minor gestures in relation to colour and movement. Art exhibitions include the Sydney and Moscow Biennales, Glasshouse (New York), Vancouver Art Museum, McCord Museum (Montreal) and House of World Cultures (Berlin) and Galateca Gallery (Bucarest). Publications include For a Pragmatics of the Useless (Duke UP, forthcoming), The Minor Gesture (Duke UP, 2016), Always More Than One: Individuation’s Dance (Duke UP, 2013), Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009) and, with Brian Massumi, Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience (Minnesota UP, 2014)


Workshop: Emotional Resilience While Performing Traumatic Narratives: Part I (7:20pm)

With Carlos Eduardo Melo

“How many beings am I, to be always searching for the realities of contradiction in the other being that lives in me? How much pleasure and pain did my body opening up like a gigantic cauliflower give the other being who is secretly in me? In my stomach lives a bird, in my breast a lion. The latter strolls from one side to the other incessantly in search of dialogue with himself. The bird caws, kicks and is sacrificed. The egg continues to envelop it like a shroud but it is already the beginning of the other bird which is born immediately after death. There is not even an interval. It is the feast of life and death entangled.” (Lygia Clark, 1967)

This workshop intends to create an environment for discovering the body in its multiple layers of creation, with an understanding of life as art. Through a group of somatic techniques and a collective approach to relational qualities, we aim to provide techniques for embodied self-care for joyful affect. Empathy, sympathy and attunement are notions that nurture inquiries about relations with otherness. Some questions lead our exploration that serve as inspiration to foster an environment of self-care. We use creative processes to activate the body’s own knowledge; we can name otherness in the body. Is it possible to create a narrative that arises from the body itself and take care of ourselves in our collective environments? How can the body talk? How do we wrap our bodies back up after opening it to intense affect?  A sheet of paper and gentle movements will be the guides to this experimentation.

Cadu Mello, Researcher of Movement, Somatic Techniques and Creative Process as therapeutic resources. Psychologist (Brazil, UNESP); MD. in Studies of Subjectivity (UFF/ Rio de Janeiro). Currently researches Parainstitutional Practices and Neurodiversity in the Humanities Ph.D Program at Concordia University with the supervision of Dr. Erin Manning.

LB-1042.03, 1400 de Maisonneuve West, Montreal, QC

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