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Deconstructing the Aesthetics of Embodiment (workshops) in Birmingham
February 22 18:00 - February 23 21:00
During the LGBT History Month UK, Berlin based Lebanese multidisciplinary performer and social artist Ahmad BaBa will present a plethora of his bodies of work in collaboration with SHOUT Festival and Midlands Arts Centre. His work focuses on claiming more visibility for underrepresented communities such as the LGBT+ refugee community in Berlin, and creating dance/storytelling projects.
Our embodiment experiences differ due to gender, race, class, ability and sexual orientation. Somatics and body oriented therapies/practices, wanting to see all bodies as one object. However, opposition(s) experienced by QTBIPOC, Queer and Trans bodies of color shape who they are. We must emphasize more on understanding oppression(s) as a form of traumas that live in the bodies, and build toward anti-oppressive critical practices that center lived experiences as a core witness of being in the world. Therefore, aiming for transformation processes, through allowing our bodies to speak for themselves, and have spaces that aren't titled ONLY as “safe” but to achieve safety through a collective consciousness that arises from our experiences that are often perceived as foreign.
In this workshop, we will process, using dance and movement interventions, how we can deconstruct the ONE standardized way of having a body and being present in it, and allowing those bodies to go beyond and bring forward the stories they hold within. The workshops will last 3 hours; including an opening circle, several interventions and a closure/reflection round ending the session. You don't need to have dance experience.
→ The event is free of charge, but registration is required.
About Ahmad BaBa
Ahmad BaBa is a Lebanese visual and performance artist based in Berlin. His work is rooted in critical interdisciplinarity and anti-oppressive practices. With a performing arts background and currently working towards his MA in Dance and Movement Therapy, Ahmad focuses on developing embodied arts and therapeutic processes. As conventional pedagogies around body work reproduce systemic oppression in institutions, he works against viewing the effect of oppression as political mediums and complexities that fall outside of the “norm”. Ahmad's practice works to centralize lived experiences as the core element for collective transformations through approaches based on a "by us, for us" framework, the rewriting of bodies' stories through dance, and redefining trauma-related oppression(s). Some of his previous projects and workshops include "Manuscripts of Foreign Body(s)", "Deconstructing Aesthetics of Embodiment" and "QueeЯevolutions".His visual performances approach identity from a critical and collective archivist perspective that revolve around understanding Queerness in relation to the multilayered Arab* Muslim identity(s). This has been shown through in his work “ Ilk علق“, which is an investigation into how queerness has become a form of colonialism, erasing and homogenizing many identities and ways of being that don't necessarily fit under "Queer "as an umbrella term."
About Assistant Director Mansur Ajang
Mansur Ajang, Ahmad's assistant director, is a performer, director and coach working with marginalized communities in Berlin. One focus of his work is theater productions with long-term unemployed people that unleash the potential of people in social and economic circumstances through artistic creativity. He was trained at the Elisabethbühne of the Schauspielhaus in Salzburg. First engagements followed at the Theater of the Young World in Leipzig, Staatstheater Darmstadt and Ballhaus Ost Berlin. He is a member of the ensemble of the Magdeburg Theater since 2022. Ilk is his second production with the performance artist Ahmad Baba.
About the residency
Ahmad BaBa is setting a ground for investigating identities on the level of bodies. The 10-day residency, as part of SHOUT festival's program for LGBT History Month in collaboration with Midlands Arts Centre, will combine the dual disciplines that Ahmad is engaged in: performing arts and dance therapy. His work focuses on claiming more visibility for underrepresented communities such as the LGBT+ refugee community in Berlin, and creating dance/storytelling projects.
Ahmad Baba's residency with SHOUT Festival & Midlands Arts Center (MAC) is part of the curatorial production Embodied Temporalities by Oyoun cultural center in Berlin, Germany.
What memories do our bodies hold? What can our bodies tell us about ourselves, pasts, and futures? Through Embodied Temporalities—Tracing the memories our bodies hold, cultural practitioners explore identities, belonging and embodied memories through diasporic, decolonial and queer perspectives. It offers a community-centred approach for participants finding expression of experiences through movement while paving the way for collective healing. Embodied Temporalities is a research, archiving, exhibition and performance project under the artistic direction of Madhumita Nandi.
Artistic Director: Madhumita Nandi // Instagram
This international collaboration is made possible by PerformEurope. Perform Europe is an EU-funded project aiming to rethink how performing arts works are presented across borders in a more inclusive, sustainable and balanced way by testing new touring and distribution practices and providing policy recommendations for a future EU support scheme. This 18-month journey includes a research phase, launching a digital platform, testing a support scheme, and designing policy recommendations.
Perform Europe is funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union and co-managed by a Consortium of 5 organizations: IETM – International network for contemporary performing arts, The European Festivals Association (EFA), Circostrada, EDN – European Dancehouse Network, and IDEA Consult.