A generative refusal: body inclusive methods with racialized women in knowledge creation
This paper illustrates the moving body’s direct engagement with discursive and material spaces, as well encounters in theatre methods used in knowledge production. Body-inclusive theatre-based methods aim to address two paradoxes. First, the racialised and gendered body in feminist epistemology is often theorised without the body being actively engaged in the methods that produce its theorisations, and therefore neither are body-inclusive methodological practices. This has an impact on feminist epistemologies as corporeal modes of existence, such as lived experiences, self-definition and agency require the presence of and an engagement with the moving body. This knowledge project offers another way of being in knowledge acquisition. It recognises that research often refuses the agency and personhood of the ‘researched’, and it also sets limits on epistemologies (Tuck 2009; Ng 2018; Salami 2020). There is an epistemological refusal taking place in this theatre practice: through the enactment of lived experiences with an aim to transform them; a non-binary way of making meaning of them; creativity as a process of becoming anew; and activating the agency driven human body. In this practice, racialised and migrant women explore their subjugated bodies through kinaesthetic means, namely with, from, and through their bodies. The co-creators explored the playfulness and creativity of their bodies through theatre games, living images and the creation of Physical and Forum Theatre performances (Boal 1992/2005; Lecoq et al. 2000) linked with the experience of having a female, racialised, migrant and othered body.
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