How are different spaces , territories and injustices created? And how do they get under our skin?
Embodied Lines is an exhibition that uses arts-based methods to explore how different types of violence at intimate, urban and national levels are experienced through the body. Social scientists have worked together with artists, activists, migrants and Southwark residents to explore complex research questions around violence in its physical, psychosocial, structural, and interpersonal forms. This project is an example of co-produced participatory action research: all collaborators work together to research a question without privileging one type of knowledge over another. Research is owned by all participants.
The display weaves together three sites. The gentrification and urban renewal of South London is placed alongside the politics of space in Palestine/Israel in relation to its indigenous people, whilst a third element recounts Latin American migrant women’s experiences of interpersonal and border violence in England. This explores how state immigration policies can produce forms of violence against migrant women that are structural and intimate - they give power to perpetrators to abuse their migrant partners, using their immigration status or the threat of deportation as a tool of control.
Centering the perspectives of people who are affected by exclusion and routine violence, the research shows how violence manifests at different scales: those of the body, the local and global. These works also bring attention to the ongoing legacy of colonialism, revealing stories of everyday resistance and community to envision fairer future.
Embodied Lines is led by researchers Ivana Bevilacqua, Rosa dos Ventos Lopes Heimer and Hana Riazuddin (Geography, King’s College London) in collaboration with co-researchers, artists and community activists Abid, Hannah Adeniji, Mahmoud, Ali, Shamso Ali, Amjad, Andrea&Magda; Olamide Bamigboye, Afnan Bouh, Sé Carr, Francess Conteh, Daliya, Nina Franco, Tatiana Garavito, Harish, Elizabeth Kuyoro, Nadeen, Mali Larrignton-Nelson (Shy One), Jael de la Luz García, Susy Peña, Shahani Richards, Amina Sesay, The Arab Center for Alternative Planning; The Popular Committee of Wadi Ara.
Endz n' Out
Produced by a team of young researchers from Southwark and Lambeth, and based on PhD research by Hana Riazuddin, from the Department of Geography, the project draws attention to ideas about how changing neighbourhoods influence young people’s lives.
Driven by power, profit and greed, urban regeneration and gentrification is rapidly transforming South London. The once vibrant and distinct characters of neighbourhoods are now being wiped out by a completely different way of life. Beneath this all are young people.
'Endz n' Out’ brings together photographic, observational and reflective data to disentangle these processes. Characterised by each person’s journeys, the photographs reveal links between time, place and its social context. Some works are in direct dialogue with young people’s visibility and access to public space, while others evidence the longstanding psychosocial impact of widening inequality, memory, sense of belonging and loss of community. At a time where young people are seldom heard in regeneration planning and design, we address issues of race, class, political power.
Stitching Bodies, Stitching Voices
Drawing on research investigating the gendered, racialised, colonial and geopolitical dynamics of violence and resistance of Latin American migrant women in England, this collaboration builds on embodied and artistic participatory decolonial methodologies inviting Latin American women to bridge embodied, academic and artistic modes of thinking-sensing-doing.
Inspired by indigenous notions of Cuerpo-Territorio (‘Body-Territory’) and radical embodied accountability, art-research methodological engagements blurred lines between researchers, artists and participants as collaborators included their full selves within various processes and stages of development. Emerging from the pieces is a multisensory cartography of Latin American migrant women’s survivorhood. This explores and represents structural and intimate manifestations of violence(s) and ongoing resistance(s) to these in visceral ways that are set to multiply embodied affects.
This art-research project is based on PhD research by Rosa dos Ventos Lopes Heimer, from the Department of Geography, in collaboration with the visual artist, Nina Franco as well as the filmmakers Susy Peña and Sé Carr, the sound engineer Mali Larrignton-Nelson (Shy One) and the Latin American activists Jael de la Luz García and Tatiana Garavito. Twenty Latin American women survivors of multiple forms of violence have actively contributed with their stories, emotions, reflections and body-mapping art; their names have remained anonymous due to ethical and safety reasons.
This collaboration was produced within the context of the Imaging Social Justice Initiative, curated by the Arts Cabinet and coordinated and funded by the King’s Visual, Embodied Methodologies (VEM) Network. The PhD research on which this is based was possible with the support from the Latin American Women’s Aid and funding from CAPES Brasil.
Puzzling: The Sensory Politics of Infrastructure
The art-based research project was produced within the context of the Imaging Social Justice initiative, curated by the Arts Cabinet and coordinated and funded by the King’s Visual, Embodied Methodologies (VEM) Network. The contribution is based on Ivana Bevilacqua’s PhD research, in collaboration with the photographers Andrea&Magda, the Palestinian workers of the Arab Center for Alternative Planning and the Palestinian residents, part of the Popular Committee of Wadi Ara.
“Puzzling” is characterized by a multi-sensory approach and combines academic investigation with autonomous cartography, participatory photography and filmmaking to examine the violence of infrastructure in relation to colonialism, capitalism, race, gender and mobility. In particular, it seeks to recompose the voices, and geographies, of “1948-Palestinians”, descendants of those who stayed on their lands in 1948 with the establishment of Israel, whose lives have been fragmented by high-level infrastructures, such as Highway 6, Road 65, electricity grids, quarries and other industrial zones developed close to their towns. By investigating the multi-layered forms of resistance deployed to challenge state and spatial violence, it shows that struggles over infrastructural development plans have fostered collective forms of service provision and communal arrangements of property, historically neglected by the categorisations and mapping of colonial powers, opening up for forms of self-recognition and Indigenous sovereignty beyond the colonial politics of “reconciliation” and individualized “rights to the land”.