Intermezzo – Janhavi Dhamankar

Re-imagining Mainstream Academia Through Dance and Drawing

Janhavi Dhamankar and Lara Nieuwenhuis came together for this contribution to the International Visual Methods conference (Dec 2021). Characteristic of COVID times, this contribution was a remote collaboration in the form of a video. However, we hope and look forward to further iterations in person. We propose a performative and spatial contribution that employs dance and drawing as visual methodologies for exploring ways to help decolonise our academic thinking and practice.

Internal Supervisors and External Advisors: Gerhard Eckel (KUG), Deniz Peters (KUG), Brian Lobel (Rose Bruford College), Arno Böhler (University of Vienna / University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna)

Janhavi Dhamankar


Janhavi Dhamankar is an Indian classical dance (Odissi) performer, teacher, an artistic researcher, and a social sculpture practitioner. She designs and offers ‘empathy-practices’ in her current research to explore how we can treat social interaction itself as an artwork to re-shape, re-imagine ‘mainstream’ society. These practices include drawing, weaving, postcard writing, tea, dialogue, offered to marginalised communities viz. people affected by leprosy and college students from ‘mainstream’ society. She is thus the designer, facilitator, researcher employing a/r/t/ography.

Her recent publications include “Empathy-in-Practice: A Method for Artistic Research?” in Artistic research: Is there some Method? and a collectively authored piece “What is Refugee” in Crisis/Krisis, Performance Philosophy, special edition. She has taught philosophy at many leading colleges in Pune, India. She conducts workshops in dance, movement, Goethean Observation in India and Europe. She worked as the Editor and Content Generator for Pune Biennale 2017.