Body Hegemonies is an artistic project aimed at exploring and making transparent some of the epistemic violence and hegemonic orders resulting from the legacy of colonialism and slavery, as the hidden flip-side of modernity and enlightenment. Our aim was to examine the Eurocentric logic of dehumanisation and processes of exclusion from the perspective of bodies and their embeddedness within these hegemonic structures. The goal was to use artistic methods as tools to research topics commonly examined within an academic framework. The project focused on aspects of bodies that have been/are excluded or made invisible within contemporary and historical discourses. Body Hegemonies worked on the trans-disciplinary interface (entanglement) of theorists, performers, and international participants in an attempt to make possible other forms of knowing and knowledge production. Specifically, we tried to performatively re-inscribe the historically erased body within the production of knowledge. To engage with and explore these questions, a one-week laboratory was held, in which six artists/(social)scientists gathered in a secluded location near Cologne, Germany. The topics outlined above were discussed via video conversations with international experts over three days. Resulting from these conversations, the Cologne participants presented individual performative responses to the group, which in turn were worked into a ‘performative score’ presented to the public on the last day of the laboratory. This was flanked by a mini-symposium with two international scholars on the topic of body hegemonies to expand the discursive field within which to locate and understand the artistic explorations.

Monica Clare van der Haagen-Wulff, University of Cologne, Germany

Michael Lazar, University of Haifa, Israel

Fabian Chyle, Akademie der Kulturellen Bildung, Germany


Body Hegemonies 2017:

An Experimental Transfer

Deviating from the normal academic format that is guided and linear, we would like to offer this article to you as a journey of discovery that you can negotiate according to your interest, the questions you would like answered, and the time you wish to invest. The different headings that you see in the menu above are there to guide you in this exploration. Some of the information will necessarily repeat itself as it travels in a cyclical, rather than linear, fashion and as it revisits certain areas of investigation in layers of accumulated and related meaning in its upward spiral of meaning-making. Links to all participants’ further biographical and related information are available via hyperlinks, allowing greater depth of investigation and making all participants and the tremendous diversity of knowledges, expertise, and subject positionalities they bring with them transparent in a non-hierarchical manner. Links to a 13-minute edited film of the performance symposium event, as well as links to the full 76-minute performance, panel discussion, and paper presentations by the invited guest speakers are also available in the relevant sections.