Care as a decolonising tool in performance making practice through Cranio-sacral Therapy applications

Fabiola Santana, Lock Haven University

This exploratory working paper maps out potential applications of care practices and Craniosacral Therapy (CST) — a complementary therapy — to provide responsive decolonising tools, to meet the harmful impacts of colonialism on inter-generational knowledge production and exchange. It considers strategies of care from Global Ethnic Majority (GEM) perspectives, in performance making praxis and scholarship, to offer a new approach and contribute a working model to performance studies. My Practice as Research (PaR) PhD thesis (Liverpool Hope University) is operating within an interdisciplinary framework, exmining how colonialism has produced the need to assert, reclaim and re-imagine familial care practices. Researching how these care practices have informed the aesthetics and politics of Liverpool’s artists from the GEM in contemporary performance. As part of my practical component for my PaR thesis, I am creating a performance and satellite events to provide the ground from which new knowledge is being generated. This work contends with questions such as: 1) how has colonialism impacted the care we have received from our elders? 2) How did we experience their resilience? 3) What strategies can we share that enable those of us with lineages of resistance to colonial oppression to thrive, in a mainstream society that seeks to racialise and dehumanise us? 4) Can we create rituals and spaces to care for ourselves? This paper focuses on question 3, what strategies can we share that enable those of us with lineages of resistance to colonial oppression to thrive, in a mainstream society that seeks to racialise and dehumanise us? It offers a starting point for discussion on the applications of a performance praxis model, where care and CST are applied to disseminate strategies on how we might respond to these colonial woundings.

Naomi Hodgson, Edge Hill University & Stefan Ramaekers, KU Leuven

Instagram accounts aimed at parents come in (roughly) two kinds: those run by experts (with formal credentials; sharing professional knowledge), and those run by parents (experience-based; sharing personal experiences). The latter accounts can be divided (again, roughly) into two kinds: accounts that are intended to share experiences and acquired (experience-based) knowledge and to instruct/help other parents, and accounts that are intentionally humorous about raising one’s children or even parodying picture-perfect presentations of parenting. Within these there exists a variety of purposes and styles: some are promotional; some present a picture-perfect family life; some present parenting as it ‘really’ is; and some are there to offer guidance on overcoming issues, with our children and with ourselves. That said, for perhaps both cultural and algorithmic reasons, they are not characterized by diversity.

This paper presents work in progress in which we set out to analyze the specific use of language in these accounts, as well as their form of presentation. Our starting point for this focus is the prevalence of the language (perhaps jargon) of psychology, neuropsychology, and management. This is not necessarily unusual within the broader parenting culture, the (neuro-)psychologisation of which is well documented (e.g. Ramaekers & Suissa, 2012; De Vos, 2015; MacVarish, 2016). Specific to social media (as opposed to analogue media) for parents, however, is the reference to community often made by these accounts.

Education as a decolonial experience? An exploratory literary investigation

Bianca Thoilliez Ruano, Autonomous University of Madrid

In this working paper, I aim to continue my ongoing dialogue with the Arendtian fifth principle of the Manifesto for a Post-Critical Pedagogy: “From education for citizenship to love for the world.” Here, the authors assert that it is imperative “to acknowledge and affirm that there is good in the world that is worth preserving” (Hodgson et al., 2017, p. 19), offering a hopeful recognition of the world. According to Arendt (1961), education entails the intergenerational transmission of what is worthy of preservation in our world. Thus, the essence of education primarily constitutes a conservative endeavour, yet one that must always remain receptive to the unforeseen autonomy of the new generation in determining its course. Each preceding generation hopes that what is valued within the transmitted knowledge will be esteemed and cherished by the succeeding one. However, there remains the perennial question of how the younger generation will respond, both at the collective or communal level and on an individual basis.