Somatic Generosity: Cultivating empathy in the classroom and beyond
Deirdre Morris , MFA
As an educator, I often observe students struggling with new concepts and issues of heritage
and identity. The process of understanding the somatic heritage we carry, socially and
culturally, through embodied practices, offers students alternative pathways to knowledge –
embodied knowledge, traditional knowledge, relational knowledge. In presenting an
experiential learning model, students can experience in a direct way their growing awareness
The intention of Somatic Generosity is to create an opening for explorations of vulnerability,
empathetic listening and subjective awareness. These are the skills needed to understand how
to be generous and how effective generosity as a place of operation can be in settings within
and outside of the academy.
Why generosity? What does generosity have to offer in a pedagogical setting? From my
experiences teaching over the past 20 years, I’ve discovered that students want to learn … Read More »
The Cracks Are How The Light Gets In, a solo performance by Deirdre Morris with Collaborator Iu-Hui Chua and Animation Design and Production by Brandon Gonzalez
The Cracks Are How The Light Gets In, is a project based in questions of normative success, empowerment and vulnerability. This solo exploration offers an experience of live performance, multimedia video work, dance, physical theater, connection and revelation. Together we are looking to uncover and reveal the vulnerable and tender spaces in our bodies conditioned by notions of normative success.
Mainstream media culture has a narrowing effect on our lives. When the images it offers us are internalized, it narrows our definitions of beauty, power, intelligence and well being. Our identities are often portrayed in the media in tropes and stereotypes that misrepresent our actual lived experiences. This perpetuates those systems of oppression that allow sexism … Read More »
These are the things I know: we made something outside and brought the outside/ness inside; we gathered the journey to a place inside ourselves and transported that sense, a sense of gathering and knotting together by sharing food and stories; a sense of play and history by mapping pathways with video, photos and gestures. We do not have the ability to rehearse what we are going to do so it is not until it is up and running that I see what it is doing. We make choices from past experiences as to what something can do; we make agreements about what we will do; we chose how we would place it in the space (I am not sure the placement will work for the audience) and we have a brief discussion on sequence. We use crafted choices and moments … Read More »
This practice involves looking at relationships to wilderness through movement and vocal practices on and within landscape. Living directly in a particular land and recording the practices in that place inside that season, a relationship is created to that location and will be recorded with camera, microphone, paper, water, earth and body.
I am interested in how the body loses or changes time while working in wild and urban spaces. How does a human in nature impose temporality on that place? This human temporality is another way of understanding a different colonialism; you impose your timeframe on a landscape and deprive it of its own. But is the ecology that results just for our ears/eyes/body?
Inside a body’s relationship to the environment is a different nonhuman relationship to wilderness. What parts or aspects or dimensions of the body are being engaged when in these … Read More »
The forgotten body remembers is a moevement based practice that explores embodied knowing: tacit and inate. This work draws from a particular set of research questions about our relationship with landscape, attempting to understand and interpret through a knowledge medium – the body – that creates a different set of insights on human-non/human interaction.
How does body memory work? How do we accumulate and access memory in our body? As a practice I create scores that allow for accumulated inate knowledge to be accessed and performed. We, as audience participants, witness the unfolding of heritage buried in the body.
What season effects the body in what ways? Winter produces a slower metabolic process in the body, an exploration of fallowness; the autumn is the time of great seeding and decay, and the body is preparing and dying simultaneously; in spring there … Read More »