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Free the Body Programming - looking back, looking forward

The decision to undertake the Free the Body project was fueled by a profound desire to explore and unravel the multifaceted concept of bodily liberation within the contexts of personal, cultural, social, and political settings. The project asks: How to free the body? Where does one find freedom in the body? What are the sensations and relations to free the body? Our primary goal is to facilitate an immersive and thought-provoking experience that raises critical questions about the meaning and attainment of bodily freedom.

By hosting workshops and public programs in collaboration with community partners, we can cultivate lasting connections and provide vital resources for those seeking to advocate for abolition, bodily autonomy, healthcare access, and human rights. In offering opportunities for dialogue, education, and activism, we seek to empower individuals with the knowledge and tools to effect positive change both within themselves and within their broader communities.

The team developed programming, storytelling and global exchanges--connecting with local and international communities to share their truth and creative practices for bodily liberation. Workshops and events in 2022:

A Million Rainbow Suns: A Kid's Peace Workshop, presented by Free the Body sound designer and Human Rights educator Pete DiGenarro. Celebrating the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the event featured approachable, fun Human Rights and Peace Education activities, with kits from S.C.R.A.P. gallery, a local environmental arts youth non-profit.

Storytelling with Movement, presented in collaboration with Free the Body artists, Wyld Womxn and Danza Azteca Citlaltonac. Sharing practices of contemporary experimental performance with indigenous practice of a Mizquiztli dance and Mexica/Aztec drumming, diverse participants explored themes of liberation, sensations, life and death.

The collaborations continue:

  • Lauren Bright offered an Embodied Freedom workshop on September 23, 2023 as part of the Wyld Womxn exhibition Resurgence at the Desert Art Woman Gallery in Cathedral City, California.

  • Danza Azteca co-directors Gabby and Claudia join as creative collaborators, participating in the Free the Body live performances. Gabby will perform her Mexica/Aztec drumming and Claudia will perform along with the cast of dancers.

  • As part of Wyld Womxn programming for the Queer Salon at the Joshua Tree Music Festival, Lauren Bright offered a 'Radical Love & Embodied Freedom Movement Workshop' and a 'Radical Love Wand Making Workshop' October 6-8, 2023. Using found and recycled materials, the donated wands will be integrated into the community art installation of the Free the Body exhibition. Lauren offered an Embodied Freedom Movement Workshop at the May 2023 festival, and we're excited to continue this dialogue and creative exchange across the desert.

International Day of Peace on Sep. 21, S.C.R.A.P. Gallery and the Cathedral City Senior Center presented ‘Pieces for Peace’, featuring work from local youth and from England, Ukraine, with origami cranes from the International Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, Japan. Co-organized by World Beyond War, the event hosted city officials and the Director of the UN Association’s regional charter.

The event was hosted again on September 21, 2023.

‘Build Peace 2023: Exploring the Unseen’ conference in Nov. 2022, Germany. Pete presented a Free the Body video installation, featuring a movement activity by Brittany. Build Peace is a global conference and community of practice that explores emergent challenges to peace in a digital age, and peacebuilding innovations to address these challenges.

Participants come from more than 60 different countries, working in national and international NGOs, the UN, academia, civil society organizations, grassroots organizing and the private sector. They discussed unseen or previously silenced perspectives, stories, people and places that need attention, and environments impacting their histories of (in)visibility. Free the Body uplifts arts and culture in this critical dialogue.

At the end of each program, volunteers recorded their story about what it means to free the body. These testimonies will be integrated into the Free the Body exhibition, influencing the power and breadth of representation.

We are excited to continue to deepen and expand our engagement with Wyld Womxn, Danza Azteca Citlaltonac and S.C.R.A.P. Gallery. New programming in 2023-2024 includes collaborations with local and national organizations supporting arts, access to healthcare, community development and city planning, LGBTQIA+ communities and youth. This community-driven approach ensures the project has a lasting impact, empowering individuals with knowledge, agency, and a sense of collective responsibility to advocate for change and social progress. Contact us to get involved:


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