(Un)Privileged Cartographies: Body/Place

Co-conveners: siri gurudev (University of Texas at Austin), Van Jesus (Polytechnic University of Valencia / Federal University of Bahia), and Enzo Vasquez Toral (Northwestern University)

Abstract: To make cartographies is an exercise that is historically linked to dynamics of the colonization and “discovery” of spaces, and as population control mechanisms. Conversely, this working group seeks to investigate embodied experience as situated knowledge in the context of the pandemic city.

We examine the urban borders that define coercive rhythms (linked to race, migration, class, etc) and the borders that are produced by – and (re)produce – privilege. How can an embodied cartographical process shed light on the ample spectrum of urban rhythms and temporalities? How are the body and its reading determined by these urban borders? How has the global pandemic shuffled, transformed, or reinforced a kinetic dimension based on inequality as seen in the ways in which we move within the city?

Using site-specific embodied research practices on a transcontinental scale, this working group proposes the elaboration of a collective map that talks about the contradictory configurations of privilege within cities. We want to mobilize a fragmented and relational cartography out of registers and collective interpretations of space in the present. This cartography will consider embodiment from heterogenous and intersectional perspectives.

Participants interested in this working group are encouraged to approach the body from a practice-as-research approach. Our working group will include exercises and discussions, we will explore the contrasts, borders, and limits of the (un)privileged local cartographies that our group seeks to investigate through/with the body more broadly. The co-conveners are artists and scholars from diverse disciplines and art practices such as embodied memory, performance art, and folklore and ritual studies. Therefore, we welcome a wide range of interdisciplinary and anti-disciplinary methodological approaches. Each participant is invited to create their own cartographies and raise questions about space, movement, and privilege according to their own contexts and the places they inhabit. 

Dates: Online meetings/workshops will take place once a month in preparation for the conference (specific dates to be decided based on participants’ availability).

Application process: To apply to this working group, please complete the general application here and also send: 1) a short text or video introducing yourself; 2) a short text telling us how you understand urban cartographies in relation to privilege, and whatever else you feel relevant for this working group about yourself as an artist and/or scholar. Materials can be sent in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.