New Scenery @ Somerset House Studios

  • Helena Whittingham

The Body Series is a new programme of four events focused on the exploration of feminism, sexuality and expression through text, movement and sound. Taking the body as a physical or metaphorical concept, The Body Series will explore the social and political concerns with the power structures in which bodies are created, exist within and how they can disrupt those structures through personal or collective strategies. The first event in the series will be in collaboration with New Suns, a feminist curatorial and storytelling project founded by Sarah Shin. “The Gethenians do not see one another as men or women. This is almost impossible for our imaginations to accept. After all, what is the first question we ask about a newborn baby? … There is no division of humanity into strong and weak halves, protected/ protective. One is respected and judged only as a human being.” Ursula K. Le Guin Inspired by Gethen, an ungendered world also known as Winter in visionary author Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel The Left Hand of Darkness, New Suns and Somerset House Studios presents a celebration of all gender identities and expressions, with a performative reading from The Left Hand of Darkness, music, astrology readings, poetry and protection spells and rituals from Roz Kaveney, Francesca Lisette, So Mayer, Lola Olufemi, Nisha Ramayya, Linda Stupart, Ayesha Tan-Jones, plus more. YaYa Bones aka Ayesha Tan-Jones, Aaks Bharania and Chantel Foo offer a protection ritual through sound, dance and breathwork. Calling upon the queer ancestors, the people who walked before us, you are invited to offer your body in momentary ritual movement to collectively create an energy vortex shield, manifesting protection and strength for our queer and trans siblings. Linda Stupart performs ... always winter some strange reason . . . long hours of darkness . . . now this . . . this . . . quicker and quicker . . . the words... Climate change is melting permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years, and as the soils melt they are releasing ancient viruses and bacteria that, having lain dormant, are springing back to life. After the Ice, the Deluge is a long term project, figuring relationships between the melting polar ice caps and other traumatised, abject, alien, and outsider bodies - queering the question of survival towards less boundaried ways of being in crisis. FULL PROGRAMME Host: Lola Olufemi Poetry: Caspar Heinemann, Himali Singh Soin Performative reading from The Left Hand of Darkness: So Mayer, Nisha Ramayya, Roz Kaveney and Kim Pearce (Director) and Joe Benjamin (Sound Design) Astrology and Tarot: Francesca Lisette Reading: Linda Stupart Ritual: Ayesha Tan-Jones Music: New Scenery Collective


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