Blog: What can a body do? by Amalia Herrera

1 May 2020

Photo by Michel Saive
Photo by Michel Saive

By Amalia Herrera, Migration Lab participant

I am an artist in the field of performing arts, dance and theater especially.

My concerns have been body research, discovering and creating ways of moving and expressing ourselves in movement, from movement, with movement towards movement on the stage, in life, in the affective relationships we share as human beings, social artists.

I seek to communicate, find these forms of scenic construction in the spaces that I walk, inhabit, I believe, and give visibility to the imaginary that I have as a woman, artist, citizen and person in my personal, social, cultural and artistic history.

My experience has been divided into the different countries where I had the gratifying opportunity to live, study, learn, receive, give, create.

I had the pleasure of having participated in a European creative laboratory on the subject of migration in art, being able to visit and participate in youth dance festivals in Dublin (Ireland), Hasselt (Belgium), Edinburgh (Scotland), Roskilde (Denmark) and Oslo (Norway).

Project that is still vibrating in a Work in progress resulting from the residency in collaboration with Het Lab at the Krokus Festival in Hasselt, Belgium.

Thinking about what we are experiencing today as a world, united by a common concern, by thinking about "human life".

Fighting to be alive is what unites us all, without borders, races, or classes and we can start from there, since living is what we want to do the most.

I remember the strength of Spinoza's question: what can a body do? What affection is it able to do?

Affections are accumulations: sometimes they weaken us, to the extent that our power to work decreases and breaks down our relationships (sadness), and others make us stronger, as our power increases and makes us enter into an individual wider or higher (joy).

In his dialogues, Gilles Deleuze refers to Spinoza as someone who is still amazed by the body. He is not amazed at having a body, but at what the body can, at the affects of which they are capable, both in passion and in action.

So the question is: what can a body do? What affects is it capable of?

It is not easy to be a free human being, increase our capacity to act, be guided by our consciousness in collective freedom, multiply affects that empower us, develop in a maximum of empathic expression.

Inhabit the breath, disorientation, uncertainty, silence, the beat of the hug.

Listen to the slow thought, the sound of the other body that we do not see, let us learn from vulnerability.

Create us, help us, doubt ourselves, undress from so much cleaning of hands, miseries, fears, pettiness ...

Dialogue with the skin two meters away, letting another smile touch us like a sound that dances us.

Resist control that does not free us or change us.

What would science be like from the perspective of art?

What would art be like from the perspective of life?

Amalia Herrera took part in the Migration Lab, Ireland in February 2018You can read about her here.