Embodied Agency

Creating Room for Maneuver through Dance in Palestine

in Conflict and Society
Sara ChristophersenResearch Assistant, PRIO Centre on Culture and Violent Conflict, Norway

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In this article I explore the experiences of three dance artists living and working in Palestine through the concept of “embodied agency.” Based on fieldwork in Palestine and a decade of professional engagement as a dancer and choreographer with the Palestinian dancing community, I examine how the body—through the practice of dance—creates movement in the artists’ lives. Th e article highlights how embodied and expressive spaces of dance expand the artists’ possibilities and room for maneuver. I argue that in the context of protracted occupation, like Palestine, where individuals have little possibility to impact their situation, zooming into the body can be a powerful way to identify spaces where it is possible to have influence on oneself and others.

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