Movement Forum is a mobile laboratory that is addressing urgent questions in the design of urban (im)mobilities.
Movement Forum is a mobile laboratory that is addressing urgent questions in the design of urban (im)mobilities. FA fellows will be invited to participate in three labs, in three European cities, where the Movement Forum will bring together spatial and choreographic practitioners to explore how new, shared methodologies spanning these fields could be developed in response to injustice and unsustainability in urban movement. How can new forms of interdisciplinarity between city-making and dance-making help engender care for bodies, both human and non-human, in urban landscapes?
Through summer 2021, the three labs constituting the Movement Forum will take place in Paris and London, the two cities across which Theatrum Mundi is based, as well as in Lisbon in partnership with the Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa. Each will consist of three parts: sharing existing positions and practices, mapping mobility injustices, and proposing responses to these issues. Accompanying the labs will be a programme of publishing taking place through Theatrum Mundi Editions. The first two Editions, to be published in the first half of 2021, lay out a theoretical and practical framework based on Theatrum Mundi’s three years of investigation in the theme Choreographing the City, together with the engineer and dancer Ellie Cosgrave and dance scholar Adesola Akinleye. The third, in autumn 2021, will document the discussions, cartographies and propositions from the Movement Forum. Together, the outcomes of the project will be presented in 2022 at a major public event in partnership with the Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa.
The activity responds to the increasing need for more socially and environmentally sustainable ways to think about city-making based on care in interactions of materials and flows, human and non-human bodies. Particularly, it owes an intellectual debt to the concept of mobility justice developed by Mimi Sheller, which links scales to ask not just who has the right to movement, but who has the right to be still, and the negative impact of global hypermobility on everyday urban dwelling. Contemporary cities face challenges as a result of material and financial flows and consumption globally. Geopolitical boundaries protect economic interests rather than social ones while recent pandemics spread, and rearrange new territories and ecologies following migration logics that are inextricably connected to financial flows. Liquid boundaries, drawn by citizen action, fulfill the spaces that the free market hasn’t commodified yet, and that state of exception policies are unable to control. The flows of people generate new modes of neighbourhood and political commitments that demand care, empathy, and awareness of the other. Experiments mobilising choreographic thinking within spatial design are offering new ways to understand these inequalities, and our aim is to showcase and refine these as a new field of practice able to respond to the challenges.
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