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Title: Bodies of crisis : remembering the German Wende
Author: Hetzer, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 3336
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This project consists of a series of performance events presented under the title 'Bodies of Crisis' between 2011 and 2013 in the UK and Germany, an exhibition of objects, and textual commentary. The commentary reflects on the theoretical and practical underpinning of a performance model for the transcultural translation of memories of everyday life around 1989/90 (the Wende). In twentyseven interviews, East German women recollected their everyday during the transition from a socialist to a capitalist state. The material was developed in nonverbal performance to open up access points for a transcultural translation of experience involving creative practitioners. Tracing the intermedial translation process, the performance model, studio work, and exhibition are analysed. The suitability of the performance model for the transcultural mediation of social conflicts is scrutinised. With its emphasis on everyday, somatic practices, the project argues for reconsidering approaches to the historical experience of 1989. Including women with little liberating experience, it explores ways in which memories of 1989 impact upon 'the body'. The ‘industry of forgetting’ related to both the somatic and the everyday of 1989/90 is analysed, as is the cultural stereotyping at the heart of many German memory discourses. The study argues for the suitability of the embodied quotidian as a research perspective for evaluating how a political crisis (and concomitant discourses) is mapped onto the individual body and reflected upon. Centring on topics such as changes in sensory experience, body awareness and the pathological body of 1989, ambivalences of – and resistance to – change are considered as well as strategies for self-reinvention. The practice-as-research project created a performance frame that shows translation as event: a time-based, somatic and provisional agreement of all participants, supporting development of what Judith Butler has termed 'bodies of alliance' to engage with past experience and its impact on present concerns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN Literature (General)