“Movement Unercommons: Movement Analysis as Meaning Making in a Time of Global Migrations” presented by Coleman and McCaffrey


Session Title:

  • Spirit and Flesh (Short Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • Movement Unercommons: Movement Analysis as Meaning Making in a Time of Global Migrations




  • While migration studies are generally approached in geographical/statistical/geo-political terms (time, histories, routes), this project considers migratory movement at the scale of individual human movement. movement as a marker of identity expressed through qualities of posture, rhythm, gesture, tempo, orientation. Each person’s movement is unique, an individual’s movement ‘fingerprint’, and this project seeks to reveal and honor the specific, fluid, complex qualities of a people in motion of body and location, while adding to a critical discourse surrounding issues of contemporary migration. This is a position paper describing the research framework behind a new project which proposes an exploration of movement and mobility amongst internal migratory populations within two pilot areas; South Africa and Greece.

    This  work develops our previous work [1] [Iyengar, V., Coleman, G. et. al. 2016], creating a repository for a growing collection of high resolution motion-capture ‘portraits’. This repository will not  only hold the source documentation of movement sequences, but also serve as an open platform for those recorded. It will become a space for discussion, creative interpretation, translation, annotation, and analysis. The repository opens a public space for artists, researchers, dancers, ethnographers, humanists, and somatic movement educators to respond and add diverse layers of meaning; creative interpretation, social and historical context, and technological and somatic analysis. Thus, we build an expandable platform for exploring the linguistics of movement through a range of responses.

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