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performingbordersLIVE: Our Bodies in the Commons

01st March 2023

Venue: Battersea Arts Centre (address here)
Date: 29th April 2023
Time: 13:30 – 18:30
Free – booking is required:
book your ticket for each session here

After three years of digital-only transnational collaborations, performingborders is opening a space for movement, sharing, and conversation, to re-center our bodies in the explorations of borders, live art, community, and resistance. 

In this event, performingborders will create a gathering that considers what we can do when we harness our resources, time, bodies, and care, to collectivise them. Starting from a place of lived experience, ‘Our Bodies in the Commons’ moves away from disembodied and individualised discourse around solidarity and care, towards actions and gestures that are building and maintaining collective ways of working together.

Two sessions will run throughout the day to feed into these reflections. First, a Dance + Embodied Movement workshop with Camille Barton where we will process feelings gathered in our bodies throughout the pandemic and use them to build, futures together. The second session will be a Reading Karaoke led by Youngsook Choi where we will experiment with communal reading as a site of radical joy, collective un/learning, and solidarity building, lifting threads from our second e-journal Rallying the Commons. In the afternoon we will be joined by contributors to the e-journal – Ximena Alarcón-Díaz, Harun Morrison, and Helena Walsh – to open up the conversation through our voices and bodies, and close the evening with a screening with performingborders’ 2022 performance to camera commission by SERAFINE1369

All tickets are free. Please book each session separately. Access information can be found below.


Session I: Dance + Embodied Movement with Camille Barton (Tickets here)
13:30 – 15:00

Camille will open the day with their embodiment and dance practice, integrating and processing feelings gathered and deposited in our bodies throughout the pandemic, to build more beautiful futures together.

Food Sharing (all welcome)
15:00 – 16:00

Session II: Reading Karaoke: Rustling Words (Tickets here)
16:00 – 18:30 – in-person at BAC + live-streamed on HowlRound Theatre Commons (here)
In the afternoon session Youngsook Choi will guide us through performingborders’ latest e-journal Rallying the Commons. Our journey through the journal will include embodied interventions into its content, texts, and images to collectively explore other ways of working together. Through the format of a Reading Karaoke, we will experiment with communal reading as a site of radical joy, collective un/learning and solidarity building. This section will be joined by contributors to the e-journal – Ximena Alarcón-Díaz, Harun Morrison and Helena Walsh.

The day will end with a screening of It is impossible to say everything here so I leave you with this, a performance to camera by SERAFINE1369 which we commissioned last year. 

The afternoon session will be live-streamed by HowlRound Theatre Commons and you can access it here.

ACCESS information

This event takes place in Battersea Arts Centre’s Rec Room. It is on the second floor, and step-free access is provided by BAC’s own lift. Please talk to Box Office upon arrival and they will facilitate this.

Content: some loud noises and low lighting in the afternoon session

Childcare can be provided on site. Please indicate this requirement when booking your tickets as well as the age of your child/children.

Both sessions will be BSL interpreted. The live stream will include live captions in English.

The whole event is Relaxed, meaning you are welcome to move around and exit the space as you wish. There is a general quiet space in the building, which will be indicated at the Box Office, although please be aware this is a room shared by all events in the building during the day.

All access information will be sent to you ahead of the event, after you book a ticket.

Please get in touch should you require any additional support.


performingbordersLIVE: Our Bodies in the Commons is presented and curated by performingborders
Broadcasting partner: HowlRound Theatre Commons
Funded by Arts Council England and Necessity

Main picture credit: Emperor’s Jade Rabbit by Youngsook Choi (2021)


Ximena Alarcón-Díaz is a sound artist-researcher interested in listening and sounding our sonic migrations: the resonances of geographical migrations. She is a Deep Listening® certified tutor, with a PhD in Music Technology and Innovation. Throughout her career, she has created telematic sonic improvisations and interfaces for relational listening, to understand sensorially migratory experiences. Her major works are Sounding Underground (IOCT-DMU, Leverhulme Trust, 2007-2009), the telematic sound performances’ series Networked Migrations (CRiSAP-UAL, 2011-2017), and INTIMAL: Interfaces for Relational Listening (RITMO-UiO, Marie Skłodowska Curie IF, 2017-2019). In Bath, with The Studio Recovery Fund 2021, she created the INTIMAL App© for people to explore their “migratory journeys”. Emerging from her INTIMAL project, Ximena leads a collective of Latin American migrant women – Intimal – who come together to listen to their migrations and expand their notions of femininity, territory and care. She teaches Deep Listening® at the Center for Deep Listening, and independently, with an emphasis on Sonic Migrations.

Youngsook Choi is a London-based artist/researcher. Her interdisciplinary practice, mainly performances and installations, explores the concept of political spirituality by experimenting with intimate aesthetics of solidarity actions and collective healing. More recently, grief has been the focus of Youngsook’s practice, posing collective grief as the process of socio-political autopsy around certain types of death. ‘Not This Future’, commemorating the Essex 39 tragedy, and ‘In Every Bite of the Emperor’, the ongoing ecological grief project around traumatised lands, are in tandem with this inquiry.

Harun Morrison is an artist and writer based on the inland waterways. He is currently Designer and Researcher in Residence at V&A Dundee. His forthcoming novel, The Escape Artist will be published by Book Works in 2023/24. Since 2006, Harun has collaborated with Helen Walker as part of the collective practice They Are Here. Harun has recently had solo exhibitions at Nieuwe Vide project space in Haarlem, Netherlands (2022) and Eastside Projects, Birmingham, (2021). He is currently exhibiting Dolphin Head Mountain at the Horniman Museum. This spring Harun will develop new work for the group exhibition Chronic Hunger, Chronic Desire in Timișoara, Romania, as part of the European Capital of Culture 2023 programme. Harun continues to develop and repair a garden for Mind Sheffield, a mental health support service, as part of the Art Catalyst research programme Emergent Ecologies and is producing a card game, Environmental Justice Questions which will be circulated next year. Harun is an associate artist with Greenpeace Uk.

Camille Sapara Barton is a Social Imagineer who operates as a catalyst for social change, dedicated to creating networks of care and liveable futures. They work as an artist, facilitator, consultant and curator across the realms of embodied social justice, grief, pleasure and drug policy. Rooted in Black feminism, ecology and harm reduction, Camille uses creativity, alongside embodied practices, to create culture change in fields ranging from psychedelic assisted therapy to arts education. They are certified in the Resilience Toolkit – an embodiment framework to navigate stress, increase resilience and grow our collective capacity to change the conditions that create systemic harm. In 2022, Camille launched the GEN Grief Toolkit – a collection of embodied grief rituals to support personal and community grief work. They are currently based in Amsterdam, working as the Director of Ecologies of Transformation, a temporary masters programme at Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam), that researches how art making and embodiment can create social change.

SERAFINE1369 is an artist, dancer and body-focused researcher working with dancing as a philosophical undertaking, a political project with ethical psycho-spiritual ramifications for being-in-the-world; dancing as intimate technology. In tune with this, their methodology is intuitive and many-headed. Their work is choreographic and uses (de)composition as a state of cycling and crumbling towards the stark expressive utterances of the minutiae of sensing. SERAFINE1369 is busy with propositions and practices – of dancing, spatial arrangement, sonics and modes of receiving – that counter the tendency towards bodily compression, inflammation and alienation, invited by life in the hostile architectures of the metropolis. This approach acknowledges the cosmic oneness of all things as manifested through the ecologies of relation and the fact that everything is made of the same stuff, whilst being intensely curious about the magic and mysteries of life processes of distinction, variation, cycles, decomposition; movement as it transforms and sustains. The political implications of this work encourage an anti-colonial, anti-assimilationist practice concerned with the integrity and efficacy of structures (bodily and social), collaboration, hosting and an interest in somatics, semiotics and symbiotics from a body-led, experiential position.

Helena Walsh is an Irish live artist. She has been based in London since 2003. Her practice explores the relations between gender, national identity and cultural histories. Walsh has performed widely in galleries, museums, theatres and non-traditional art spaces, including public sites. She graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design with a BA in Fine Art in 2001 and completed her Masters in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2004. In 2013 she completed a practice-based PhD in the Department of Drama, Queen Mary University of London focused on Live Art and femininity in post-conflict Ireland. Walsh is a founder member of the pro-choice feminist performance group Speaking of IMELDA (Ireland Making England the Legal Destination for Abortion). Between 2013 and 2018 she played a key role in sustaining the collective collaborations of Speaking of IMELDA, contributing to the development of the group’s public performances, publications and media campaigns. Walsh regularly presents and writes on feminist performance practice. She has published in collections focused on live art and the performing arts in an Irish context. She is a lecturer at the University of the Arts, London.