6 April 2024

Communal Embodied Practices for Liberation and Justice

PUBLIC WORKSHOP | 6 April 2024 | 13.00-16.30 | Studio, Wereldmuseum Amsterdam

This event features four artists who foreground communal somatic practices in their praxis. Maria F. Scaroni, Caitlin Fisher and Auro Orso are members of the Berlin-based collective, Social Pleasure Center, whose members offer each other various somatic resources in many healing and playful modalities. Raoni Muzho Saleh is an artist based in Amsterdam who has developed another kind of communal somatic practice drawing on their own heritage; that of moaning together. In this event we will discuss why communal somatic practices are an essential part of liberatory movements for justice and decolonization. We will also talk about the role both artists and cultural institutions play in creating space for this type of embodied being, healing and learning together. How can artists resist the individualization and commodification of ancestral practices that are inherently communal and non-commercial? Can a museum support artists and other practitioners to do this kind of collective work? This event is also an interactive workshop and participants will have the opportunity to experience some of the communal somatic practices we will discuss.

Please rsvp by email to Hodan Warsame: hodan.warsame@wereldmuseum.nl 


About Social Pleasure Center

Social Pleasure Center (SPC) is a hub for hosting access to somatic healing and communal activities for connection and resilience. For ‘soma’ we embrace the understanding of the body as physical, psychological and spiritual/creative. SPC is conceived as a choreography of the social body, hosting ‘technologies for mutual empowerment’ and coordinating the emergence of community’s proposals as a commitment to radical hospitality and redistribution of resources. 

SPC gathers primarily but not exclusively the LGBTQI+ community with a strong liaison to the Berlin dance and art scene. SPC intersects migrant cognitive labour, solidarity initiatives linked to social justice and is centered on pleasure as an organizing principle, in the line of a joyful yet militant feminist praxis. SPC is especially concerned with generating a culture paradigm that off-sets the imperative of a private and self-reliant self, promoting instead an intermediary zone of healing and belonging, beyond the nuclear family, the workplace and the entertainment/cultural industry. 

About the speakers

Raoni Muzho Saleh

A multidisciplinary artist born (1991) in Kabul, Afghanistan, raised in Peshawar, Pakistan and based in Amsterdam.

From 2011-2015 I went against the grains and defied my immigrant parents’ wishes for me to become a doctor, by studying Cultural Analysis (UvA). I became more radicalised in my ideas of body-politics, freedom and the vital role of art in personal and communal transformations by studying Choreography (SNDO). My work is influenced by fugitivity, a revolutionary movement that shapes my artistic vision. Using the transformational potential of dance and moaning I f*ck with identity, by searching how to continuously be in a state of incompleteness. This aesthetic and artistic desire informs the politics of my artistic practice. I am obsessed with materiality of artistic practice that allow for the ongoing negotiation of body-spirit-geopolitics-love. Through the use of materials such as fabrics, textile, dough, voice and text, I pull a serious kind of play into the space where both spectators and performers can become immersed in otherworldly thinking-feeling-relating.


Maria F. Scaroni

Maria F. Scaroni is a dance artist, living in Berlin since 2004. She creates and interprets choreographic works rooted in improvisational practices and altered states of consciousness. Maria hosts workshops re-purposing post-modern dance legacies towards technologies for mutual empowerment, crossbreeding somatic practices and anti-oppression frameworks, storytelling and theory, to bring somatic literacy in support of a culture of connection. Maria performs in Meg Stuart’s works, with whom she collaborates since 2009. Since 2016 she is a member of queer collective lecken berlin, a femme forward rave. Since pandemic she is hosting Social Pleasure Center, a community space for somatic post-activism, queer feminist joyful militancy, radical redistribution of resources and temporary social choreography.


Caitlin Fisher

Caitlin fisher is a queer community organizer, social artist and trainer. They were a professional athlete before turning to embodied movements from the pitch as tools for somatic activism. Their work involves developing team orientations of movement and exploring processes of deceleration in relation to the felt sense with technologies of mutual care. They are involved with peer-led approaches to community mental health and are working amidst intersectional practices for connection recovery.


Auro Orso

Auro Orso is a Berlin based dancer, choreographer, performer and activist who identifies as Trans and Two-Spirit. He has presented his work in many different venues in Berlin including Dock11, HAU, Sophiensäle, Ballhaus Naunynstraße and performed in several other countries around the globe. His artistic research explores decolonizing practices in all aspects of life as well as questioning the Western/colonial illusion of universality, binaries and „the appropriate“. His work includes a spectrum of topics along Indigenous futurism and imaginative gender-riots. Reclaiming/remembering/redoing/relearning as well as gentleness, humor and centering care, intimacy and pleasure as a radical political posture are omnipresent in his performances.
He gives workshops and develops projects to empower Queer and BIPoC communities, to enhance sensibilities and to heal.