The Keeping and Caring of You
Do you have a story to share about care, listening, and the body?
How has listening provided you with agency to support your identity and sense of self?
How has providing care or receiving care affected the relationship you have with your body?
Beginning in November, 2019 various demographics of individuals were invited to submit anonymous audio files sharing stories of listening and care in relation to the body. These stories illustrate experiences that address both receiving and providing care, and how those experiences have affected the relationship participants have with their bodies.
Within our current care systems, many communities including transgender individuals, people of color, disabled individuals, fat individuals, incarcerated individuals, queer individuals, and other minority groups often are disregarded, invalidated, and ignored due to deeply rooted prejudice and inequities. These issues often cause those facing systemic injustice to confront additional processes of learning to adopt empowered agency and being within one’s physical body. This begs the question, what are the social influences and conditions that inform the way we learn, unlearn, and relearn how to inhabit our bodies? How does inequality within systems of care directly affect one’s agency, identity, and personhood? To what degree does listening within care providing and receiving allow individuals to maintain agency and autonomy over their bodies and identities? And lastly, what are the measures needed to ensure individuals and communities have opportunities for self advocacy, and how can the arts facilitate those opportunities?
In an attempt to address some of these questions, The Keeping and Caring of You encourages us to think about care in a broader sense through storytelling and listening exchanges.
You are welcomed to take a moment to experience these stories. I recommend sitting in a quiet, comfortable place, grab yourself a hot beverage if you’d like, and participate in “whole-bodied listening.” Often, resting both feet on the ground and closing your eyes is an effective way to listen. Allow yourself to receive each experience with an open mind, communicating to the storyteller that their voice is heard, respected, and valued. If you find yourself relating to one of these experiences, and would like to respond or submit a story of your own, please visit the “Submit or respond to a story” tab.