Qualitative Health research Conference, Halifax. By Shawn Harmon

At the 19th annual Qualitative Health Research conference, NS, Canada there was presented a fascinating talk by Professor Christine Caldwell, who founded the Somatic Psychology Department ar Naropa University and
The Moving Cycle Institute, both in the USA.

In a talk entitled, 'Turning Data Into Dance: Performing the Somatic Effects of Oppression', and focusing on the negative health effects stemming from social responses to transgenderism and the process of transformation from one sex to another, Caldwell discussed how dance be used to explore physiological responses to oppression with a view to reducing their long term health impacts. Using responses from qualitative interviews with the participant, she collaborated in the choreography of a dance performed by the transgendered person and a professional dancer, and which involved recorded interview transcript, and the use of art.

Caldwell's work seems to represent one of the positive ways we can develop and deploy the arts, and specifically dance and illustration, to explore health and ill-health. It also excites the imagination as to what might be possible with respect to using these media to arrive at better understandings of the meaning and significance of disability and of the ethics of the body (or bioethics) in relation to health and wellbeing.

comments powered by Disqus