art | body

The Body: Fields of Corporeality

The course explores the transformations of attitudes toward the human body in the culture and traces historical origins of its current perception. Bodies — living, diverse, performing — are influenced by numerous external forces, but despite this, one can try to preserve the body’s independence.

At the center of the course is an idea of liberation, broadly understood as the removal of constraining, tight, disturbing, pinching, and discriminatory settings, both on the level of consciousness and daily practice.

© Inge Poelman


5 videocasts

Each lecture is supported by a presentation and lasts about 20 minutes. Afterwards, we offer practical assignments focused on self-reflection and better understanding of corporeality and its different aspects. We also recommend additional study materials.

The process

Through the lectures you will be able to answer what shapes the way we relate to bodies, why we should use our bodies in certain ways, and whether there are alternatives to these imperatives. You will learn basic philosophical theories centred on the body, take a closer look at sexuality and colonialism, corporeality of workers and women. The practical assignments following the lectures will help you to deepen your relationship with your own body.

For whom

The course is for anyone who wants to encounter their own body and the bodies of others, to explore their view of corporeality and understand how it was formed.

What you need:

A mobile phone or a laptop with headphones to watch and listen to videocasts. A notebook with a pen or mobile phone to take notes.

20 min/video
Nino Khundadze, photo
90 USD
5 videocasts
Nino Khundadze, photo

Videocast topics

Lecture 1. Introduction to Corporeality  

by Lena Pogorelova and Hanna Sosnovik

The introductory lecture establishes the theoretical and chronological framework for talking about the body and corporeality necessary to get through the course. It makes a distinction between the notions of "body" and "corporeality", outlines the emergence of interest in the body in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and explains the main theories conceptualising corporeality.

Lecture 2. The Labouring Body

by Hanna Sosnovik

In this lecture we will see why the human body needs to labour and how this process is regulated. Different forms of work literally transform bodies and change the way we look at them. But can the body rebel? In order to do that we will try to find the possibility of freedom in existing forms of employment and economic organisation, and analyse alternative ways of pastime.

Lecture 3. Food, Body and Colonialism

by Olga Trufanova

Colonialism is intimately connected to the perception and construction of bodily differences: the establishment of European ideals of beauty and health, the emergence of the concept of race, and the solidification of gender norms. This lecture critically explores how colonialism shaped and affected the ways people understood, and still understand, the connection between food, body, human character, and civilization.

Lecture 4. Female Subjectivety and Its Representations

by Elina Usovskaya

The lecture is devoted to the problem of female subjectivity as an equivalent of individuality and self-sufficiency, a chosen identity. In this case, female subjectivity can be aimed both at preserving the "exclusivity" of the female world and at refusing to follow "gender". In any case, it is not aimed at binding to social and sex roles. The diversity of manifestations of subjectivity covers different areas of culture. They are most clearly represented in women's corporeality, art and everyday life.

Lecture 5. Sexual Emancipation

by Lena Pogorelova

In brief theses, we will outline the main historical milestones of humanity's relationship to sexuality. Chronologically, we will first look at the process of dependency and frame setting, then we will see how different social structures and mechanisms of power have pretended to liberate the topic of sex from categorical tabooing, and finally we will come to a disappointing conclusion - no matter how hard we try, the current economic and social structure simply will not allow a complete liberation of the body in any sphere - and especially not in the sexual sphere, which is so closely linked to reproduction.

About authors

The course "The Body: Fields of Corporeality" is based on a non-profit initiative
and platform dedicated to studies of corporeality. The project aims to bring together researchers, artists and activists, who somehow deal with the problems of corporeality and the body in their work. Jointly we try to develop approaches that transform existing realities and practices.

Hanna Sosnovik. 'Currently I am pursuing an MA degree in Cultural Studies at Belarusian State University. I research how a person in interaction with the external world and its communities shapes their 'self' and endeavours to maintain autonomy. Among my main interests there are traditional and contemporary Belarusian culture, critical theory.'

Olga Trufanova. 'I am a research assistant at the Leibniz-Institute for the History and Culture of Central and Eastern Europe (GWZO) in Leipzig and an affiliated PhD-student at the School of East and Southeast European Studies at the University of Regensburg in Germany. I have a BA degree in Art History from Smolny College (St. Petersburg State University) and an MA degree in Applied and Interdisciplinary History from the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg. In my current dissertation project "Absorbing the Asian Frontier: Food and Food-Related Knowledge in 17th and 18th Century Siberia" I investigate the role of theories and practices of food and civilization in the process of colonization and exploration of Siberia. My research interests encompass but are not limited to Russian and Siberian history, colonial history, gender studies, and post- and decolonial theories and studies.'

Elina Usovskaya. 'I am a candidate of cultural studies, associate professor, author of more than a hundred publications - articles, textbooks and monographs. I work at the Belarusian State University, where I teach my own courses on cross-cultural and cultural studies. I am passionate about postmodernism and postmodern culture, urban studies, Belarusian culture, and women's art.'

Lena Pogorelova (she/her). 'I am a dance researcher. Work both as practitioner and theorist: dance myself, teach, stage performances, give lectures, and write articles. Live in Frankfurt, Germany. Graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy as a choreographer and from The Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (formerly Smolny College) at St. Petersburg State University as a music critic. Area of research interests includes pop culture, opera staged by choreographers, gender studies and the playful method of teaching contemporary dance.'


The playlist of adequacy was created to help a person be less critical of themselves, get out of the captivity of confusing and condemning thoughts and choose to accept their personal mental processes. You do not need to do anything about who you are; it is important to just stop interfering with yourself.


As you listen to the playlist, spontaneous discoveries occur — that’s what makes it so useful. You can pause the track and just think about what has resonated with you.



The information that the tracks are filled with shows non-trivial ways to look at yourself and the world around you; it expands vision and feeling, and is tuned in to greater self-trust. This is not a dry psychological enlightenment, but an essence of various views and trends, which I managed to combine and present through a personal prism. The listening itself is a bit like meditation. Also, the tracks have a transformational effect similar to planting seeds. As soon as the soil is ready, they will definitely sprout. At a minimum, much of what you will hear about in the playlist will be quite refreshing for you!


You will learn to:

- listen to yourself and follow your values, 
- treat yourself with more care and kindness, 
- cope with difficult thoughts, 
- distinguish reality from thoughts, 
- understand your desires, 
- bring clarity about your boundaries.


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The course was created within the media-educational project "Support in Arts" which is a series of interviews, publications, essays, educational courses and events from representatives of the Belarusian art community and art educators who work in various fields of art (illustration, design, modern dance, visual art, fashion, modern poetry and prose, photography, music, cinema) and interpret the modern context in their practices.

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