Section IX: Reimagining and Reinventing Bodily-Spiritual Health

Track 1: Bodies Count: Embodiment and the Effects of Bodily Activity
(Beth Johnson)


Everything is connected. Everything is at stake. Everything must change. Radical transformation requires that we come from love, not fear. In this time of great peril, there is great need to reimagine our relationship to bodies – earth body, human bodies, animal bodies. We must move from the dualistic mind/body, human/nature, human/animal splits. In order to heal these splits we confront the obstacles to realization of embodiment and joy, which occur in our racialized, speciesed, gendered, abled, and sexually-oriented bodies with historical, ethical, spiritual, and practical implications for whose bodies are valued.

Story and spoken word, drumming and body-centered practices, and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques for social justice will collectivize our individual emotions, ideas, and experiences to discover inner resources, practical actions, and strategies for authentic transformation of individual consciousness, communal behaviors, and dominant social structures.

We will inhabit our bodies. Move our bodies. Utilize our bodies. Celebrate our bodies.



Friday June 5

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Session 1 Elizabeth Rhea and Catherine Rowlee

Being Bodies

We will arrive in our bodies through drumming, spoken word, and embodied practices.


4:00 -5:30 pm Session 2 Lisa da Silva, Kwazi Nkrumah, Gianluigi Gugliermetto

Bodies Count – Whose bodies count? Whose bodies don’t? Where are the bodies?

Through presentations and panel discussions we will consider how humans have become disconnected from the rest of nature the consequences for whose bodies count. We will be joined by members of the Sexuality track.


Saturday June 6

11 – 12:30 pm Session 3 Michael Mufson, Ingrid Trovão, Kwazi Nkrumah

Bodies as a Tool of Resistance and Location of Resilience

We will introduce the strategies of embodied resistance to all thwarts life, resilience in the face of threats, and the transforming power of love. This includes the work of Augusto Boal, Brazilian writer, director, and found of Theater of the Oppressed a method that uses theater to expose oppressive conditions and to embody

This session will include the technique of “demechanizing” – an embodied practice to heal the Mind/Body Split


2:00 – 4:00 pm Session 4 Michael Mufson and Ingrid Trovão

Theater of the Oppressed


4:00-6:00 pm Session 5 Michael Mufson and Ingrid Trovão

Theater of the Oppressed


Sunday June 7

11:00 am -12:30pm Session 6 Michael Mufson and Ingrid Trovão

Theater of the Oppressed


2:00 – 4:00 pm Session 7 Michael Mufson and Ingrid Trovão

Theater of the Oppressed


4:00-6:00 pm Session 8 All of Us

Bodies in Play – Taking them to the Streets

We will debrief from our experience and consider how we will bring these experiences into the living of our part in creating an ecological civilization.



Michael A. Mufson is a professional theatre-maker, street theatre performer, art-agitator and professor of Theatre Arts at Palomar College in San Diego County.  Michael has trained with some of the most influential acting teachers and directors of the contemporary theatre including Jerzy Grotowski, Anne Bogart, Tadashi Suzuki and Augusto Boal. Michael is most proud of his on-going affair with original, collaborative performance works that incorporate theatre, music, movement, sculpture, technology and insanity. Michael has conceived, directed and performed over twenty original performance works that have been presented across the country from the Center for Contemporary Arts in Cleveland to the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles. He is a co-founder of the experimental art/performance groups 2AM Productions, Public Moves Ensemble Theatre and The GM Continuum .

Kwazi Nkrumah is a labor and community activist with a broad range of experience working with people around issues of diversity, civil rights, and popular education. Beginning at a very early age, Kwazi was personally active in the civil rights movement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. He studied political science at Howard University and has been involved in numerous community advocates groups.Kwazi is currently co-coordinator of the Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater Los Angeles, and was one of the most respected activists within Occupy L.A., a sister movement working in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Kwazi has been part of the citywide Neighborhood Budget Advocates. He also a member of the So Cal. Climate Action Coalition: Kwazi was been part of the citywide Neighborhood Budget Advocates, and is worked with various community groups fighting the imposition of a gang injunction in Echo Park. He also a member of the So Cal. Climate Action Coalition:

Elizabeth Addison Rhea is a little much. As a Spoken Word poet and visual artist, the beautiful brokenness of humanity both inspires her art and drives her dreams. She loves mostly everything, but she’s particularly excited about the sky, other humans, and the possibility of changing the world. After hopping around Southern California and the globe, she now lives in communion with her Creator and her fellow world changers at Claremont School of Theology in Southern California, where she is pursuing an MA in Narrative and Social Change.

Ingrid Trovão, Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Ingrid is a Theatre-maker, choreographer, world traveler and interpreter in three languages. She is a former São Paulo Municipal Theatre Ballet Company dancer.  Her most recent project, The Water Speaks: A Mixed Media Theatre Installation, co-created with Michael Mufson, premiered in San Diego this May. Ingrid had the good fortune to receive her primary school education in the early implementation of Paulo Freire’s experiential learning methodologies in the Brazilian public schools. Thus, she embodies in her work and her life, an integration of creativity and critical consciousness.  She is a co-founder of the experimental art/performance group The GM Continuum.

The Theatre of the Oppressed is an internationally employed physical theatre practice that adapts the processes of theatre-making to create living reflections of local and global oppressions in order to interrogate the problems and discover solutions.  According to Boal’s statement of principles, “The basic aim of the Theatre of the Oppressed is to humanize Humanity . . . [It] offers everyone the aesthetic means to analyze their past, in the context of their present, and subsequently to invent their future, without waiting for it. The Theatre of the Oppressed helps human beings to recover a language they already possess — we learn how to live in society by playing theatre. We learn how to feel by feeling; how to think by thinking; how to act by acting. Theatre of the Oppressed is rehearsal for reality.”

We will be employing Theatre of the Oppressed practices that will lead us to and guide us in an ecological civilization. Participants will come away from this track equipped to embody practices that value all bodies and imagine new possibilities for an ecological civilization comprised of ecological selves.