Black Girl Ecologies: Manifesting Fabulations and Embodying Otherwise Possibilities of Southern Black Femme

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2021

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This thesis research presents a choreographic enquiry into ways Black Americans, specifically Black femme inhabit their bodies and their entanglements to the surrounding environment. It asks the question of how Black girls in the south navigate their social circumstances, and what inheritances—metaphysical, emotional, cultural—affect their encounters with themselves and each other. To do this the author contemplates concepts of the “undistinguished mass,” Black flesh, and inheritances as offered by Hortense Spillers. The author introduces her embodied practice of Groove as a bourgeoning theoretical framework for exploring self in the context of its larger positioning within society and the land. Groove is propositioned as a way of expanding awareness of self through movement, by paying attention to the sensatory information observed and communicated within our bodies. For this purpose a working group of Black femme was formed to trace their own geographies, histories, and sense of care, through conversations and physical movement strategies, to explore aspects that mold their own Grooves. This research project presents an urgent attempt to reimagine creative and embodied strategies for Black femme as a practice of freedom, tenderness, and connection. Through multimedia experimentations with the practice of Groove, it is proposed, that Black femme move to initiate a collective imagining, and access otherwise ways of being.

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IRVING, JULIET (2021). Black Girl Ecologies: Manifesting Fabulations and Embodying Otherwise Possibilities of Southern Black Femme. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23207.

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