What is Kinship Workshop?
Kinship Workshops focus on the resourcing of, and investment in our relationship to other forms of life including landscape, plants and animals. This can inspire active responses to concerns around environment, wildlife decline, consumption and climate change. This is done through body and movement practices that take place both indoors and outdoors.
Most workshops are residential – taking place in rural or wild landscapes. Each day starts with a physical warm-up, a movement session and exercises to tune the senses before heading out into landscapes that have less human intervention and structure to share space with wild and/or free-roaming animals, and plant-life.
Cooking and domestic tasks are shared communally. Evening activities may include discussion and sharings.
Who is Kinship for?
Kinship is for people who:
- want to consider their relationship to nature, landscape and other animals experientially.
- are curious about body in landscape, movement, non human-centric environments and shared/ community experiences.
People often ask if the workshop is for dancers – because I have a background in contemporary dance practice. There are some activities that we do which come from movement and somatic roots but it’s not at all exclusive, and absolutely no dance experience is needed to join a workshop… just an openness to explore and discover.
Fitness and body condition
A certain level of physical fitness for studio work and outside activities such as hiking and working on uneven ground is helpful. However, no formal training is required to participate – only an interest in the subject and a willingness to participate. Participants are encouraged to take care of their own needs and remain in dialogue about any difficulties that may arise. If you have any queries about physical condition or limitations, please get in touch.
What does ‘kinship’ mean?
The first thing a Dutch friend asked me about the workshop was “what does ‘kinship’ mean?” I took it for granted that we all know (and that everyone’s first language is English!), so I will try to define it…
From the dictionary definition:
kin·ship n. Relationship by nature, character, affinity or common origin.
When I think about the word ‘kin’, there is a feeling of connection to family and also to something ancestral that spans time, but with a common root. In time spent with animals and in nature, the feeling of kinship is there. And I like the word kinship because it doesn’t pin a particular meaning down. It suggests something you can feel but can’t necessarily define.
Kinship and Intersectionality
The undefinable and indescribable feels important in these times, to know that we can’t know everything. It doesn’t all fit into boxes. There is a habitual groove of having to define things. For me, that habit gives a sense of security or stability, but other animals and landscapes don’t do that, at least not in the same way. I think it’s important that our symbols and definitions don’t become dominant discourses that take greater president or importance over those that don’t categorise.
Kinship Workshop is, in a very ordinary way, about communing or ‘being with’. Spending time in landscapes and with other animals, I feel like it’s possible to commune with unknowable things. And that, for me, is really exciting.
Will we be dancing with animals?
Definitely not… Maybe it’s an understandable question as my background includes dance practice, but I tend to think that dance as a performance art belongs in human culture.
In the workshop, we do share space with other animals – and perhaps that is a subtle dance of sorts. But I’m very careful about using that word in this context. Kinship treads a fine line to discover, from felt experience, what self-determination and agency is in order to find the right proximity and way of being that all parties feel at ease in. At the same time, great care is taken in the continued questioning of ethics in the work, which feels vital to me.
Any questions unanswered…?
Get in touch here.