Art in a World of Change: A Vision for Global Aesthetics
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This article focuses on art, the aesthetic, and the body as a medium for self and social change in developing some thoughts on this issue of globalization and dance. The article explores how art, and specifically dance, can be a vehicle for aesthetic activism that emphasizes the importance of social justice and compassionate community. Drawing on critical and feminist pedagogies the author links pedagogy and aesthetic activism to social integration and cohesion, a sense of belonging and interdependence, and a sense of shared consciousness. The choreographic process described centers on the body as a site for self and social awareness and a critical understanding of the context of women’s lives. The aesthetic here is understood as that domain in which dominant meanings are disclosed and possibilities for social change can be imagined and realized. The author describes a community dance process in Cape Town South Africa in which notions of embodied knowledge and critical understanding come together to create a dance performance. This pedagogy suggests ways in which meaning and purpose within a changing global context can be grounded in an ethics of social justice, human rights and inclusive community.
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