Artful Bodymind
: enlivening transformative research methodologies

  • Miche Fabre Lewin

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    I am. Who am I? Where am I? How do I know who I am? How do I know where I am? How do I know what to be, what to do, how to act? How do I know my ‘I’?

    The body and its lived experience have been actively subjugated as a knowing subject within Western research cultures. The epistemicide of the body’s multiple intelligences is in tandem with our severance from an extensive relationship with food as well as highlighting the disconnection from the art of ritual as part of life’s dynamic forms and processes.

    My thesis is a response to calls for artful, holistic and embodied research that encompasses personal and collective liberation for social and ecological justice. I situate my research within performative and transformative research methodologies which, in their embrace of a relational approach to knowing, respect the serendipitous, the intuitive, the unknown and the emergent. I innovate the concept of the artful bodymind as a remembering of the senses and multiple intelligences of the interconnected body and mind. My artful bodymind evolves with and through my biography and life encounters, my ritual arts practice and my research inquiries, all within a continuous exchange with people, matter and habitats of place.

    The field of my Performative Action Research took place within an Artist Research Residency in South Africa entitled Living Cultures: kitchen culture meets agriculture. Based on my proposal, the research design was co-evolved with the Sustainability Institute, Lynedoch and the University of Stellenbosch. Within this Residency I devised Ritual Workshops that make visible the living food cycle within conditions which foster a sympoietic sensibility and offer the experience of participatory consciousness through skills-sharing with artisan, culinary and regenerative food-growing practices.

    As an exploration of the artful bodymind within a contemporary ritual form, my Practice-as-Research reconnects and reintegrates art and ritual for naturalcultural living. My contribution to knowledge is a Sympoietic Ritual Methodology that creates the conditions for the artful bodymind to experience participatory consciousness. These convivial encounters with food cultures through the artful bodymind are the ground for cultivating an ethics of care in the everyday.
    Date of AwardNov 2019
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorMichel Pimbert (Supervisor), Patricia Gaya (Supervisor) & Rika Preiser (Supervisor)

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