nGbK Outreach scholarship 2021, Melanie Erzuah
»Kerne der Kraft« [Kernels of Energy]
Those who are discriminated against are constantly confronted with projections onto their bodies by the dominant society. Developing agency and positive self-rapport is especially hard in a society based on discrimination. Emancipatory decolonial practices and movements aim to (re)connect mind and body. Music can be a means of gaining new energy. It has always been part of political movements and resistance, for example at demonstrations in the form of chanted slogans, live concerts, or musical accompaniment. This helps to embody political objectives and content, creating a sense of connection.
Melanie Erzuah uses choral singing as a way of rendering freedom and connectedness physically tangible. This is based on exercises that offer support, allowing people to gain confidence in their own bodies and perceptions, and to raise their voice. Melanie Erzuah’s work within this outreach scholarship will focus on experiences of opening and emancipation, allowing participants to develop a positive rapport with their own bodies and to connect with their own voice and its embodiment:
1) individuality and collectivity in political resistance
2) opening for individual and collective creative and transformative processes
Contemporary art is often criticised for being inaccessible. The context is frequently felt to be overly academic, and access to/understanding of contemporary art is often not described as an obstacle. To what extent can group voice and singing exercises be a physical preparation for the experience of art, a way of developing a position of one’s own in relation to works of art? How can they help to resolve resignation to not understanding and the accompanying inner blockages? In a series of workshops, Melanie Erzuah will train participants to perceive their physical responses and to establish a positive self-rapport in order to open themselves up to individual and collective creative and transformative processes.
Melanie Erzuah has experience in musical education and educational training, working from a Black queer perspective on emancipatory body practices, on questions of identity politics, and on how bodies are influenced by multiple discrimination. With enthusiasm for choral singing, Melanie Erzuah uses music to strengthen links to other people and to one’s own body as a path to healing. This year’s nGbK outreach scholarship will test concepts that aim to strengthen people’s access to their own creative energy and apply this energy to artistic, political and transformative processes, in turn allowing participants to strengthen each other as individuals and as a collective.