Congratulations to Sara Christophersen for completing her MA thesis titled Embodied possibilities: A study of dance as an artistic, everyday practice in Palestine. The thesis has been part of INSPIRE and TRANSFORM research projects.
The thesis investigates if dance as an artistic, everyday practice can have the potential to generate change in the context of Palestine. If so, how, and what kind of change? Understanding dance as an artistic, everyday practice, the study focuses on a small, but vibrant community of hip-hop dancers that has unfolded in Palestine over the last 10 years, with the refugee camps on the outskirts of Nablus as the centre of action. Using a critical phenomenological perspective, the study investigates how agency is formed and made possible through the body and embodied practices in the context of Palestine. Critical phenomenology provides a framework to engage theoretically with the lived, subjective experiences of everyday life from a critical embodied stance that highlights issues of agency as they are experienced in particular, differentiated subjects, also being sensitive to their geographical and historical situatedness. The thesis investigates how agency is formed and made possible through the body by studying how restrictive conditions in Palestine are experienced in the body; how dance can offer an alternative space; and to what extent dance as artistic, everyday practice can contribute to transformation on the societal level.
Sara did her MA in Human Geography at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo and as part of the UiO-PRIO Student Programme 2020. Supervisors were Cindy Horst (PRIO) and Hege Merete Knutsen (UiO).