Always already entangled: Creative health, sustainability and theatres of medicine
Dr Annja Neumann and Katharina ChildZoom
As we live through the Covid-19 pandemic, our sense of space is changing. ‘Lock-down’ and ‘self-isolation’ have become commonplace phrases, living spaces have become workspace. The Pandemic has revealed the role of space in transforming our mental and physical health, whether through the detrimental effects of self-isolation, the experience of outdoor spaces, or the closure of public and social facilities. Our daily reliance on virtual environments has also destabilised bodily boundaries: disrupting ways of being in the world, and radically changing the ‘contact zone’ we share with others. This lack of social interaction raises questions about how to relate to future uncertainty, and how to meet our need for social space. Sustainability professional Katharina Child and Annja Neumann, in her role as an academic and dramaturg, will introduce a new local ‘Creative Health Centre’ in Gloucestershire that seeks to address health inequalities by re-shaping space.
Our presentation is structured by three core practices of this new initiative: (1) empowering change through theatre, performance and making, (2) re-connecting through touch and tell, and (3) raising awareness through entanglement. In so doing, it addresses recommendation 7 in the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing’s Inquiry Report ‘Creative Health’ (2017, 255). The overall aim is to co-create a critical space that is attentive to political and ideological implications of creative health practices.