Image: Edward Burtynsky

If crisis has become a general mode of governing, then there is a choreography of crisis to be discerned. As Ric Allsop and André Lepecki writes: 

“... geo-political and bio-political questions become essentially choreographic ones: to decide who is able or allowed to move – and under what circumstances, and on what grounds; to decidewhere one is allowed to move to; to define who are the bodies that can choose full mobility and who are the bodies forced into displacement. The end result of this politics of mobility is that of transforming the right for free and ample circulation into a privilege, and then turn that privilege into a prized subjectivity.” Allsop, R. & Lepecki, A. 2008. “ On Choreography”
Performance Research. 13(1), pp.1-4. Taylor & Francis.
Emphasis added.


Relations between the individual and contemporary urban territories are growing increasingly complicated. People leave the countryside and arrive to urban centres. Others find themselves shuffeled around as seasonal workers in the trails of financial capital, or driven away from their homes. Uprooted from the countryside, humiliated in the cities, as Umberto Eco has put it. New scenarios are opened up for millions of bodies crammed together in capitals of finance and their shadow twins located at extraction and manufacturing sites. 

We are also seeing more efficient, more integrated mechanisms of control and regulation in urban space. Playgrounds for “technological innovation” thas makes possible comprehensive monitoring and surveillance, both at physical and cognitive levels. Think of social networks, databrokers, the militarization of borders, bonds of economic indebtedness and a growing industry feeding off global conflict and epidemics. 

Precarious labour, precarious housing, precarious human relations. Precarious life, orchestrated by neocolonial, neoliberal processes of all-encompassing finacialization and extraction of life. Not only are we consciously destroying our own life-environments, but that of nearly all other species as well. 


In the last decade however, significant expressions of resistance have emerged  all around the globe. Uprisings, revolts, multitudes boiling. The first wave in the beginning of 2010 with people mobilizing in Spain, Turkey, Egypt as Occupy initiatives spread across national borders… connecting with the second wave at the end of the decade with people coming together in Hong-Kong, Ecuador, Chile, Haiti and Iran.

Movements, countercurrents and ruptures that allow us to see contemporary forms of resistance, of bodies organizing against violent economic measures and governmental interventions.

Reminders that there are counter-choreographies to be discerned, too. 


In light of what is going on, we invite you to join us in the creation of a Social Choreography Lab in Helsinki. Similar groups are already operating in Frankfurt, Germany and Duke University, USA.

Social Choreography investigates the intersections between embodiment, choreography and political life. It explores how we can learn and unlearn pre-choreographed aspects of our personal, social, cultural and political lives. As a cultural practice, it can create new spaces, preparing the imagination for envisioning new social relations and ecological thinking.