• Movement without borders

The Soma practice is an athletic practice rooted in the observation, understanding and development of human structure and form, in relation to itself, others and space. If this is the case with a movement practice and the human body, can one develop an intimate relation with land through the body also? Many movement forms are compartmentalised and defined through rigid identities and borders. The Soma practice aims to explore the forms before the forms, creating an approach to movement that has no borders, no strict identity or definition.

Visualizing Palestine has invited the Dubai-based Soma duo, Kris and Pavlina Rai, to guide participants interested in exploring both, their bodies and the topographies of Palestinian cities. This is one of the early experiments by Visualizing Palestine addressing the challenge and ambition of: can the data be engaged with in experiential methods additional to the visual?

Through that, VP’s first artwork, A National Monument—a collaboration with artist Marwan Rechamoui—comes to life through that body space artwork dialogue.

This workshop is now fully booked. To get on the waitlist please email rsvp@artjameel.org. 

This workshop is part of an exhibition and series of events, a collaboration between Jameel Arts Centre and Visualizing Palestine.



Kris is an Osteopath working here in Dubai, Pavlina is a dancer and movement coach. With over 30 years experience between them and an extensive background in their respective fields, they have shaped an approach to health and movement that covers injury rehabilitation all the way to sports performance.

Kris & Pav come from two different yet complementary backgrounds– one being more academic, the other more creative, one being more scientific, the other more artistic. However, they both realised that when it came to seeking truth about the human condition, these two perspectives were intrinsically bound. As they combined their thoughts and ideas together, Soma was born.

The Artwork: A National Monument

Inspired by a series of highly detailed maps of Palestine from the British Mandate period, A National Monument recreates a three-dimensional snapshot of the major Palestinian cities and towns circa 1947, based on the final British surveys before the Nakba, combined with topographic data from NASA.

This work is a collaboration with artist Marwan Rechamoui, building on an ongoing vision to build partnerships with practitioners across art, design and cultural disciplines. The title “A National Monument” is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the words of J. F. Salmon, director of the Palestine Survey (1933-38), who once wrote, “A good topographical survey should be looked upon as a national monument of the first importance.”  Words that take on unintended new meanings in light of the dramatic transformation of the territory over the past seven decades.

To view the full gallery of the 21 cities, please visit marsoum.co.



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