The body as teacher 

Chapter 1: Learning with sounds, silence and the intuitive body (sept. 2022)

The body as teacher is a series of art- and education programmes that focusses on the body and what we can learn, about ourselves and the surroundings, by listening, feeling and moving. In this first chapter of The body as teacher the focus will be on the intuitive body, on sounds and silence. This chapter is developed together with Kentalis Signis, a school for students with a communicative multiple disability, Kleintje Kunst and the artists Cathalijne Smulders, Alexandra Loembé, Raoni Saleh and Teresa Costa.

The students from Kentalis Signis have several remarkable abilities. Some students are deaf or hard of hearning, others are less able to process tactile incentives or have a different way of expressing themselves physically or verbally. Besides that, the students have a different relationship to silence: because it is always silent, stillness to them has a different meaning than to others. With this programme we explore different forms of communicating, via artistic processes in which we use all of our senses, and trust the intuitive body. What can we learn from each other?

During the sessions in the school we will materialise silence, and make it visible, tangible and palpable. We'll make space for the playful exploration of stillness in the interactions between the students, by inviting them to make contact with their emotions, intentions and boundaries. When exploring how silence can be experienced other than acoustic – namely, tactile and physical – the students are able to create deeper learning experiences for themselves.

Together with the teachers we will search for new frameworks in which to experiment with silence, sounds and sensory interactions at school and during other processes of learning. By triggering sensory experiences with materials, we're discovering what the motivation and learning abilities of the student is, who they are and how they express themselves – to enable them to create meaningfull experiences. To understand what is not unambigious, you need time; time to try, to apporoach, to feel.