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James Thompson

caring for and observing the care for Antoine. It is an enquiry into the possible shape of an aesthetics of care , drawn from the collision of professional practice, personal politics and domestic circumstances that inevitably occurred when a Congolese drama worker, with whom I had conducted theatre workshops in the DRC, ended up sharing my house. The political, ethical and ultimately intimate challenge this made forced me to rethink the boundaries of my practice. There is no claim in this writing that the experience was in any way easy, heroic or exemplary. It was in

in Performing care
James Thompson

practices of caregivers in health and other related settings, this will not be the focus here. In my 2015 article, I outlined a broad case for an aesthetics of care , whereas here, I will describe a number of micro-examples to illustrate what this focus reveals about certain arts practices. In the second half of the chapter, I examine three examples of theatre practice that, I suggest, demonstrate intricate ways that performance can be said to generate care for one another. Two of these examples draw on projects by the London Bubble Theatre – one linked to the devising

in Performing care
Open Access (free)
New perspectives on socially engaged performance

The book advances our understanding of performance as a mode of caring and explores the relationship between socially engaged performance and care. It creates a dialogue between theatre and performance, care ethics and other disciplinary areas such as youth and disability studies, nursing, criminal justice and social care. Challenging existing debates in this area by rethinking the caring encounter as a performed, embodied experience and interrogating the boundaries between care practice and performance, the book engages with a wide range of different care performances drawn from interdisciplinary and international settings. Drawing on interdisciplinary debates, the edited collection examines how the field of performance and the aesthetic and ethico-political structures that determine its relationship with the social might be challenged by an examination of inter-human care. It interrogates how performance might be understood as caring or uncaring, careless or careful, and correlatively how care can be conceptualised as artful, aesthetic, authentic or even ‘fake’ and ‘staged’. Through a focus on care and performance, the contributors in the book consider how performance operates as a mode of caring for others and how dialogical debates between the theory and practice of care and performance making might foster a greater understanding of how the caring encounter is embodied and experienced.

Open Access (free)
Jen Archer-Martin and Julieanna Preston

-centred (social) to material-driven (ecological) caring labour. At the heart of this is an attempt to reveal the affective and gestural qualities of material caring labour in order to offer an expanded notion of the aesthetics of care proposed by James Thompson, which ‘seeks to focus upon how the sensory and affective are realised in human relations fostered in art projects’ ( 2015 : 436). We suggest instead an aesthetics of care that critically departs from anthropocentric understandings to respond to affective material labours. Along the way, we wonder: What is it to care for

in Performing care
Open Access (free)
An examination of Godder’s socially engaged art and participatory dance for Parkinson’s work
Sara Houston

this chapter, which was largely written before Simple Action , I explore the new approach adopted by Godder in 2016 when developing Stabat Mater . Through my reading of this piece, I argue that Godder positions the caring encounters at the heart of the creative process, drawing on the practice of care to redefine dance performance, generating a choreographic practice that is determined by an aesthetics of care. The chapter discusses this idea by exploring a specific symbiotic relationship between a community dance programme – Godder’s dance for Parkinson

in Performing care
Open Access (free)
Syrian displacement and care in contemporary Beirut
Ella Parry- Davies

infrastructures of care that seek to work against this precarity. I use the term ‘infrastructure’ after AbdouMaliq Simone, whose attention to ‘people as infrastructure’ denotes intersubjective and complex ‘combinations of objects, spaces, persons, and practices, […] providing for and reproducing life in the city’ ( 2004 : 408). I trace a disciplinary history in which migration has been celebrated as a metaphor for transgression and examine the ways in which apprehending the images instead through an ‘aesthetics of care’ (Thompson, 2015 ) might defamiliarise these tropes. A

in Performing care
Open Access (free)
Caring performance, performing care
Amanda Stuart Fisher

as the ‘aesthetics of care’ that becomes visible and present within certain performance practices and in some medical or social contexts ( 2015 ; Chapter 13 this volume). Central to any understanding of an ‘aesthetics of care’ within performance is the question of spectatorship and the possibility of communicable caring experience. This is debated throughout the edited collection, and contributors consider whether performance can make caring processes more visible, how this might reveal new ways of thinking and doing care and, critically, whether an engagement

in Performing care
Can performance care?
Maurice Hamington

individuals; yet acknowledges our interconnectedness and interdependence ’ (Hamington, 2004 : 3, original emphasis) . What is not addressed in this definition is temporality and the improvisational character of caring performances, which is the subject of the rest of this chapter. Embodied care resonates with James Thompson’s contention that there is an aesthetics of care – a ‘sensory ethical practice’ ( 2015 : 437). At the most experiential level, all care is received and delivered through the body. Our bodies are the epistemological and imaginative basis for care. We

in Performing care