Rooting and Reaching
A Little Something About Me
I am an interdisciplinary dance-artist, activist and political scientist (M.Soc.Sc.) from the Finnish Lapland. Although my roots are deep in the forests and marshlands of the Arctic Circle, I have found my home in the ever-changing city of Berlin. In my work, I combine research with dance-arts, environmental activism and political education. Since April 2022 I am a PhD researcher at the Tampere University, and have the honor and joy to be part of the research team of the Assembling Postcapitalist International Political Economy (POSTCAPE) project.
At present, I am especially interested in questions around embodied social justice, resistance, conflict resolution and reparative practices. We are living in the midst of tremendous ecological and social crises reaching from climate change and biodiversity loss to the weathering of democracy and racial discrimination. At the same time, we are witnessing inspiring examples of people coming together to resist injustices and to work for the preservation of our valuable biosphere. I feel my responsibility and calling is to participate in this restorative and resisting work as a dance-artist, activist and researcher.
Collaboration with other artists, scientists, activists and people is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for me. To be honest, I feel my creativity unfolds at best when working together with other people. I am part of the collective Urgent bodies where we collaboratively explore the intersection of activism and dance. Furthermore, I am one of the founding members of the collective for climate justice education Kipppunkt Kollektiv that bridges empowering pedagogy, utopian practices and activism. Since 2016, I am a performer in the contemporary flamenco ensemble Compagnie el Contrabando of Anet Fröhlicher whose sharp political wit and insightfulness as a choreographer I respect. Opening new spaces for, and renewing flamenco as an art form has been important for me. In 2019, I curated the Helsinki Flamenco Festival together with Marja Rautakorpi and Tove Djupsjöbacka. Moreover, I have studied dance education and choreography at the Universität der Künste Berlin and have received Master's Degree on Political Science at the Tampere University, Finland. Currently, I am participating in an evoking further education on Embodied Social Justice organised by the EmbodyLab and Transformative Programs plattforms. This work is deeply influencing how I see and move through my work and life.
I believe in the transformative force of movement: Movement has the potential of changing us, the spaces and people around us. This is why dance is an important starting point for my work. Recognising what are the places of injustice and ecological destruction in our societies, and investigating how to best respond to them with human effort, requires the patience to look closely. This is why research is the second central element of my work. Sharing and learning together is building an important foundation to any artistic creation, community or political change. This is why is the third pillar in my work is collaborative activism. By combining these three elements, I wish to strengthen the diversity, resilience and ability to act – of both individuals and communities – by initiating and supporting networks of creativity, care and courageous action in order to face the eco-social questions we need to confront. © Martin Oskar Kramer