To Retire Old Ideas: Relevance of Embodied Public Spaces

In a recent post on Washington Post’s Know More blog, they sited a video that made asking prominent scientists “What scientific ideas should be abandoned?” While the video introduced some intriguing subjects on big data, microbes & the Big Bang, I found it’s underlying point most impactful: abandoning long held beliefs is an important part of progress—it’s just as important in fact as the embrace of the cutting edge. It’s from this place that I write today about public body knowledge, or what we term ‘BODY LITERACY.’

Developing a more body-literate society is a multi-tiered challenge. Even while trends in neuroscience, yoga and other embodiment practices are showing us that we can change parts of ourselves previously not accepted as changeable, when it comes to our bodies, the overarching belief remains that “we are who we are.”  Beyond gaining or losing weight, becoming stronger, weaker, more flexible, getting an ‘exercise high’ or ‘aging’, there is a shared belief that our bodies are beyond our own direct knowing. Out-dated ideas about the body are rarely recognized as such. These ideas remain so fixed in our education and culture that they are seamlessly ‘in-corp-orated’ into many facets of our society. When we ‘update’ ideas about the body, we update our connection with everything around us. As such, increasing body-literacy is a social issue, and yet many people still don’t know about body-literacy.

That’s one reason we’re creating embodied public spaces. There’s a vast amount of current knowledge and experiences to be had about embodiment, body-learning and its applications to our society. We Are Movement gathers this seemingly disparate information to provide direct experiences of embodiment and amplify existing examples of body-literacy in our culture. By showcasing body-literacy through varied creative means and locations, the public is made aware that it’s out there to know about, and has a resource for their own discoveries.