Photo by Nathalie Fari

In September 2016, following the invitation from the recently founded Teufelsberg Association in Berlin, which is dedicated to the preservation of this historical site and the development of an arts and culture program, Nathalie Fari carried out the 1st edition of the Body Mapping Lab in collaboration with the author and media theorist Rafael Dernbach. The focus of this Lab was not only the experimentation with the different ways of how to engage the body in performance, but also how to approach a mythical squatting place, such as Teufelsberg. Therefore, the curated format was a performative expedition during which the hidden spots, angles and histories of Teufelsberg were explored. How bodies and spaces can inscribe themselves into each other, how a space can become a medium or an agent for stories and histories, and what positions an embodied story or history take towards written history were some of our the main questions of the first Lab.

To examine these question the program was divided into four areas:

  • Walking Sessions / exploration of the walks from S-Bahn Grunewald to Teufelsberg
  • Writing exercises / documentation of the process and analysis of the place
  • Body Work / practice of different body techniques and group improvisations
  • Community Work / engagement with the local community and with joint experiences such as a guided tour, a 5Rhythms class or a cooking event.

All the outcomes and results of these areas were assembled into a SCRIPT, which was presented by the group on the last day of the Lab. This happened in the context of the Tag des Offenen Denkmahls (Day of the Open Memorial) and in cooperation with the platform Theaterscoutings Berlin.

To get more Information on the past edition of the Lab, please read here: – Nathalie’s conference paper about the first edition of the Body Mapping Lab will be peer-reviewed and published within the Urban Appropriation Strategies project in Summer 2017.