Creative Phase Activities
Techniques & Tutorials

 BODY MAPPING

Objectives
 

1. Discovering and depicting cultural identity

2. Learning to express feeling visually

3. Rethinking relationship between body, emotions and souvenirs

4. Learning new visual forms of expression

5. Working in group

6. Improving  soft skills in visual storytelling

Material needed

Large brown wrapping paper
Gray and colorful pencils or markers
Erasers
A wide space where half of participants can lay down on the ground at the same time.

Time frame

From 60 to 120 minutes

Tips

This activity requires to be able to move freely in space, lay down on the floor, etc.  For people with physical difficulties, we recommand a simplified version of the exercise.
Body mapping is particularly apt to express feelings and  thoughts about multiple cultural identities  and can be interesting to use it within a mixed group of people with different cultural or ethnic origins.

Imagining your body as a map of thoughts, feelings and memories can be a playful but also a very serious exercise at the same time. It might  lead you to a better understanding of your body if you take your time to analyse your own visual language. Will you draw into your body’s contours concrete or abstract things? Will you depict it as a whole or rather like a puzzle? In which body parts do you think you keep your memories? Which colours will you associate to specific feelings? Will you be brave enough to depict your pains and worries too and show them to the others?

Body mapping is a participatory art tool that enables the participants to find visual topics involving their bodies. 

The outcome will consist of the contour of each of your bodies that will be filled up with drawings, colors, patterns or even words and sentences which, when analysing them together at the end of the exercise tell more about you than simple  speech..

1.Choose a topic that your body map will "talk" about and share it with the participants. In the training, we concentrated on our social and cultural identities.

BODIIIIII_edited.jpg

2. Explain the participants how the exercise works: they shall depict feelings, experiences which are important for them and they should also connect  them to  a specific body part.   

The exercise can be particularity interesting to depict multiple cultural identities. You can map how different identities leave traces in your body. Tell them that in the drawing, they should also think of their organs: their brain, their heart, their stomach to link feeling with them too.  

2. Form pairs. Spread out your large wrapping  papers on the floor. 

3. Now one should lay down on it, in the position he or she wants to while the other will draw the contours of his or her body on the paper. Use markers, it is easier to manipulate.

body mapping.jpg

4. Change roles within the pairs to create the other's body outline too.

5. The next phase is an independent task. Each of you will work on his or her own body map. As mentioned, some of you may use symbols...

While other may use patterns...

... or even words and written messages.

bodi map_edited.jpg
boodi.jpeg

Do not hesitate to use colors.

6. When you're done, spread the body maps all over the place, on the ground or on the walls as in an exhibition room and initiate a conversation session about them.

Ask the participants to describe and to explain their body maps. Ask them also about their difficulties and how they felt during thee exercise.

If, for any reason (because of age, illness or cultural obstacles), your participants cannot move freely enough to make the body maps of human size, you can also ask them to draw the outline of a human body and fill it out in the same way with words, patterns or images