Taking Up Space
We will be asking people to take part in a short practical experiment to feel for themselves how posture directly affects confidence.
When the body is kept for more than 2 minutes in closed postures, it reduces testosterone levels and increases cortisol levels, which reduces confidence and increases anxiety. Conversely, 2 minutes spent in open postures will increase confidence. These open and closed postures are frequently described or experienced as gendered – sitting like a lady versus ‘man-spreading’.
We will use the act of speaking to an audience through a microphone as a testing ground for confidence levels, and ask participants to contrast their physical and emotional states post-closed posture and post-open posture. Raksha will then lead a discussion on the implications of this.
The activity will take 20-30 minutes.
Kirsten Luckins is the North regional producer for Apples and Snakes, England’s leading organisation for performance poetry. She works with spoken word artists at all stages of their career, and is an experienced performer and theatre-maker in her own right.
Raksha is a feminist geographer. She researchers gender relations, masculinity and the relationship practices of people from the Indian sub-continent. She lectures on development, globalisation and feminist theory at Newcastle University’s School of geography, politics and sociology. More information about her research and teaching can be found here.