November’s Theme: The Body

Posted on: 14th November 2014

Thanks to our Volunteer Management intern Ed for this post.

What does every single person on the planet have? What are we are all experts in, but at the same time few of us really know much about? What do we all have that we can’t live without but more-often-than-not take for granted?  The answer, of course, is our very own, very special body.

The theme this month at Body & Soul has been ‘the body’. This has been explored by all age groups in a number of ways; from health-based workshops with the help of a visiting doctor, to discussing body image

Teen Spirit – martial arts to cookies

Over the course of the last two weeks Teen Spirit have been challenging their knowledge and presumptions of the workings of their own bodies. Finding out where different organs sit, with much apprehension over which way up the kidneys go, has challenged even the most anatomically knowledgeable Teen Spirit member and volunteer at times!  Why not test your knowledge with our amazing game Lovestruck?

Gingerbread men

Linking mind and body in a fitness-based special group time, Sanjuro trainer Glenn Delikan led a ferocious, high-energy master class with members systematically hurling themselves at punch bags in various ways.

Teen Spirit’s bake-off team has also produced a variety of body themed cookies, cupcakes and sponges creatively questioning healthy eating and good nutrition (whilst enjoying making a mess in the kitchen).

Young Adults- Visit from the Doctor 

Members of the Young Adults group raced against the clock to draw out every organ on an unsuspecting member placed in a white boiler bodysuit to act as our blank ‘body’ canvas, (bizarrely every group left out the reproductive system!). One thing that provoked debate with the doctor leading the session was how different clinical vocabulary is to our everyday terms for body parts – really shown by one group describing the spine – to which the doctor questioned ‘do you mean the spinal cord, or the vertebrae?’ 

MAC visit the Adults 

The women attending the adults group last week had a visit from volunteers from MAC Cosmetics, who ran a workshop on feeling good and what they love about being women. Including pampering makeovers, the group also listed what they liked about their bodies and started working on some artwork that we’ll be launching on World AIDS Day.

The underlying theme of all this activity has been the impact that HIV has on the body both directly and indirectly. Below, we’ve listed some great resources that have helped us delve provoke debate and discussion - if you have any to recommend, let us know in the comment box below.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby

My Left Foot (fan trailer)

Lucille Clifton reads her poem ‘Homage to my Hips’

Walt Whitman’s poem ‘I sing the body electric’

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