#48 Unlearning colonial somatics as women of colour with Kelsey Blackwell

The living organism and our wholeness does not just attend to the body; we’re also attending to our thinking body, our spiritual body, our emotional body, our creative body, our feeling body. All aspects of our humanity are what are being listened to and followed and integrated into somatic work. 

Kelsey Blackwell

Living within oppressive systems, built to benefit Western colonial social structures, land and society through the racial hierarchy established by white supremacy, is a traumatising experience for people of colour, particularly those aware of what is happening to their bodies. Coupled with systemic sexism perpetuated through the gender binary, women of colour, often from very young ages, face the traumas of racial and sexual violence which can leave us feeling detached from our entire being – far from human. Where do we begin to unpack these traumas to our bodies which have left us subject to objectification and exotification as a function by the white gaze? Can tending to the disconnects in our bodies be done on colonised land?

In this episode, we are joined by Kelsey Blackwell, who uses her wisdom within the field of somatics to support women of colour in their journeys to decolonise the entirety of their being through abolitionist practices such as Interplay and Pleasure Activism to focus on the sensations and language of the body. Kelsey believes that collective liberation must bring joy, and as important as it is to tend to traumas, often times passed on from generations, liberatory practices also must involve what the body finds pleasurable and comfortable.

Kelsey Blackwell is a somatic practitioner and writer dedicated to undermining the master’s tools with contemplative, embodied and creative practices. She supports womxn of color to trust and follow the guidance of their bodies so they may powerfully radiate their worth, dignity and wisdom in a world which sorely needs this brilliance. 

— Leo Wood