Mariam Mekiwi

Online seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Wednesdays, 10-14 h, 7 video sessions: 21.4., 5.5., 19.5., 2.6., 16.6., 30.6., 14.7.2021

Can you imagine a world where reproduction is not only tied to female bodies? A world where possible biotechnological formations can be considered as emancipatory approaches to the pressing needs and demands of the body? Can you imagine a body that is not leaky and messy ?

Bodybuilding is an experimental course on fiction worlding where students are invited to read, discuss and produce speculative fictions around the body. Taking the body as our site of design and building material in the practice of worlding, we will toy with the possibilities of transcending the strains of biology, disrupting its limitations and redesigning its constraints through fiction scenarios.

We will read excerpts of different texts and watch videos about mental health, biotechnology and fiction and we will learn a few tools of fiction worldbuilding. We will also build bodies. During the course of the seminar we will explore four main threads, namely: Wombs, Feelings, Life Hacks, Deaths .Two sessions will be dedicated to each headline.

For inspiration we will read excerpts from:
Bonnet, François J.: Bonnet After Death
Haraway, Donna: A Cyborg manifesto
Hester, Helen: Xenofeminism
Lazard, Carolyn: How to be a person in the Age of Autoimmunity
Lykke, Mette Bryld Nina: Cosmodolphins: Feminist Cultural Studies of Technology, Animals and the Sacred
Mersal, Iman: How to mend : on motherhood and its ghosts
Russ, Joanna: To write like a woman: Essays in feminism and science fiction
Wark, Mackenzie: Reverse Cowgirl

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credits: to learn techniques of fictional worldbuilding through taking the body as the site of design. Students are expected to read and engage in discussions and in-class writing exercises and practical exercises that may include somatic practices. 

Mariam Mekiwi is a film editor and filmmaker from Alexandria and currently based in Berlin, where she is an associate fellow of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of the Arts in Berlin UdK with her feature film project "EL Markebba EL OMM - mothership". She completed her MFA at the University of the Arts in Hamburg HfBk in 2017. Her fiction film "Abl ma ansa - Before I forget" premiered at the Berlinale in 2018 and was nominated to the FIRST STEPS AWARDS in the same year. Her work circulated in various film festivals and art venues like the Sharjah film platform, Oberhausen film festival, Contemporary Image Collective Cairo CIC, Haifa Independent film festival, Hamburger Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe among others.