New Theme // Jun/Jul/Aug // Corporeality

the word ‘body,’ its danger, how easily it gives one the illusory impression of being outside of meaning already, free from the contamination of consciousness-unconsciousness // insidious return of the natural, of nature // the body does not belong: it is mortal-immortal; it is unreal, imaginary, fragmentary // patient // in its patientness the body is thought already – still just thought.

maurice blanchot

After having spent early spring focusing on the idiosyncratic experience, a theme that pushed inwards as we excavated the singular experience of the self, it is now time to move outwards. This summer, Paratext’s pages will be flushed with reflections on the body, as we encourage all (aspiring) creators to consider the theme of “Corporeality.”

Pacing circles, once again, in the sun-filled corner of my apartment, I self-isolate as I ward my body from the anxious streets. I am, we are, confronted with the corporeal implications of ourselves and of our being-together.

Since March, I regard my body in a wholly different way than I have before. Wary as I am of it falling at risk, I am more suspicious of it transferring aggressors onto others. How does my body relate to the other bodies it comes across? Outside, I alter my movement, contain normal forms of corporeal expression as I mask my exhales and refrain from breathing in the contagious angst that hovers in between the distanced bodies that pass me by. My body has become a site of suspicion, and the distrust is changing the relationship to myself.   

Still, I know this is transient. Our suspected bodies have carried more than a virus, they have carried ourselves. The body is a site of wonder, art’s favored object and a never drying spring of sensual pleasure. With the upcoming leniencies, the (re-)conjoining of our bodies we have all been craving will hopefully inspire a surge of happiness. With care, we can engage again in social approaching, in being-together, and what it means to move synchronously, separately.

Beyond a site of contagion, we can regard the body again from wholly different perspectives. Suggestions include, but are never limited by, a painting on corporeal vulnerability, a sculpture of the cyborg you want to be, a poem on carnal aesthetics, the corporeal interpretation of a poem, a short story on the (dis)abled body, the (un)successful repetition of gender, a somatically imagined digestive system, embodiment or the reincarnated body, a research paper on the sweet summer winds touching your legs, a choreography of the ‘new normal’ stroll on a shared sidewalk or a hymn on body positivity.

Be inspired by the corporeal self, and create!

We are available for further inquiries at and look forward to your contributions for our summer theme of “Corporeality.”


Saskia Soelaksana

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