The Army of Love
Army of Love, 2016 (film, 40:06 min.)
Is there such a thing as ‘free love’? Romantic love and sexuality have become commodified market products, with statistical preferences driving supply and demand. Within these dynamics, what we find ‘attractive’ is increasingly regulated and standardized. The Army of Love is a decentralized army of solidarity striving for a more equal distribution of care, touch, and sensual love. In this film, we see that relationships with the elderly, people with disabilities, or those otherwise outside the predominant culture are more based on reciprocity than is often thought. Eroticism is a life force that is available to everyone and can be shared with anything and anyone.
The Army of Love under artistic guidance of Mirjana Smolic will give weekly workshops in the COME ALIVE Academy, about connection, loneliness, pleasure, shame and loss. With Mirjana Smolic and Ingo Niermann, among others.
Breathing – Connected breathing.
Start by bending your knees and connecting to Start by bending your knees and connecting to the ground or sit down and feel the soles of your feet on the floor. Be aware of how you are breathing and notice if anything changes as you bend your legs or sit down.
Starting at the top of your head, slowly scan your body from top to bottom. Pay attention to each part as you slowly move your attention downward. Focus on breathing into your stomach and notice what feelings come up for you. Notice if there is pain or discomfort, relaxation or expansiveness. Try to sit with your feelings, welcome and accept what comes up.
Keep breathing deep and slow into your stomach, through your nose and out of your mouth. Breathing this way keeps us connected to ourselves and the emotions that arise within us.
Homework – Acceptance of self and others.
In our society, we are taught from a young age the values, norms, behaviours and beliefs that should be displayed to live according to a specific culture. These messages can come from childhood, media outlets, films, environment, experiences and many other sources of information. The unconscious process of learning these values, norms, behaviours and beliefs is called socialisation. You are going to explore where your beauty standards come from and how you can accept yourself and others more.
You can use the above breathing technique to stay relaxed and centred in your body as you go through the following questions. Notice and try to accept feelings as they come up. Remember no feelings are good or bad. It might be helpful to use a journal.
- What does the word “attractive” mean to you, and what are the conditions of being “attractive”?
- Try to remember where the messaging came from and how it was enforced?
- How does that relate to how you judge or accept your own body?
- Explore the idea of your judgments around your own body and then try to relate them to the judgments of others. What do you notice?
- How do you practice self-love and compassion?
- Knowing more about how you love or judge yourself. How can you show up for yourself more and, in turn, show up for others?