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Bodies are means to chase ideas of beauty and social success. Sometimes body-projects break the rules of the mainstreaming society: in the participative workshop following the panel, participants are invited to perform alternative forms of beauty based on ethnographical data previously presented.
Bodies are canvas where projects of beauty and individuality are experienced and manifested. In a constructivist approach, people work on their skin and flesh (through trainings, tattoos, implants, make-up, skin bleaching and other treatments) to display self-characters and enhance social performances. Markets react, turning bodies in economic-objects and creating (in)formal circulations of goods and meanings across frontiers.
Body-practices confirm mainstreaming ideas of beauty or provoke them "breaking the rules" of cultures. The uniqueness of the individual, often perceived as a must, flows in between personal/original choices and the (dis)respect of expectations.
We invite contributions based on ethnographical data to discuss how beauty is perceived and constructed through bodies, reflecting on meanings and practices to improve enhanced versions of the self. How body interventions contribute in shaping self-perceptions and how they are negotiated with (un)mainstreaming values? How strategies of emulation/rebellion are balanced in body's manipulations?
We invite authors to bring materials connected to their expositions to provide equipment for the associated workshop, where we will actively embrace alternative ideas of beauty: through a participative methodology, participants will temporarily intervene on their bodies, inspired by authors' presentations. The embodiment of some beauty-practices will be the learning channel to destabilize and improve our own ideas of beauty, body and uniqueness.
The activity arises from the project 'EXCEL - The Pursuit of Excellence. Biotechnologies, enhancement and body capital in Portugal', founded by the Foundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PTDC/SOC-ANT/30572/2017), and coordinated at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa.