Chronic Pain in Performance: Ecologies of Pain

Research output: Contributions to conferencesPaper



This practice research demonstration critically and creatively explores chronic pain bodies and performance. The performance lecture will specifically focus on my current practice-led research project, Ecologies of Pain, which explores the resonances between human chronic pain and wider ecological pain. I have lived with chronic back pain for 17 years: my experiences of living with, and learning to relate to, my chronic pain, has suggested to me that my relationship to pain can connect with what it means to live with, and relate to, wider ecological pain. I am presenting environmental catastrophes, such as pollution, climate change and ecosystem damage, as forms of pain. The research addresses how living with chronic pain can shed light on what it means to live within and ‘stay with the trouble’ of a ‘wounded Earth’ (Haraway, 2016). My proposal is that living with chronic pain provides knowledge - such as insights into human vulnerability, tactics for living within limits and skills in living with grief and ambiguity - that is useful for learning to live in a world that is becoming increasingly uncomfortable and unsupportive for human and other life.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 4 Sept 2019
EventTheatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA) - University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sept 20197 Sept 2019


ConferenceTheatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA)
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Author keywords

  • chronic pain, ecological pain, performance, dance