Applying a phenomenological lens, this study investigates intersectional vulnerabilities, socio-geographical and racial injustices, as well as the potential of trauma in reproductive medicine, human trafficking and black-market organ trades in a global context. The interdisciplinary study combines notions of writing back from within Pedagogy and hands-on creative social work tools, which emphasize dignity and integrity, and support self-efficacy and human rights in the everyday lives of affected populations.
This publication analyses inconsistencies and continuities between experiences, embodiment, injustices and representations in biomedical practice concerning women. It calls influential trends in biomedicine into question and employs phenomenological notions of Leib, as the body we are and as primary site of knowing. It furthermore investigates art-practice and practice-led research as political and pedagogical tools to engage diverse populations with complex fields, such as biomedical practice.
The fieldwork for this publication involved analyzing images and art, participatory art production and analyzing interdisciplinary texts and poetry. It also included conducting semi-structured conversations with experts in England and Germany. As an interdisciplinary, multi-sited, bi-lingual and partly non-verbal project, this research project didn’t follow a ‘conventional research path’, but followed emergent ideas, individual narratives, images, art and technologies and investigated their interrelatedness.
This study identifies fragmentation and mapping as powerful strategies within the discursive space of biomedicine. It argues that once ‘globalization’ has harvested the life from less powerful regions, that which remains to be harvested is that which we are, literally. Thus, harvesting the world includes geographic and somatic localities; it includes somatic harvesting and what the author calls flesh piracy. Terms coined in this study are ‘flesh piracy’ and ‘Ausverleibung’ as well as an extended reading of ‘relationscapes.’ The author comes to the understanding that we live in a time when humans cage and harvest humans, their flesh, their data, their lives. It is here where the terms ‘flesh piracy’ and ‘Ausverleibung’ as well as an extended reading of ‘relationscapes,’ support this statement.
Ninette Rothmüller, City University of New York (CUNY)
Researchers and lecturers in gender studies, arts, biomedical research and ethics, feminist phenomenology, science studies; human rights activists