The Art of Unearthing
by Alessandra Baltodano
Using art therapy, Maria engages kids in a process of healing through the body. This film steps into her sensorial and psychological space and invites us to let our own bodies and emotions find a place in it.
We come to this world with a corporeal curiosity. A vehicle of discovery, our bodies become the channel of connection between our inner and outer worlds, transforming touch and smell and hearing into synaptic paths. Often it is said that we are wired for connection, but I wonder if it isn’t more accurate to say that we are wired by connection, or nowadays, unfortunately, by dis-connection. Without the fabric of affective communities and with reason ruling in our modern societies, sense and connection are too quickly dismissed, condemning our bodies and minds to drift apart from an early childhood.
This observational documentary follows María Kalasnikova, an art therapist working to re-center bodily and affective experience in children’s development process. Working from theories of affection and child development, she uses colors, textures, and play to attentively engage the kids in a process of healing through the body. The film steps into Maria’s sensorial and psychological space, and invites the audience to let their own bodies and feelings find a place in it too.
Within this volume of Reconnection, I wanted to recontextualize the film to ask: What are we missing when we reduce our knowledge to only what can be rationally known? Wouldn’t corporeal, affective and even spiritual ways of knowing be more akin to the wisdom of Earth? Could they open us to encounters with other beings who, like babies and kids, don’t abide by the dictatorship of rational logic? My hope is that after this film, we can step out of Maria’s consulting room with an enhanced sensitivity for the inner and outer worlds we’ve been overlooking
“When we look we are doing something more deliberate than seeing and yet more unguarded than thinking. We are putting ourselves in a sensory state that is at once one of vacancy and of heightened awareness. (…) to look carefully requires strength, calmness, and affection. The affection cannot be in the abstract; it must be an affection of the senses. (...) Can one learn to look more attentively?”
(David Macdougall, 2006, p.7)
Direction & Cinematography
Edition & Color
2017. Tallinn, Estonia
Published in July, 2020
Volume 3, Issue 3