Bodylogues 2023 is over, but the stories live on.
For those who don’t know, Bodylogues is an event where students can create art themed after the body– the beautiful and ugly parts that make us human, and the stigmas and stereotypes society puts on them– ranging from body dysmorphia, gender dysphoria, race, and ethnicity to name a few. The art medium is not limited either; This year had many student pieces, from paintings and ceramics, to spoken word performances. There was also an interactive art piece where viewers could find messages within a small, yarn doll.
Many students gave performances of their written work, each of them so unique and personal, but they resonated among the audience. Some were unable to be at the event in person, but their peers would read for them. Some pieces were also read for anonymous submissions. Our very own ASSOU President Alicia Gerrity, along with MCing the event, provided her own piece from personal experiences. The art that was shared was so deeply personal, but shared amongst an audience who cared, and in some cases, might feel the same way.
While the art performed and presented was amazing, the event hosted many resources for people to connect and feel safe, not only at SOU, but Ashland as well. Some local clubs and organizations, like Equity Diversity and Inclusion, the Native American Student Union, and the Asian Student Union were reaching out to students attending the event, offering a place to hang out and connect on campus. EDI offers a place for students to brainstorm ways to communicate and make SOU and Ashland a more inclusive and welcoming community, and clubs like the Asian and Native American Student Unions provide places for students to build a community with students of similar backgrounds, as well as a place to learn more about other communities on campus.
Groups like the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team, As You Like It, and The Rogue Valley Pepper Shakers were at the event as well, reaching out to students and providing safe places for students. The RV Pepper Shakers counteract bigotry in Ashland, and do so through engagement and communication throughout the Rogue Valley. The RV Pepper Shakers have more info and updates on their socials, like Instagram: @therv_pepper_shakers. SART provides many free support services, with more info available on their website, jacksoncountysart.org.
For those unable to attend the event, the art showcased is available on the Bodylogues website, which is also linked on their Facebook page @theBODYlogues as well as their Instagram page, @thebodylogues. Alongside the art, the website provides some brief artist bios and the GSWS class members who organized the event.
This year’s Bodylogues event may be over, but the work lives online. Events like the Bodylogues provide students with a way to express themselves artistically, and not in the same way as one performs a dance or a show in a theater, but something incredibly personal and raw that may not directly relate to everyone. The vulnerability and strength it takes to make this art are immense. Stay tuned to the Bodylogues Facebook page for more updates and reach out to the clubs and organizations both on campus and off.