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talk | theme: On Grief and Death

Being with death

In this conversation with Brigitte Baptiste and Ana Ortiz, the worlds of science and spirituality sometimes pull in opposite directions and sometimes align. With THIRD researcher Catalina Insignares they talk about the dead, about death, and in the end, they connect their dead as persons that have experienced a form of gender transition.

The invitation for this conversation is part of Catalina's research on the relationships we nurture with the dead. In the book Our grateful dead Vinciane Desprets says that the capacity, or not, to hear the dead depends on the ecology of a certain milieu, that can let this relation live or on the opposite, dry out. Speaking and listening to the dead is a matter of a favorable milieu, but also a practice: 'listening to others speak inside of oneself is a technique and it can be acquired. It is an ability that has a name: porosity of the mind.' Catalina has been exercising this porosity, studying different ways we have to communicate or carry our dead. Expanding on different sensorial dispositives, she has been nurturing poetic and imaginative ways of being in relation and feeling/sensing what a relationship with someone who is no longer alive is. She wants to learn how to listen better and this means transforming what listening means. Beyond any official work on memory, and not really dwelling on the realm of grief work, it is here a matter of re-membering the dismembered, unweaving and reweaving images and stories.

Brigitte Baptiste, Ph.D., is a Colombian cultural landscape ecologist and an expert on environmental issues and biodiversity in Colombia. She is a member of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental Science and Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and has been part of the national representation to the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research. She served as director of the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute from 2011 until 2019. In September 2019, Baptiste became the director of Universidad Ean.

Ana Ortiz is a psychologist and holds a master's degree in Gender Studies. She does therapeutic work for self-knowledge and transformation from an energetic and spiritual perspective.

Catalina Insignares is a dancer and choreographer, living somewhere between Bogotá and Paris. Her work is mainly created through collaborations in the areas of sensorial and extra-sensorial practices, but also staging, dramaturgy, teaching and performing. For her, dance happens through the ears and through closed-eye visions. Her main collaborators are Carolina Mendonça and Myriam Lefkowitz.

More on this THIRDtalk

Vinciane Desprets Le bonheur des morts.
Recently translated to English: Our grateful dead.

Loup Rivière Je suis pas trans dans la forêt

more about the researcher

Catalina Insignares