Is it possible to decolonize words through the body?

Yan Copelli, who lives in Brazil, intends with his project “to kill words”. This he sees as an act of liberation in which words are decolonized and identities are reborn away from institutional habits. In this process, choreography is used to propose a new system of symbols and semiotics.

In his project, Copelli invited 8 individuals to perform through body movements a word that has caused them trauma. In order to incorporate non-heteronormative subjectivities and to reiterate the lack of meaning in some words in the contemporary, the project intends, as a restorative ritual, to represent and transform words into a lexicon of forms extracted from the movements proposed by the guests.

Therefore, the participants are asked the question “What word would you like to kill?”. Subsequently, these movements are translated into digital sculptures inspired
by the artists’ movements. As a tomb, each sculpture is positioned on an online platform where visitors can follow the genesis of new symbols through movements and interview inventories. The result is part healing ritual, part game and part sculptural.