“The xplore Berlin 2017 Podcast“ by Katja and Philippe is now on line !!
LE BEL ANIMAL, a film documentary about Xplore Berlin 2017.
This year marks the 14th edition of the xplore festival in Berlin, the 5th in Rome and the 1st in Copenhagen. In the past, other cities have also welcomed Xplore: three times in Vienna and in Sydney, once in Paris, and once in Barcelona.
All together, this festival of the art of lust has happened 25 times around the world. Each year, Felix Ruckert and his small crew, led by Caprice Dilba and delta RA’i, creates and realizes the Xplore concept, one of the most radical and ambitious participative explorations of the body, art and sexuality.
Xplore offers workshops, bodywork, play spaces, massage, a Shibari lounge, live music, role-play, and since 2015, an academic symposium with talks on topics related to the festival’s themes. Felix’s creation gets bigger and more successful each year, but is yet to receive support or acknowledgment from any institution. In fact, it was after the first edition of xplore in 2004 that the Berlin senate decided to end years of financial support for Felix Ruckert’s dance company, after the press denounced the use of public money for the arts to explore sexuality.
THE GLOBAL CONTEXT
But what is the role of art, if not challenging current societal norms? What are the borders between body and dance? Between dance and sex? And between art and sex? Why is it that exploring sexuality between consenting adults outside the allowed proscribed path and away from the roles that regulate sexual interaction in our society, is ignored, or even demonized and condemned?
And what about BDSM? “Fifty Shades of Grey”, a very mediocre modern Cinderella story with BDSM scenes written by a Mormon woman, had sold over 125 million copies worldwide by June 2015. It has been translated into 52 languages, and set a record in the UK as the fastest-selling paperback of all time. Is this a sign? A sign of what?
The sex industry is bigger than ever. It encompasses not only mainstream porn, but also artistic underground productions, queer feminist porn and homemade porn by amateurs. Big festivals tackle different aspects of sexuality, like tantra or sacred sexuality. There are sex-positive spaces and arenas for sexual healing blossoming. A growing number of schools and clubs dedicated to Japanese bondage rapidly transform this SM practice into a mainstream entertainment.
What is lacking in our society concerning the body and sexuality? What is taught to our children about their own bodies, their freedom, and how to interact with others?
And what do our role models tell us about these times? What kind of masculinity do leaders like Putin, Berlusconi and Trump embody? Are they the final expression of a dying mode of patriarchy, of societies built on abuse and violence? Are we ready for human rights, consent, gender equality, personal and collective freedom?
WHERE HAVE WE GOT TO?
On the dark side:
Homosexuality and any behaviour or identities that subvert the binary division of our society are still condemned and persecuted in many countries.
Religions dictate rules that put their followers in danger in the name of dubious morals, and foment conflicts.
Woman and children are sold around the world as sex slaves.
There are scandals of paedophile rings within the Catholic Church, among UN peacekeepers and the very people that charged with helping the vulnerable and underprivileged.
Modern wars are fought on the bodies of innocents. Sexual aggression against women is omnipresent. The first cause of death of a woman between 20 and 45 – more then cancer or car accidents – is to be killed by her husband or partner; same goes for pregnant women.
We believe that to talk about sexuality is to talk about politics. Connecting with our bodies means accepting ourselves and others. Freeing ourselves to be happy is the first revolutionary act we can do. Sex and art are incredibly powerful tools to open new paths, transform the world and change history.
We can all gain by expressing our individuality, voicing our desires, loudly asserting our rights and freedom to play, to feel, to enjoy.
THE TIME IS NOW
For all these reasons, we decided it is time for Xplore to COME OUT.
Yes, Xplore is COMING OUT to the world.
We want to share what we do, how we explore our bodies and souls, how we relate to each other and play. We want to show we exist, and that there is no danger in experimenting and searching, questioning and looking for new answers and new ways of living.
We want to tell the world that sexuality is something beautiful and playful, and that when there is consent and reciprocal respect, every game is allowed.
Following “Violently Happy”, Paola Calvo’s the beautiful film about schwelle7 and the people there, is it now time to make a film about Xplore.
For this reason I have selected a very special crew to film and photograph xplore Berlin 2017.