ABOUT US

Karada House is a queer collaborative art space that explores the boundaries of body, art and the multitude of interactions between them. Karada (体) is the Japanese word for body and translates in its literal form to “root of a person”. We respect, celebrate and explore the variety of gender and sexual expressions and identifications. Karada House is a body-positive open space based on collaboration, informed consent and respectful communication.

Philosophy of Karada House

Our philosophy is – just like us – in constant change and progress.

Body

We understand the body to be something that is more than a physical form or entity. For us the body has its own intelligence and meaning, its own transformative processes and influences. In our approach the body can be described as in connection with or the root of a person/self. No matter the approach to the body-mind-issue itself, we recognize that working with the body means moving the body and therefore moving the person, not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. 

For this very reason we chose to name our project „Karada“ as this Japanese word not only means „physical body“ but can also be broken down into its singular Kanjis that represent our idea of body perfectly as they create the meaning of „root/basis of a person“. 

We understand all bodies to be inherently political, defining „political“ as the set of actions aimed at either maintaining or changing a given power relationship. We do not live or work in a bubble. Our existence is indivisibly linked to the current power structures that exist in the world we inhabit. These power structures mostly manifest as a difference in access to resources for different kinds of people. We therefore concentrate our attention mostly on the bodies and people that are not favored by the current system but policed, rendered invisible, undesired or even dangerous and whose demographic we are also a part of: LGBTQIA+, BiPOC, womên. 

Safe(r) Space

In addition to the word „Karada“ we chose to add the word „House“ as it represents another layer that is indispensable to us. Just like „Karada“ the word „House“ has a double meaning for us. It represents the physical space in time we inhabit and that we have endowed with very specific rules that are designed to help us constantly seek and evaluate states of consciously creating more safety for humans who do not have constant physical, mental and emotional safety available to them. The concept of a house as a safe(r) container also comes back to the idea of the body being a root of a person. Coming from that perspective we understand „House“ in its more metaphorical sense to be the root, the body, the space that has the potential to also create and hold a community of people. To create and nurture such a community is what we ultimately strive for, however we understand this to be a long term process that needs time to genuinely grow.

Karada House wishes to host people and bodies that are policed on a daily basis and offer them a space of peace and calm, of safety, equity and companionship. We have therefore created an anti-abuse-policy and are currently working on accountability processes that help to keep Karada House a stable, closed and safe(r) container for self-exploration and self-actualization through body work. Everybody entering the house – the hosts and facilitators included – will be held accountable. We do not strive to be punitive, policing or ousting people but we will take steps and measures to ensure the physical and psychological safety of ourselves and our guests. We occasionally do open the space to people who are not part of our main community (LBGTQIA+ & Womên) if they are respectful of the necessity, needs and boundaries of a queer safe(r) space and its marginalized community.

Respect

The basis of all of our work is respect in the sense of having due regard for people’s consent and boundaries, rights, feelings and wishes but also their expressions and experiences. In our understanding this kind of respect needs to be mutual and should start with understanding and inquiring the idea of respect in and for oneself. 

Respect means being aware of your own privileges in the form of gender, sexuality, language, wealth, housing, body size, mental health, neurodiversity, ability, education, skin colour, relationship constellations and citizenship and how they differ from other people’s privileges and therefore lived experiences.

Respect means rejecting racism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, breaches of consent, body shaming, ableism, classism in all its forms whether they are blatant or come in the form of microaggressions. We all have inherited and currently inhibit at least some of these -isms but for us respect for oneself and other humans means consistently working with oneself and others to be conscious of these biases so we can work on eradicating them. 

Respect is therefore based on radically but not brutally or self-harming/shaming/blaming work on self-awareness. We strive for and work on becoming more self-aware through body work and community work on all levels. Part of this self-awareness process is also recognizing one’s own boundaries and respecting the boundaries of others. Respect means cultivating informed consent and striving for enthusiastic consent.

Who we are

Caritia’s fascination with the root/the body stems from a longing to deeply ‘listen’ to (her) body holistically, from the inside out. Passionately (and patiently) empathetic and fantastically flawed, boundaries and self care are the guiding principles which keep this weaver of magik, casting spells. Discovering the pleasures in witnessing, sharing and space holding for others, supports deepening evolution in waves of learning. Imbued with an Aquarian nature to embrace change and striving to empower others, Caritia remains in lofty utopias around the desire to let go of that which does align with one’s highest good. (Earthly) Grounded in the languages of food, sensuality and body movement. Transformative states are acts of activism to Caritia. To create with/through/for the body is the greatest gift to this self identified BIPoC, soulfully spiritual, fluid energy in femme form, educator, coach, performer, safe(r) space curator and introverted mischief maker.

Mamana (they/them) is a non-binary queer person who is driven (and haunted) by being an unapologetic fire sign (Aries! Run for your lives!). They are an artist and academic working mostly with film, image, storytelling and the body. They see themselves as a constant student and derive their knowledge from many different sources. They are currently interested in how the body influences perception, witnessing rituals and transformative body processes that allow for trauma work.

René (genderfluid) is a visual artist with a primary interest in the exploration of human bodies – aesthetically and politically – and is constantly questioning the ideas of identity, gender, sexuality and taboo. René has a very calm and soothing aura and is mainly driven by intuition and sensations when it comes to bodily and human interaction. She sees her own vulnerabilities as something that is very powerful and a great tool for growth and moving people.