The body is the physical framework of an animal, dead or alive. It is inclusive of the bones, flesh and organs.
In the Fragments of the European Refugee Criss: Performing Displacement and the Re-Shaping of Greek Identity, Zervou explains that the refugees in Greece who do not speak Greek only have their bodies as their fundamental and “primary expressive instruments” (p.34). Regardless of what language one speaks, the body is something every individual can identify with, as everyone has a body. Subsequently, dance and movement can play a significant role in expressing oneself. The embodied performance of their personal journeys serves as a powerful method of communication and community building.
I have been raised in an environment where verbal articulation of ideas are valued. To view bodies as our “primary expressive instruments” appears so straightforward and natural, yet it fascinates me as to how I constantly viewed verbal language as my primary expressive instrument. It intrigues me that my body, which I always thought was constraining and limited due to its structure, can also be used to transcend boundaries for kinship and unity. I always viewed my body as a barrier, but the discussions we have in class and this text allows me to see it as one of the most powerful, unifying tools we have. I feel upset that I have not given my body the credit and appreciation it deserves, I take so much of it for granted.