WOCLN title banner


About Us


Body Politics

     Body Politics at the      Five Colleges

Body Politics Awards

     Body Politics Gallery

WOCLN News and Accomplishments

How to Support the Network

Our Staff

Contact Us:

Tel: (413) 545-1671

Body Politics


Since the inception of Body Politics in 2004, the Women of Color Leadership Network (WOCLN) has been the major underwriter and the central production coordinator for the project as well as providing mentoring to the previous project coordinators. For the third year in a row, WOCLN has taken over the project in its entirety. The project has expanded in scope and vision, opening itself up to a more diverse participant pool, a much larger audience, and an increased collaboration with Academic Affairs.


Body Politics performanceBody Politics is a multi-generational and transnational women's project in the truest form, dramatically expressed through prose, song, speech, poetic movement, and various other forms of artistic expression. The project was created to support women of color in discovering and knowing who they really are, to affirm and validate the unique experiences of women of color, and instill a sense of pride and hopefulness in their own lives to create their own destinies.

Body Politics refers to how something outside of our control, namely our physical being—the color of our skin, the shape of our body, our genetic make-up—can impact the quality of our daily existence. That is the body piece. The politics piece of it really links to what happens when external forces impose, pre-suppose, or characterize who we are. If there is synergy between our body image and the external political forces that impact us, chances are, there is little internal conflict. If, on the other hand, there is some dissonance between what we feel and what we experience, life can present challenges and complexities that are important to grapple with. The Body Politics narratives speak to both ends of this spectrum.

Body Politics performanceThese 90-minute performances culminate a nineteen-week process of holistic exploration, which chronicles the unique histories of women of color (WOC) through first person narratives transformed into dramatic forms. Please note that we use the term "women of color" as an empowerment term to include: Black/African American, African, Latina, South American, Chicana, Asian-Pacific Islander, South Asian, Native-American, Middle Eastern, Arab/Arab American, Caribbean, Biracial and Multiracial, and all indigenous women.


The mission of Body Politics is to actively create a transformative experience for its participants, by creating a supportive, challenging, yet safe space for narrative sharing, as well as to celebrate the commonalities and differences that exist across our various cultures and multiple social identities. Body Politics gives Women of Color agency to prevail in a world where they often feel caught between cultures. Through this process, the women are able to re-create their social identities and re-name themselves.


  • Raising awareness and encouraging exploration of the multiple social identities of the cast members themselves
  • Community and solidarity building among participants
  • Promoting agency and voice within the women participants through creative and reflective writing
  • Public performance that aims at raising awareness for the audience
  • Sharing original, authentic stories that represent the real life experiences of the women participants in order to raise awareness

Body Politics Application

If you wish to learn more about how you can participate in Body Politics, download the application.

Body Politics Application (MS Word)

Photo Gallery

Click here to view Photo Gallery of Body Politics.

Inside look into Body Politics



© 2008 University of Massachusetts Amherst. Site Policies.
This site is maintained by Women of Color Leadership Network.