Poetry and prose on body intimacies, beautifully considered by two sisters in their new publication.
Body Found by Regina Gunapranata and Josephine Gunapranata is a collection words and images dedicated to physical and emotional intimacies, with womanhood at its crux. Sexuality is not abstracted from its gaze but rather blurs with considerations of femininity, the self and of course, bodies.
Tell us about ‘Ode to Woman’ at Ofr Copenhagen! How it came about and how it went?
Regina: Alex (Ofr. Paris) and I were discussing stocking the recently opened Ofr. Copenhagen with Body Found, and we talked about how expensive it is to post books. So the conversation very quickly turned into a mini brainstorming session. Since I had some friends in Copenhagen, it was decided that I would fly there to drop off copies of Body Found but also to do a Body Found event with wine, poetry readings, and maybe a projection of a previous art performance I had done. I contacted Jacques at Ofr. Copenhagen who was just so enthusiastic and amazing in terms of connecting all the right people for the event. He even found the perfect space for it at VALRYGG Studio – they have a pink terrace and stairs the same shade as the cover of Body Found!
Regina & Josephine: With the final touch of Tableau’s installations of flowers and sculptural vases, the space came to hold amazing energy where we both just felt so welcome. Looking back, most people who came were really quite curious to talk to us and they asked lots of questions about Body Found – to us this is one of the main reasons why the event was just so fantastic.
What motivated both of you to create Body Found?
Regina & Josephine: We both have been writing for some time and sharing our poems with each other here and there. But there was a point about two years ago, where we began sharing these visceral and honest poems to each other about our sexuality.
Our parents brought us up in a very religious home where the discussion of sex tended towards these ideas of sin, shame, sex only after marriage, and body is a temple. In this environment we seldom talked about our sex lives or our sexuality. Reading the visceral poetry we each had written was really eye opening, and prompted us to have more frank discussions about our sexuality.
The more pieces we wrote, and the more we shared them with each other, the more we were convinced that if we were experiencing all these feelings of desire, doubt, shame and renewal, there must be other people out there going through this too.
Body Found was born out of this conversation we had with each other through our writing, it was a way for us to communicate and create a space to openly talk about our experiences as women grappling with our sexuality.
Regina & Josephine: Womanhood is so multi-faceted and it means an array of things. We both recognize that we are both heterosexual cis-women and our perspective is probably limited, but we both feel that womanhood is a celebration of the feminine in whatever form we may feel most comfortable in. Womanhood is powerful as it can provide us with a loving and nurturing space to come into our own without fear of judgement or shame.
Could you tell us about some of the work we can expect to find inside Body Found?
Regina & Josephine: Body Found consists of poetry and non-fictional prose inspired by our experiences of growing up in a traditional Christian-Indonesian household and the implications it had on our understanding of our bodies, especially our bodies as sexual entities versus spiritual vessels. As kids and then young adults, sex and sexuality was always a taboo topic so the writing in Body Found is a reflection of both of us working through the intricacies of our socialization and re-thinking the things that negatively impacted our self-perception. We wanted to be more open when talking about sex, we wanted to be able to embrace our sexuality and within Body Found you’ll find that.
Will there be another in the works?
Regina & Josephine: As for a second one, we are always talking about writing a second volume, and it’s definitely going to happen but right now we are also working on building a Body Found blog and currently producing a Body Found podcast!
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