My research field is the philosophy of dance, which I tackle from tango and queer tango history and ethnodancelogy and dance theory, gender, decoloniality and dance, somatics politics, queer contact improvisation and contact improvisation politics, political philosophy of the body, philosophy of touch, ethnomusicology of the XXth Century, and ethnomusicology and war.
In the last years I’m working through the lens of the sense of touch, trying to comprehend the energies we share and how they are related to the whole ecosystem we are part of, and liking these to concepts brought from feminist, queer and intersectional politics, astrobiology and SETI, somatics, and philosophy.
A sample of the research lines that I’m starting to develop right now can be found at Contact Quarterly, the renowed worlwide journal on Contact Improvisation (With Wiktor Skrzypczak):
There are inherent problems with an embodied (non-verbal) perspective of consent: what is it to believe that you are empathizing with another person versus actually empathizing with the other person? When approaching consent, there’s always some insecurity that threatens the safe space as a whole. However, what we know within the political queer movement is that at some point we have to trust in order to be able to escape from this circularity, to be able to let go of that feeling of generalized suspicion that abuse could happen—that I cannot know another’s feelings about my touch. Releasing from that feeling of suspicion implies a commitment to the responsibility of thinking, speaking, dancing, and practicing how to build trust by disassembling relationships of domination and submission between the participants. We think building trust is something very, very queer. From a queer contact improvisation perspective, this is an ambition the whole CI community should pursue and practice.Queer Contact Improvisation (QCI): Alliance and Disruption. Experiences and reflections from the QCI Symposium and Festival Hamburg 2018
by Aramo Olaya and Wiktor Skrzypczak, CQ Vol. 44.2 Summer/Fall 2019.
One of my collaborations with colleage Belén Castellanos, published in The Queer Tango Book, and which received a positive review in Página 12, one of the most prestigious Argentinean newspapers:
Lo más extraño e interesante del libro lo constituye el “Manifiesto Queer Canyengue”, una modalidad que se baila en Buenos Aires desde los años 20 y que dispara hacia todas las estructuras establecidas con un texto de Olaya Aramo y Belén Castellanos que ofrece una visión sarcástica, romántica y anarco-comunista sobre el tango desde una perspectiva queer, feminista, anticapitalista y canyengue, un estilo de baile opuesto al tango de salón.The strangest and most interesting in the book is the ‘Queer Canyengue Manifesto’, a dance style danced in Buenos Aires since the 1920′, calling against all established structures in a sarcastic, romantic, and anarcha-communist text by Belén Castellanos and Olaya Aramo from a queer, feminist, anticapitalist, and canyengue perspective. A dancing style opposed to tango de salón.
Tango dancing with individual axes implies a veiled exploitation in which we fake the true couple dancing. Against the constant affirmations that the independent axis and the separation of the tango couple in the open embrace are a desirable evolution for tango towards a greater equality and liberty for the dancing couple, we respond that an independent axis is far from implying women ́s liberation and tango democratisation. It is the triumph of the anarcho-capitalist individualism, uncommitted, de-eroticised, desacralised and denaturalised in which the relationship between dancers is reduced to a formal egalitarian contract, but, in truth, a servile one. The exigence of maintaining an individual axis is also accompanied by the obligation to use high heels which reduces the female footprint surface and pushes the woman to a precarious and fetishist equilibrium. Also by making women dance in an individual axis, an ideology of the marca emerges in which the man does not complete the movements (in the couple) but instead indicates the movements that the woman must execute. Mirror mimics instead of community of bodies; choreographic competitiveness instead of hermaphroditic complicity.The Queer Tango Book (2014)