THE PLATONIC TOUCH TOUR:
The Lack of Platonic Touch
We live in a chaotic world where negative energy, thoughts and events are very present. We are angry, frustrated, mad and uncertain where these feelings originate from and we rarely dig deep into ourselves to find out. As humans, we are dependant on touch from the day we are born. However as we get older, the touch of our parents becomes limited or even completely disappears, especially amongst men. As a result, touch isolation is born and can lead to a plethora of mental illnesses.
In Western culture, platonic touch, especially amongst men, is practically non-existent. We don't hug, hold hands, rest our heads on our peers shoulders, because we are afraid of being misjudged. Mark Greene, who wrote 'The Lack of Gentle Platonic Touch in Men’s Lives is a Killer' raises a few issues. He recognises that men fear being labeled as sexually inappropriate and that when they are physically gentle, they risk their macho and authoritative status. Nobody wants to be rejected, however this may be the most likely outcome in our touch averse culture.
The only accepted circumstance for long term platonic physical contact for men is between fathers and their very young children. However, this has a cut off date, usually around puberty, where parents cease to have physical contact with their children. As a result boys and young men are forced to rely on their female peers to avoid falling into touch isolation, which often leads to depression and other mental illnesses.
Long lasting platonic touch between men is human and natural and shouldn't be deemed awkward. It isn’t something that we should be afraid of. This is what we want society to know and is what we desperately need to bring to the surface. Platonic touch doesn’t have anything to do with sexuality. The fear of being misinterpreted just made us take distance from each other. We shouldn’t let the fear of something so human be the door to mental illness. Deeper connection between men is needed.
This project has the power to bring healing and awareness to people’s minds, especially men’s. We all need to open up ourselves. I want to bring awareness through my art on stage and by spreading the message by touring around the world.
The Platonic Touch tour is an extension of my last year's project 'Platonic Touch VR'. I created a 360° Virtual Reality piece in collaboration with Realab and Sonic Invasion, which was presented at the Sonic Visions Festival 2017 in Belval, Luxembourg. The piece was formed of four male dancers and four male musicians exploring long lasting non-sexual touch.
The aim is to spread the word and help to make a difference to everyone's life. This is an issue that is rarely touched upon in society, however we can drive change through art, performance and music.
We want to create a 7 date tour in different European countries where we will perform and bring awareness by exposing this topic.
My team and I need your support in order for us to reach as many people in as many locations as possible and help to share the knowledge of this rare treated topic. The funds that you provide will enable us to finance transportation, venue hires, sound and light technicians, live musicians, dancers, posters, staging, visual merchandising and handouts.
When I observe the way my two six year old nephews are with each other and the way they are with me, I see such a strong human connection and that is something that I wouldn't want them to ever lose when they get older.
As boys we have been put into these boxes to fulfill a certain image or portrayal of what it means to be a man and we lost ourselves in this whirlwind trying to get close to these expectations. Deep in ourselves we have so much more to offer than these monolithic significations that wrongly define us.
I understand what it means to be scared. I know what it feels like to be judged. I've experienced loneliness and I still feel isolated oftentimes. I know I am not the only one feeling this way but I want us as a community to head towards the feeling of freedom in ourselves. I want myself and other young men to feel that they can have long lasting platonic touch with friends, I want them to feel that they can reach out without being rejected especially when they need it the most, I want fathers to feel that they don't have to stop cuddling with their teenagers when they reach that age.
Let's lean on each other and let's protect us from isolation.