LEGALIZING WITCHES? was a 12 hours event, made of 4 elements; a performance, a video installation, a workshop, and lastly, an electronic dance rave, promising to interrogate -as well as commemorate- the visual and textual figures of one of the most misunderstood phenomena in European history, the WITCH. Witches who embodied everything, to coin Silvia Federici, “that capitalism had to destroy: the heretic, the healer, the disobedient wife, the woman who dared to live alone, the obeha woman who poisoned the master’s food and inspired the slaves to revolt” were powerful symbols of resistance and otherness. Theirs is a hidden history that awaits to be made visible. Through the crosspollination of interactive mediums, we explored the interrelation between the historical, social, cultural and economic dimensions that constituted the category of the witch, while our program will showcase the work of contemporary "witches" and their often playful, yet powerful political practice, within contexts framed by an epistemological separation between body and mind, and between the human and the extra human.
Since FLINTA (female, lesbian, intersex, nonbinary, trans and agender) persons were amongst the first victims of this process of othering, we wished to tap into our queer experiences of marginalization to imagine and to create positive counterfutures together, through our workshop and the party associated with it. As W. H. McNeil, historian suggests, the rhythmic movement of bodies, as one shared sensation, arouses the emotions of euphoric fellow-feelings or “muscular bonding” which endows groups with the capacity for enhanced cooperation and thus increases their chances of survival. And so the personal memories of each, could be transformed through the shared electronic soundscape, and serve as a rich source of power, opening limitless possibilities for identification and expression.
The event was a rich collaboration of mostly local artists and volunteers who are members, or supporters of the collective, while our sets oscillated between faster ambient live performance brought by AVA, and Breakbeat, Electro and Techno by Olivia Mendez, Jamaica Suc and Claire Morgan. The artists’ multiverses were a unique blend between breakbeat / hypnotic tracks, containing a range of deep grooves and melodic elements and a pinch of acid’s best. The live performance was coherent with our specific, space spells theme by Yris Apsit, Swiss artist / space activists, who catapulted our imaginaries powered by the generous support of silentdisco.de who helped us create a fully immersive experience.
The event was curated by Orsi Balog and Savio Debernardis, while the musical program was dreamed up by Olivia Mendez, Berlin based DJ and producer.
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Space Spells Workshop, by Yris Apsit
Space Spells 2
Hyui Ines Rmi & Savio Debernardis - Performance