Artists: COVEN BERLIN, Gvantsa Jishkariani, Karin Ferrari, Lealudvik, Ozge Sahin, Slavica Obradović, Virginia Lupu with Mihaela Minca
Curators: Tia Čiček, Teodora Jeremić
Notions of guilt and shame are inextricably linked to the experience of identifying as feminine or queer. The feelings one has and the choices one makes are accompanied by innate feelings of guilt associated with daily experience. We decided to try and imagine what a world without these feelings would look like. The exercise seemed simple, but the attempt was futile. None of these feelings are innate but are generated through a series of socio-cultural processes. Feminine or queer guilt feelings coincide with those of oppression and persecution of non-normative subjects or “the other”, typically justified through many discourses about their inherent potential to undermine a given heteronormative and patriarchal social order.
We are currently witnessing a new surge of interpersonal and institutional violence. Bodies, sexuality and identities are being largely oppressed by the constellations of tightly networked positions of power, while at the same time we are witnessing a resurgence of ritual practices through modern “spellcasters” on social media platforms. Digital subcultures made up of self-identified Witches from diverse backgrounds are growing in size and seem to appeal especially to younger generations who feel they do not belong in a system that is far too binary and oppressive. These communities are blurring the lines between astrology, Tarot, Wicca, Scandinavian Asatru, Latinx Brujeria and New Age spirituality, allowing them to overlap and shift with ease, producing new hybrid forms of witchcraft. It seems that regardless of the individual approaches of their practices, contemporary queer and/or women and femme-identified witches share a desire to break the established order by connecting with each other, yearning for empowerment and having the freedom to explore their identities. This is reminiscent of the political subject of the “witch”.
is therefore an invitation to embark on a journey of healing and to break through existing boundaries and oppressive structures. It is an invitation to liberate from certain codes of conduct. Assuming the identity of a “witch” helps to explore positions of resistance and stands for the deconstruction of narratives and the dismantling of these oppressive structures. Questions about the methodology of alternative knowledge and its relevance adhere to a power structure of hegemonic scientific and often heteronormative-Western-able-bodied knowledge reproduced through academic channels.