WXTCH CRAFT: YOUR NAME IS MEDICINE OVER MY KIN
A5, 32 pages, risograph printed throughout, elastic band bound, 2021
The Spring sessions have emerged from conversations we had with johanna, adrienne, Silvia, Denise, Valentina, Dana, Luanda and melanie in the previous semester. Like a council of elder Wxtches they helped us navigate through the dark night of 2020s' soul. A truly wretched year in which we witnessed a rabid patriarchy on the defense. With every eruption of toxic masculinity the Wxtch feels their scars itch; these that centuries of sexist, racist and ableist violence have left on her body. They know about the poisons, they know about the remedies.
Also in our artistic communities we are dealing with our own episode of patriarchal violence. Last november, two investigative journalists revealed the long term serial abuses and rapes committed by an artist who received support from many Dutch institutions (including the Royal Academy of Art). Falling hard for his ‘bad boy charisma’, many were clearly willing to turn a blind eye to the many bright red flags surrounding his persona. Performatively floundering in their attempt to assuage the collective horror, many institutions quickly came up with vague apologies and installed investigations that fail to fully convince, let alone overturn a culture of unsafety — as of yet.
Because survivors are right to ask: where were you when we needed you? Is it clear to whom you should apologize to and what a real apology entails? As adrienne maree brown said a few days before this scandal erupted: we don’t want call-outs, we want consequences! And so we wonder: how would a truly trauma informed, healing focused, community-led, survivor centered accountability process look like – in this and other situations? What embodied values would we want this process to have? Or in adrienne’s words: how do we shift our individual, interpersonal, and interorganizational anger towards viable sustainable systemic change?' — Erika Sprey