COVEN

witchcraft for love politics

Can an exhibition be like a coven,

curated on the basis of autonomy, sharing knowledge, and radical care?

The idea of the exhibition as coven stems from our need to initiate a conversation within the personal and political experiences of the present, raising the question of the relationship between intersectional feminism and curatorial practice. For this, as curators, we wish to create the setting for the coexistence of multiple voices and identities, and to highlight the collective relationships in the conformation of our present quests.

Witchcraft is approached in a twofold way: on the one hand, it operates as an archetype of empowerment and point of reference for the feminist struggles, since it underlines the historical evolution of capitalism, colonization and patriarchy (Silvia Federici). On the other hand, it acts out as a metaphor for the gender and class aspects that characterize artistic production, in a way that it plays a key role in the decisions regarding the exhibition’s realization and the question of its autonomy. 

At the center of the artists’ interest are emotions and embodied experiences coming from systems of oppression. Their framework is transnational, whilst memories and imaginaries of collective action emerge, as well as possibilities of healing in micro-worlds open to change.

Coven was born in January 2020 through discussions about how to come close, exchange healing and supportive practices and make space for each other in new ways of conviviality within an art exhibition context.We decided to turn Coven into a journey from the online to the offline world and create a community of care beyond the limits of physical space through a series of workshops, conversations and reading groups that will eventually lead – covid permitting – to the exhibit’s realization at the Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research.

Thus, with the embracing of a feminist perspective outside the competitive environment of the dominant profit and non-profit cultural institutions, Coven as a concept wishes to embody the politics it dreams of.

Vassilia Kaga & Caterina Stamou

“The more you share, the less you need.”

-Larry Mitchell, The Faggots and Their Friends between Revolutions.

COVEN: witchcraft for love politics is curated by Vassilia Kaga & Caterina Stamou

Participating artists:

Margarita Athanasiou

Khaleb Brooks

Rabab El Mouadden

Marie-Andrée Godin

Eliza Goroya

Graham Kolbeins

Vassiliki Lazaridou

Rory Midhani

Sotiris Batzianas

Sofia Rozaki

Myrto Stamboulou

Dorian Wood

ONLINE COVENS

Coven/Care - WWW³ (WORLD WIDE WEB / WILD WO.MEN WITCHES / WORLD WITHOUT WORK]

is a collective online gathering to remember (or if not, invent) and activate our faculties of care. We are going to share words and lived experiences through collective reading, grounding exercises and (their/her/his) story telling, with the intent of developing a safer spaced caring practice.

WHEN:28.11.2020 (18:00 Athens / 17:00 Berlin)
WHERE: Online
DURATION: 2 hours
LANGUAGE: English

The number of participants is limited to 15 in order to encourage comfortableness and equal space for expression among the individuals. Please send us an e-mail with subject “Coven/Care” and your name at stamoucaterina@gmail.com to receive an invitation link for the event.

Marie-Andrée Godin was born in Canada and works between Canada and Finland, where she now lives. Her research has focused on the figure of the witch as a feminist figure and explores the concepts of a-hierarchy, craft, holistic and anti-anthropocentric thinking and knowledge as a source of potential power or oppression. She is now trying to see how magic, post-capitalism and diverse political forms or systems can be intertwined to help manifest the future. She conducts this research under the title WWW³ (WORLD WIDE WEB / WILD WO.MEN WITCHES / WORLD WITHOUT WORK) more thoroughly as a doctoral candidate at Aalto University (Finland) since 2018. This research is also supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her artistic work is mainly based in the fields of installation, performance art and socially engaged practices, and has been shown so far in Canada, the United States, Japan, Finland, and Italy.



Faggot Wisdom - illustrated cards to treasure and share

In this workshop we’ll be using writing and drawing to express and spread faggot wisdom. We’ll discuss what faggot wisdom sounds like, and explore what faggot wisdom might look like, with the aim of creating beautiful picture cards to treasure and share. Come prepared with pen, paper and any piece of wisdom a faggot has ever told you.

Inspired by the illustrated “Faggot Wisdom” pages that go throughout The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions.

WHEN: 5.12.2020 (17:00 Athens / 16:00 Berlin)
WHERE: Online
DURATION: 1.5 hours
LANGUAGE: English
MATERIALS: Essential are paper and pens. If you like it and have it: collage materials, glue and scissors.

Please send us an e-mail with subject “Faggot Wisdom” and your name at vkaga@outlook.com to receive an invitation link for the event.

Rory Midhani is a visual artist making paintings, murals, and assembled cardboard scenes. His work largely depicts queer & trans people living their lives and loving it. His self directed artworks have been featured in publications and exhibitions across Europe and North America, and he has worked as an illustrator for a wide-reaching international client base.

Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women by Silvia Federici: An Online Reading Coven

What are the root causes of the surge of violence–both interpersonal and institutional–against women? Is contemporary feminicidal violence related to witch hunts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? How is violence against women related to capitalist accumulation, colonialism, enclosure, dispossession, and gendered modes of social reproduction? How is feminist solidarity and resistance against the ‘witch-hunts of our time’ enacted? 

In this reading group, organised to complement the exhibition COVEN: witchcraft for love politics, we will read Silvia Federici’s book Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women (2018; also available in Greek translation), and critically examine the strengths and limitations of her arguments linking gendered violence to contemporary and historical modes of social reproduction and plunder. 

WHEN: Wednesday, 16 and 23 December (5:30 p.m. Athens/4:30 p.m. Berlin)
WHERE: Online
DURATION: 2 hours (4 total)
LANGUAGE: English

Participants are limited to 15 to allow for a comfortable and substantive exchange of ideas. We ask all participants to commit to attending both 2-hour sessions. To register, please e-mail us at info@feministresearch.org with the subject: “online reading coven.” Registration will close when we reach capacity.

Facilitated by Penny Travlou, Myrto Tsilimpounidi, Carmen Zografou, and Anna Carastathis

Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women by Silvia Federici: An Online Reading Coven

You are not seeing double! Due to popular demand we organised a second online reading coven to discuss Silvia Federici’s book Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women (2018; also available in Greek translation).

WHEN: Wednesday, 13 and 20 January (5:30 p.m. Athens/4:30 p.m. Berlin)
WHERE: Online
DURATION: 2 hours (4 total)
LANGUAGE: English

The number of participants is limited to ensure the quality and comfort of our exchange of ideas. Priority will be given to those people who tried to sign up for the first online reading coven, but couldn’t because it filled up just a couple of hours after the call opened!

We ask all participants to commit to attending both 2-hour sessions. To register, please e-mail us at info@feministresearch.org with the subject: “online reading coven.” Registration will close when we reach capacity. Registration has now closed as the reading group is now full. To join a waiting list, please e-mail us.

Facilitated by Penny Travlou, Myrto Tsilimpounidi, Carmen Zografou, and Anna Carastathis

Our heartfelt thanks to the curators of COVEN: witchcraft for love politics, Vassilia Kaga and Caterina Stamou for the inspiration of the online reading covens!

COVEN graphic design by Bois Futuri