“Old and New Witches” – The Witch and the Virus
June 27, 2020
The conditions of work during the COVID 19 pandemic situation: lockdown, quarantine, restrictions of mobility, overwhelming wave of online communications – all of those inspired the team of the program to shape the program format so it can comprehend and rethink its own production conditions, and in 3 months of meetings using digital tools, the documentary material, the texts produced in quarantine, the poetry and video archive was combined and used as a resource for a video art production. After the official lifting of the strict safety measures in Serbia, the program „The Witch and the Virus“ was organized as a public video recording, with the invited 20 people in audience and the participants, both present in person or through the online platforms. The parallel use of public space of CZKD and the online seminar space on Zoom platform was a deliberate mixed format which evoked the experience of the lockdown in the very media of production. The group Bjornsonova (Tanja Šljivar, Lucia Kvočáková, Lucie Mičíková, Nik Timková, Zuzana Žabková, Tamara Antonijević), the team from CZKD (Ana Miljanić, Aleksandra Sekulić) and the invited participants:Bojan Đorđev, Ana Dubljević, Nađa Bobičić, Daša Duhaček, Staša Zajević addresed the topic from various aspects: its initial idea of the shared experience of the „witches“ in public, political space in former Yugoslavia, also the timeframe of the feminist movements in Yugoslavia and Serbia in relation to the activist struggle and anti-war movements, and a special focus was the performative forms of reclaiming these emancipatory practices. Tanja Šljivar, Aleksandra Sekulić and Ana Miljanić moderated the discussion, and the experimental format of the program was recorded and directed using free software to combine public and virtual spaces of production (Ivan Zupanc, Nikola Cakić, Igor Đorđević, Dragan Škorić). The material produced is in the process of transformation into a new art piece fro re-use, edited by the team of the program (Bjornsonova and the team of CZKD).
“The Witch and the Virus” presenting the work during the lockdown which built upon the initial program in the series before the pandemic, gave the possibility to feminist critique in times of the dangerous increase of domestic violence in the pandemic conditions of the lockdown, but also affirming the contemporary feminism, giving the insight into the resources of the past decades in feminist struggles and art practices.
The project is supported by the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia (EU/IPA) and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.