Studium Generale: Chiara Baldini & melanie bonajo

MAENADS AND BACCHANTES:
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE GREAT-GRANDMOTHERS OF THE WITCHES

Women dancing alone on mountaintops, mind altering concoctions skillfully prepared with plants and mushrooms, maddening rhythm patterns wisely weaved on big shamanic drums, ecstatic communion with the wild nature, deep into the forest, far away from the conventions of civilization… this might sound like a typical reunion of a witches’ coven, but it is actually a recurring set of “spiritual technologies” used by women of our continent since time immemorial.

A thousand years before the witch-hunts exterminated most of the practitioners of this ancient female lineage, in ancient Greece these practices constituted the core of a cult dedicated to Dionysus, originally a vegetation god, later known as the god of wine, ecstasy and ceremonial madness. In its most archaic form his rituals were performed by women only, the maenads or bacchantes… but who were these wild women devoted to the practice of ecstasy? What were their beliefs? Were they harshly judged or respected by their contemporaries? And how were they portrayed both by ancient and modern artists? What’s the legacy of their archetype?

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SOME VISUAL MATERIAL ON MAENADS AND THE CULT OF DIONYSUS

The Bacchae: The Female Followers of Dionysus - Mythology Dictionary - See U in History
Who are the maenads? A mythological perspective


The Dancing Maenads of TikTok & The Digital Anima Archetype | Psychology // Mythology | Carl Jung
An interesting and unconventional interpretation of the contemporary maenad archetype


Maenad
An artistic interpretation of a maenadic experience in a forest

Dead Can Dance - Dance of the Bacchantes
Dead Can Dance being inspired by Dionysian themes (their whole album released in 2019 was called Dionysus)

Chiara Baldini is a researcher and freelance curator from Florence (Italy). She investigates the evolution of the ecstatic cult in the West, particularly in ancient Greece and Rome, contributing to anthologies, psychedelic conferences and festivals. She is the program curator of Boom Festival’s cultural area Liminal Village since 2010, while she has also helped to set up and run ConTent, the first cultural area in Fusion Festival, Germany, in 2015 and 2016.

She has recently co-curated an anthology called “Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine” investigating the intersection between the feminine principle and altered states of consciousness. She is currently a PhD candidate at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She lives in the Costa Vicentina in Portugal where she often plays as DJ Clandestina.

melanie bonajo (they/them). Through their films, performances, music and installations, they study subjects related to how technological advances and commodity-based pleasures increase feelings of alienation, removing a sense of belonging in an individual. Captivated by concepts of the divine, Bonajo explores the spiritual emptiness of her generation, the erosion of intimacy, examines peoples’ shifting relationship with nature and tries to understand existential questions by reflecting on our domestic situation, ideas around classification, concepts of home, non-humans, technology, gender and attitudes towards value.

Part of the Studium Generale lecture series:
Wxtch Craft: Your Name is Medicine Over My Kin (Fall Cycle '21/'22):

Details

Datum

11 november 2021 19.30 - 21:00

Locatie

online