A changing vision for the Studium Generale

For over ten years the Studium Generale at the KABK has been organized as an interdisciplinary lecture series that ´hovers, as it were, over the departments, addressing themes that may not have an immediate practical use, but are potentially relevant to each and every student.' This year the Studium Generale is making its own educational turn, from an active-passive lecture-theatre to a self-directed learning place to be owned up by students who may use it as a testing-ground and amplifier for their issues of concern.

Wxtch Craft

This year's Studium Generale will put its ears to the ground and listen to the many-gendered witches that history couldn't burn. Many second-wave feminist groups and contemporary traditions like Wicca and WITCH (the Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell), found in the figure of the Witch an embodiment of the supreme feminine. These groups did the relevant and necessary groundwork. However, they relied on essentialistic and binary notions of gender, which empowered some at the expense of the exclusion of others.

Today, the witch resurfaces in new, more inclusive guises to respond to the current clusterfuck of multiple crises. During this Studium Generale witchcraft is approached as first and foremost a contemporary feminist liberatory practice offering tools for storytelling, self and community care and survival appealing to queer, trans folx, gender non-conforming people, and BIPOC.

Sometimes a broom is not just a broom, but a dildonic device that allows wounded healers to draw circles and boundaries and mark the end of this (structurally racist and sexist) world as they know it. Ultimately, they have always had to use magic to survive.

Opposed to the commodified and tamed cultural representation of the witch, opposed to the unmarried, child-devouring mean-spirited black demonic hag stands the Wxtch.

Opposed to rational, scientific reason with its many tools of oppression stands Craft.

As Silvia Federici wrote in her book Caliban and the Witch (one of the great inspirations of this cycle), witch hunts were not just folkloric excesses, harmful echoes of an irrational dark age. Our contemporary capitalist society has been built on the total devaluation, mechanization and disownment of women's bodies and found its fulcrum in the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th century, which may have shape-shifted over the past centuries but continue till this very day. Patriarchal capitalism is deeply rooted in the violent disciplining and submission of queer, black, colonized, disabled, and female bodies. The connections between these oppressions run far and deep. The contemporary Wxtch is well-aware of these intersecting struggles and proudly wears the title as a badge of honour with the intent to spoil the ongoing neoliberal rage fest to the bone.

Wxtch Craft lecture series (semester 1)

For the first part of this Wxtch Craft Cycle (the Fall sessions), we have asked seven guests to reflect on these daunting times, with some dark constellations in the skies and political events at the horizon. Blending their crafts with their knowledge, they will share their broomstick insights, pointing to emotional-physical-spiritual resources to draw on when the going seems to be getting tougher and tougher.

DateGuest speakerTime
8 Oct.Johanna Hedva 16.30–18.00
29 Oct.adrienne maree brown 19.30 - 21.00
12 Nov.Silvia Federici 16.30–18.00
19 Nov.melanie bonajo16.30–18.00
26 Nov.Denise Ferreira da Silva & Valentina Desideri19.30 - 21.00
3 Dec.Dana Linssen16.30–18.00
10 Dec.Luanda Casella16.30–18.00

All online encounters are public and open to everyone, also from outside the academy.

A link to a ZOOM-meeting will be communicated on the day of the online lecture via the respective event on our agenda.

Priority for attendance will be given to students of the KABK.

Potlatch

To break with the somewhat static and disembodied nature of the webinar in which these viral times are forcing us, we have set up a gift exchange with our speakers consisting of virtual parts (playlist and online encounter) and a physical part (our emergent, collaborative shrine).

WXTCH CRAFT physical shrine sketch
First sketch for a collaborative, physical shrine to be found at the rear end of the academy (Bleijenburg, BA.0HC). Created by Tommy Smits in collaboration with Dayna Casey.

Follow the Studium Generale on Instagram account @wxtchcraftkabk to be in the loop of this exchange. Resources are shared, and we are available for you with a ready mind and sympathetic ear to all your suggestions, concerns and ideas.

Suggestions/Questions/Remarks

Contact

Drop us a note at e.sprey@kabk.nl or j.vangilst@kabk.nl or via @wxtchcraftkabk

Colofon

Program curator: Erika Sprey
Design, art-direction and program advisor: Dayna Casey
Coordinator: Janne van Gilst
Shrine: Tommy Smits
Textile assistance: Gino Anthonisse

Thank you: Marijn van der Leeuw (Tiny Art Gallery), Sandra Teitge, Joachim Robbrecht, Niam Madlani, Huub Smits, Nel van der Zanden, Daniel Dmyszewicz, Shani Leseman, Caroline Straver, Harvey Davelaar, Pieter van Vliet.