News from the world of commons:

KABK & Studium Generale Wxtch Craft

Casco Art Institute is pleased to co-present the final two online gatherings in the Spring cycle of Studium Generale at the KABK titled Wxtch Craft: the poisons, the remedies, where wxtch craft is traversed as a queer feminist and liberatory practice. We join their rich exploration of embodied social change, transformative justice and many related practices thriving in this ecosystem of radical care.

We started from the premise that reparative processes are necessary for individual and collective healing in regards to violences on institutional and interpersonal levels. It’s in the aftermath of harm that opportunities to respond and demonstrate accountability reveal themselves: by apologizing – for starters – and making a contribution (both material and immaterial) towards repair and a commitment to changed behavior for the long haul. Yet there is more. Healing from harm and preventing harm are entangled processes to build our collective strength against oppression. We need models that hold both our grief and joy.

Preventive frameworks and practices can help to strengthen the protective factors of our institutions and relationships (spaces where we feel heard, safe, affirmed, and also accountable). We find that the only way forward in transforming our work with art institutions toward deep mutual understanding is to organize from a survivor-centered and accountable approach. We also think broadening notions of political and interpersonal intimacies and poetics can be part of our preventive model. These two sessions with Wxtch Craft explore how language can aid between the (un)known and ready to be named.

This collaboration is hosted by Staci Bu Shea and Leana Boven, and includes graphic recordings by Radical Roadmaps for each event.

Access Intimacy with Mia Mingus, opening contribution by Not a Playground

13 May 2021, 18.30–20.00

Writer, community organizer, and disability justice activist Mia Mingus elaborates on “access intimacy” and shares what it can look like in our communities in this first online event. Initially coined on her blog Leaving Evidence in 2011, access intimacy is an “elusive, hard to describe feeling when someone else gets your access needs” and a sense of “comfort that your disabled self feels.” This kind of intimacy, considered by Mingus and many from disability communities as “the missing link” across structural limitations of access and community building, paves way for interdependent connections as opposed to isolating, individual circumstances. Access intimacy can extend to class, race, and gender, and make space for the pain and trauma related to other forms and intersections of oppressive experience. Not a Playground (NAP), a grassroots organization, activist research collective who focuses on collecting and reflecting on institutional critique in the (Dutch) arts/culture/design fields, participates in this session with an opening contribution. Initially formed in protest last September, NAP reflects on their organizing processes as it relates to transformative justice and envisioning for a future regenerated after the burn.

Barn’s burnt down – now I can see the moon with CA Conrad, Camisha L. Jones, and Ching-In Chen

20 May 2021, 18.30–20.00

Drawn from a haiku by 17th century Japanese poet Mizuta Masahide, Barn’s burnt down – now I can see the moon is a poetry roundtable that centers around how articulating the ways struggle, pain and loss inevitably changes us also opens possibilities for careful attention, new forms of connection, and unlocked essential wisdom. For the second online event and final digital coven of the Wxtch Craft 20/21 season, we gather around readings by three poets: CA Conrad, Camisha L. Jones, and Ching-In Chen. They read from their work and discuss how poetry helps to understand and translate difficult experiences, and complicates simple narratives of healing or solutions to be “cured” and “fixed.” Instead, it informs our nexus of Disability justice, intergenerational witnessing, and holding space for grief.

The links to each zoom meeting will be published on the day of the event on the website of Wxtch Craft. Follow their Instagram account @wxtchcraftkabk for updates and more details.

Both events are held in English, and include American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and English real-time captioning (CART). Read the Code of Conduct here.

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