Imperialist and sexist systems of control are imprinted in the way society thinks about -and acts around- labor. Be it how we work, how we give birth, or how we use our bodies in order to earn money, we carry traces of labor exploitation and social privilege in our sweat. Almost inevitably, our professional choices determine our lifestyle, our careers define who we are, and our success (or lack thereof) assigns us a place in society. Which queer feminist strategies help us challenge the oppressive working dynamics of patriarchal neo-liberalism? What are the socio-political implications of unpaid work, mail-order brides, and emotional labor? How can we move on from the nuclear family model? What defines sex work? Is “having it all” a middle-class white women dream? COVEN BERLIN’s new performative experience, LABOR OR LABOR, approached all these questions and answered none. Within a queer feminist frame, current global politics of production and reproduction were dissected and reinvented by invited artists, witches, and other unproductivity advocates in this celebration of taking time.
LABOR OR LABOR presented the work of artists of various disciplines with a common focus on labor. This queer feminist experience took place in the form of talks, performances, screenings, and other events like a vigil ritual, where everyone was invited to lose their sense of time and space throughout the night. The topics addressed by the invited artists, activists, academics, witches and workers included but were not limited to motherhood, queer parenting, birth, sex work, body politics, labor exploitation, social privilege, and politics of production and reproduction. The event took place from the 14th to the 16th of July 2016 at Glogauair (Glogauerstr. 16 10999 Berlin Kreuzberg.)
/// FULL PROGRAM ///
Thursday, 14th July 2016 (18:00-24:00)
With audiovisual artworks by GEO-VANNA, ANASTASIA MUNA, LAURA G. JONES, ALEXA VACHON, GOODYN GREEN, ANGELA KAISERS, KIONA NIEHAUS and COVEN BERLIN.
YOUR NEXT WEIRD STEP
Career/Passion/Practice/Project Counseling by Sadie Lune
Sadie Lune is the founder of Berlin Failure Club, an artist, sex worker and parent. She has been struggling at living the dream for almost 20 years in the messy realms of work, life and love. She would like to become a therapist, but lacks motivation to jump all the hurdles in Germany, so please accept her compulsive need to give advice to all workers, creative people, and anyone with a life goal that they want or need, but struggle to do.
One-on-one performance by Fran Breden
Sound Body is a shared listening experience between the artist and an audience of one. Sound Body immerses the audience member into the physical experience of another body, using sound and touch. Frances Breden is an artist and designer
Performance by Zinzi Buchanan
“Do you want to have children?” This one question brings many life-concerns to the table: nuclear family, community, romantic love, misogyny, heteronormativity, role models, gender binary, responsibility, ageing, global warming. The list goes on. Will future people look back and pity us for reproducing in this way? Will they have gotten it right? If this dance piece was a baby it would have many mums. Hot mum is heterogeneous, unapologetic, tender, nurturing, honest, defiant and loyal. Does she have a future?
Zinzi Buchanan is a feminist, performer and dancer. She has a drag act called STEVE who has performed on stage solo and with Sheena McGrandles in MAN POWER MIX, as well as in many one hit wonders. Since 2012 she has been teaming up with Alicia Grant as WITCHTITS to bring people together for ritualistic and ceremonial experiences. She is in an all-female dance piece, Donnie choreographed by Ofelia Jarl Ortega and is part of a collective future with kids called FIST with friends, Zwoisy Mears-Clarke, Federica Fiore and more.
Friday, 15th July 2016 (18:00-open end)
ENTER ME TONIGHT
Protect, evolve, heal the H.E.A.R.T.H reproductive system. Be part of the 3rd Enter Me Tonight. Meeting. Live from Virtual Reality.
Since 1996, Li Alin presents artworks questioning evolution strategies and human reproduction. Her projects include a notorious internet sperm bank Eugenie sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Canadian Cultural Center in Paris.
ASK A HOOKER
Mixture of panel discussion and intimate interview moderated by Harvey Rabbit.
You, the audience, are invited to ask REAL LIVE SEX WORKERS any question you want, and you can ask them anonymously. When you show up, you will be given two question cards and a pencil with which to ask a hooker a question. Your questions stimulate an interview with three different sex workers from diverse backgrounds. You, the audience, decide on the content of this lively, informative and quite possibly hilarious discussion! In this time when there are so many “voices for the voiceless” surrounding the topic of sex work, you are invited to come and hear sex workers use their voices and answer any question you may have, from the personal to the political. We are going to demystify it all for you!
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
Music performance by Verónica Mota
“The World We Live In” is a live sound sculpture that dissects a patriarchal society which underrates the work of women in many different fields such as arts, music and science. Since centuries the labor done by female human beings is not acknowledged and recognized for what it is: hard work. It is a fact that millions of women have to play different roles at the same time in terrains like motherhood, professional career, sex and housework. Also, millions of women live as single mothers becoming both mom-and-dad binary subjects on a daily basis. All this role playing is socially considered understandable, unquestionable and, worse, even expected.
Since the sixties until now, almost 40 years later, women have spoken out many truths about the constant exploitation of female labor -with the worst scenarios being lived by women of color and trans people. Today we experience excellent steps towards better technology and social networking as well as many amazing inventions based on sustainable concepts, yet female humans labor remains completely underrated. Many people may disagree and point out the bad work done by women who have reached professional, economic & political power like Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel or Hillary Clinton (bad examples of female labor since they all play pretty much masculine and patriarchal rules.) What they mean is basically that women are not to be trusted and this is why they must remain subjugated. Do you agree? I certainly don’t.
Verónica Mota is a musician and sound designer from Mexico City currently working in Berlin. Her works encompass analogue and digital synthesis, field recordings and musique concrète techniques, often displaying her proficiency at playing a variety of instruments. She has produced a large body of soundtrack work for radio, film and performance, and, with Cubop, as a solo artist in her own right.
Late night ritual by Shelley Etkin
Spending time, losing time, bending time, taking time, trading time, making time. Midnight, the time inbetween day and night, when the portal between realms is open. A soft ritualistic allnighter vigil for lawless werewolves, to fux with the currency of time.
Shelley Etkin is a transdisciplinary artist, working between realms of dance, performance, ecology, queer feminisms, curation, and community organizing. She holds a B.A. in Gender Studies and will begin her M.A. studies in Ecology & Contemporary Performance this Fall 2016. Shelley is seminomadically based between Berlin and Ponderosa, where she is currently in residence and garden caretaker.
Saturday, 16th July 2016 (17:00-23:00)
And breathe… In this fast paced world our refuge can be our own bodies. Come begin to be present in your daily life and learn to fully inhabit your cells. No experience necessary! Bring your own pillow if you like, but pillows will be provided. Together may we be happy, may we be safe, may we be free from fear, may we be at ease in our bodies, may we be at ease in this world, may we know peace. The meditation will be a combination of sitting meditation, walking meditation and a short discussion and will last just over an hour.
Coral Short has been a practicing meditator for ten years and a sober genderqueer for 15 years. Donations are appreciated, but not required
QUEER PARENTING AND HOW TO BE AN ALLY
Featuring Goodyn Green, Zafire Vrba, Angie Kohon & more.
DIVIDE TO CONQUER
Open reading and discussion on the exploitation of creative labor by encouraged individualism.
Hosted by Read What You Want!
PHILOSOPHY IN THE KITCHEN
Video essay by Dormietta Torlasco
Philosophy in the Kitchen by Dormietta Torlasco is a split-screen video essay that explores how housework has changed the cinema. Well before other forms of labor in the new global economy erased the line between work and life, housework (from cleaning and cooking to child-rearing) was always that with which we are never done. It seizes all of life incessantly, requiring that we envision new forms of expression and tactics of resistance.