Thursday 2 July 2020 at 18.00-21.00
On Thursday 2 July we will present Vassiliea Stylianidou’s aka Franck-Lee Alli-Tis project WordMord, which was shaped at the Centre of New Media & Feminist Public Practices during a workshop organised by the artist. The starting points of the workshop were two extreme incidents of public violence, misogyny and homophobia: the inhumane lynching and murder of Zak Kostopoulos/Zackie Oh, in public view in the centre of Athens, and the rape and murder of Eleni Topaloudi in Rhodes.
WordMord poses questions on the relationship between language and violence against vulnerable bodies, which are not accepted by the patriarchal heteronormative regime. Words are micro-archives that reflect power relations, social norms and laws. How is public violence represented through online narratives? How can we assemble, archive and thusly deconstruct these kinds of speech and the derogatory, sexist, homophobic and transphobic narratives that are being developed? By seeking subversive and queer feminist methodologies, WordMord gives prominence to the political and poetic power of language.
At the Reading Group, we will talk about feminist practices that destabilise dominant languages, as well as the relationship between word and image as representation strategies. Drawing inspiration from the work of Paul B. Preciado, whose writing practice manifests as the technology for the production of subjectivity, WordMord traces the possible methodologies of (collective) performative writing as a technology that produces embodied (collective) desires.
In the wake of the latest developments of Topaloudi’s trial and verdict, while Zak's trial is still pending and as public opinion is divided, we will talk about necropolitics and the critical implications associated with the understanding of the profound effects that global shifts and crises have on women*, which, under the pressure of a new unprecedented crisis, of the pandemic, are magnified and become complicated. Texts from timeliness and social networks will intersect queer feminist theory that emerges in the present as more relevant than ever.
Note: Participants in the workshop are invited to bring -if they wish- an excerpt of an abusive narrative that they have encountered online in relation to these two murders.