Vassiliea Stylianidou aka Franck-Lee Alli-Tis
Stylianidou's 'WordMord' emerged as part of the seminar 'Feminist Practices in the Public Space at the Era of Globalised Technologies', organized by the Centre in the winter-spring term of 2019. The artist invited the seminar participants to a collective and personal experience where they were asked to touch and feel their mobile phones: the surface, weight, temperature, the materiality of the device. Through this invitation and the artist's guidance, the participants re-enacted the experience of a mediated event through sensing their devices.
The inhuman lynching and murder of the LGBTQI activist Zak Kostopoulos (Zackie O') happened in public view in the center of Athens in September 2018. A few weeks later the young student Eleni Topaloudi was raped and murdered by two men on the island of Rhodes. These two murders did not just happen in temporal proximity but they also express the symptom that confirms the vulnerability of specific -targeted- bodies in the public space, seeing as bodies without a protective tissue.
This re-enactment was seen as a way to experience the role of networked devices in the way we receive facts and events in an affective way, as well as how we experience the circulation of images and speech related to violent, misogynist* incidents. This collective gesture, which was recorded by some of the participants, acted as the starting point for 'WordMord', also suggesting an unconventional process of artistic production.
"Wordmord" poses questions on the relationship between language, trauma and violence against vulnerable bodies, which are not accepted by the patriarchal heteronormative regime. How is violence represented through (online) narratives?
How can we assemble, archive and thusly deconstruct derogatory, sexist, homophobic and transphobic narratives? By exploring subversive and queer feminist artistic methodologies, "Wordmord" seeks to connect art (poetry/performance/moving image/sound) with queer feminist activism and life.
The project continues to evolve as an on-going, collective work. In its second phase which took place in Berlin in autumn 2020, the artist invited activist groups to create, through workshops, an archive, an online platform collecting derogatory narratives that are related to sexism and homo/transphobia, to develop practices of destabilizing/deconstructing the abusive language towards the construction of new words, new empowering queer feminist idioms/languages. Now the project is in its third phase (2021-ongoing), which will evolve through workshops, presentations and artworks. Through collaborations with artists, activists and groups working on feminist coding, WordMord will design an online rhizomatic space as an active feminist (archive https://wordmord-ur.la/). At the same time, the project will provide tools and methods towards a poetically subversive meta/para/re-writing of derogatory narratives and consequently of trauma and violence. WordMord´s initial research group:
Vassiliea Stylianidou aka Franck-Lee Alli-Tis, Angeliki Diakrousi, Christina Karagianni, Mounologies: Eleni Diamantouli and Anna Delimpasi. Oýto Άrognos aka Stylianos Benetos.