“Witchcare” explores witchy ways of caring and knowing that draw on long histories of reproductive, medicinal, and affective labour to offer new healing possibilities for today.
Artist, writer, and organizer Lena Chen, a member of Maternal Fantasies Collective, presents We Lived In The Gaps Between The Stories, a socially engaged art project connecting the stories of contemporary abortion workers to the historic persecution of witches, healers, and herbalists.
Designer and writer Karisa Senavitis shares a video essay on remote healing and sensing through digital care groups, informed by the study of healing plants and fungus.
Writer, educator, and community builder Margeaux Feldman advocates for “trauma witchery,” a practice of somatic, politicized healing for and by sick, disabled, and mad witches that is rooted in queer community, healing justice, and collective care.
Renee Monchalin will trace the connection between abortion stigma and the outlawing of Indigenous knowledge of abortifacient medicine and argues that the reassertion of Indigenous healing knowledge will change how abortion is perceived.
Lena Chen, "WE LIVED IN THE GAPS BETWEEN THE STORIES"
Lena Chen is a Chinese American artist, writer, and activist. From intimate one-to-one performances to communal rituals, her work examines gender, labor, trauma, sexuality, and technology and has been exhibited internationally. She earned a B.A. in sociology from Harvard University and is currently pursuing a MFA at Carnegie Mellon School of Art.
Karisa Senavitis’s design research and writing is positioned at the intersection of culture and care. Karisa partnered with a Philosophy of Public Health PhD candidate to develop an interdisciplinary arts program during her residency at the Jan van Eyck Academie. Her writing on DIY medical devices is included in Steven Heller and Veronique Vienne’s book Citizen Designer. Her work with collective care groups’ digital boundaries, Reparative Design, was published in the critical new materialism issue of Freiburger Zeitschrift fur GeschlechterStudien. Karisa is in continual study with the artist collective, Knowledge Is a Does.
Karisa Senavitis lives at the Jersey shore with her partner, lots of plants and two cats. She is card weaving conversations and moderates a listserv for women/femmes/gender non-conforming people with autoimmune and other chronic conditions.
Margeaux Feldman, "Trauma Witchery: Healing Ourselves and Our World"
Margeaux Feldman is a writer, educator, and community-builder living on Treaty 7 Territory in Mohkínstsis or what is now known as Calgary, AB. Margeaux holds a PhD in English Literature and Sexual Diversity Studies from the University of Toronto, where they wrote a dissertation that explored the intersections between chronic illness, trauma, intimacy, care, and queer sexuality. Margeaux has self-published numerous zines that focus on their experiences with poverty, chronic illness, and trauma, and are currently working on transforming their dissertation into a book manuscript entitled “Touch Me, I’m Sick.” You can learn more about Margeaux and the work they do in the world through their website www.margeauxfeldman.com and can follow them on Instagram @margeaux.feldman.
Renée Monchalin, "Exposing the Roots of Abortion Stigma: Witch-hunts, Colonialism and Honouring Indigenous Knowledges”
Renée Monchalin, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. Her areas of research surround sexual health and access to culturally safe health services, with a specific focus on access to abortion.