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(5)Wounds & Damage

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I’ve recently become interested in the craft of prosthetic wound making. I’m exploring the materiality of wounds as an expression of the hidden oppressions and damages done to the human and non-human sphere by the conditions of neo-liberalism. These wounds are not simply about guts and gore, but about making tangible intersectional and compounded damage played out through systemic and micro acts of oppression, exclusion and aggression. In asking questions about the cuts and wounds that capitalism casts, I draw on two feminist methodologies; these are consciousness raising (CR) listening praxes and queering damage (QD) methodology.

CR is a collective speaking-listening process that dedicates itself to developing methods of listening. CR praxes were rehearsed in 1960’s and 1970’s Western feminist movements, where women gathered to listen to each other articulating their own personal narratives. In this sense, CR groups functioned to carve open spaces to witness women “saying it how it is” (Farinati & Firth, 2017, p.40 - 41). This practice values listening as much as speaking and is a practice that sets out to understand the relationship between lived experience and the politics of everyday life (Farinati & Firth, 2017, p.5).

QD is a praxis-research methodology I came across at Sonic Acts Festival (2020). Developed by Helen Pritchard, Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting and Laura Benitez Valero, QD is a manual for understanding the damages of techno-science, capitalism and informatics on human and non-human worlds. It is a method that sets out to identify, name, and if possible, repair various types of damage done. Pritchard et al define the purpose of QD as “Instead of extending benevolent utopianism, the praxis extends queer theories that concern personal injury into more than human ensembles in order to consider the shared damages. It is designed to be carried in your pocket, holds a free art license, and exists to be used and re-situated” (Pritchard et al, 2020, p. 91). In drawing on and combining these two methodologies, I hope to contribute practices of critical, collective listening to experiences of becoming and being wounded within the context of neoliberalism.

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