When all seems lost, where do we start?
Spell casting for a broken world by Odete
This selection of books was made with works that gave me a new world to look into, when my own was decaying. Reading these books gave me new languages to “unbind my tongue”, sparkle my eyes with glowing dust that reflected and refracted reality. They were also friends and comrades, manifestos and love letters.
The sacred pint alone can unbind the tongue...
Mucus in My Pineal Gland
Juliana Huxtable — Capricious / Wonder, New York, 2017.
If real power starts where secrecy begins, then as we frantically search for dick pics of Justin Bieber or our next door neighbour (who we’re convinced posted the faceless Craigslist ad seeking an Asian bottom), we’re seduced into a beautiful distraction in which we are convinced, by virtue of our victorious toppling of the lives of others, that we indeed have nothing to hide.
Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic
Scott Cunningham — Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, 2002.
A book regarding the magic of the elements: water, air, fire and earth. It teaches us to regain sensibility over the simple magic that surrounds us, giving us practical ways to communicate with the oceans, the forests or even a simple flame. A book of shadows of sorts, containing spells and rituals.
Read here an abstract.
The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula K. LeGuin — Ace Books, New York, 1969.
A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can choose - and change – their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters.
Read more about this book here.
“My Words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage”
Susan Stryker, in A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Volume 1, Issue 3
1 June 1994, Duke University Press.
More than say anything about it, I’ll quote “A gendering violence is the founding condition of human subjectivity; having a gender is the tribal tattoo that makes one's personhood cognizable. I stood for a moment between the pains of two violations, the mark of gender and the unlivability of its absence. Could I say which one was worse? Or could I only say which one I felt could best be survived?” And there you go. It’s an essay crossed by the body, its violent existence, and the consequence of it, rage.
Read or download a PDF made available by Duke University Press.
Octavia E. Butler — Beacon Press, Boston, 2004.
To remind ourselves of the past. To remind ourselves of the illusions of the progressive present. To remind ourselves that time is not going in the linear direction of the future. “Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland.” Not only this time travel allows for an analysis of racial heritage and the travelling of trauma through generations, but the way it plays with historical fiction, research and sci-fi is purely genius.
Know more about this book here.
A multidisciplinary artist, Odete (b. 1995, Porto) develops a body of work that operates in the field of music, visual arts, performance, and theatre. Her work is explicitly autobiographical, making clear the connections between personal and political. In 2013, she graduated from ACE (Contemporary Drama Academy) in Porto, where she attended the performative arts course, in the field of Acting. Currently, Odete is researching secret societies, new ways of thinking archaeology, and science fiction. In this conversation, she speaks about manipulating history, identity, and the immateriality of music.
Odete is the winner of the first edition of RExFORM – International Performance Project, that is born of the collaboration between maat and BoCA, with the intent to promote contemporary artistic creation, following the evolution of the concept of performance, understood as a collaborative practice with ramifications that involve new concepts of theatricality, choreography, and medium. The artist proposes to present at maat a performance which “breaks the performative exposure that transforms our bodies in merchandise, to lie about history so we can reshape the future”. It’s the culmination of a piece about shadows and politics that Odete has developed since she started creating.