20. okt. 2009

An Exercise in Collaborative Writing at Civil Media '09, Salzburg

In Other Wor(l)ds

An Exercise in Collaborative Writing
Friday, November 6th 2009, 10.00-12.00, JUFA Salzburg

At the workshop, we will discuss and practice collaborative writing in the genre of feminist-queer speculative fiction. We are going to hold individual authorship hostage for two hours. Because of time limits, we won’t wait for inspiration. Since we aren't professionals, we won’t worry about controlling the narrative either.

We’ll jam. Assuming there will be six of us, we’ll end up with six stories. Each of us is going to begin by writing his / her own story. Fifteen minutes later, you’ll pass the text to the next person. After reading it, she / he / xe will continue where you stopped. The workshop is over when everyone has written a part of every story. If there is time left, we can also mix, polish, dismember or assemble all of it.

If you can, bring your notebook. If we have six, we can make an online zine immediately after the workshop. If not, bring your old school pen!


The workshop rests on the idea that while technological innovation, such as online open-access media, does influence socially innovative uses of that – and older – technologies (for example, zines), innovative articulations of ideas also change the use of existing technologies. As any science fiction reader will tell you, speculations about new technologies can suggest technological innovation. Feminist-queer sci-fi readers might add that social speculative fiction also suggests social change. For example, science fiction can turn ideas into characters. Since ideas disguised as people are inevitably gendered, we will genderfuck with character roles and try to embody some utopian ideas along the way. But first, we’ll make up the characters and discuss the rules.

This is what we did at the Ladyfest in Amsterdam last year.

Type: Workshop
Language: English
Suggested overall duration: 2 hours
Suggested number of participants: 6, no previous experience (or gender;) necessary

The Civilmedia09 "unconference" is going to take place at JUFA Salzburg. Address: JUFA Salzburg, Josef-Preis-Allee 18, 5020 Salzburg, +43(0)662/84 26 70 / Map

I will also participate in the panel on Participatory culture and technology in on- and offline networks on Saturday, Nov. 7th, at 10. 00. I'll speak in the name of feminist and queer festival Rdeče zore / Red Dawns from Ljubljana. Details.

9. okt. 2009

Pozzoromolo, My Trans Body and I

Pozzoromolo and My Trans Body and I are two attempts at re-appropriation. At reclaiming and doing something pleasurable with what's been "taken from me"; at becoming comfortable with a situation in which I felt I was being asked to dissociate the idea of "myself" from the image of "myself".

I turned into fiction when my portrait photo taken by somebody whom I trusted appeared on the cover of a novel without my knowledge. The novel Pozzoromolo was written by an autor I never heard of, L. R. Carrino from Italy, and since it is going to be released next week, the image even suggested that I might be, at this stage, a fictional character on the brink of emergence: a sort of tabula rasa.

Still, this writer was my friends' friend, and from what I could read, queer too, so in theory, the book should be just fine. Because of that, and because the publishing house seemed to be rather small, I did not care about it being illegal, or thinking it should be, but I found it unethical. Even if it obviously flattered me to be there - the photo is brilliant - I was offended by the fact that he never bothered to ask.

And yet, isn't it funny to think that my "heart jerked", as he put it, because I rely on the absurd idea that "my" image (whether taken by others or me) can correspond with my idea of "myself". Or even that it belongs to "me". The idea is absurd because it rests on the conviction that you can control what others will see in your face, what they'll read from your clothes, and what they'll assume.

On the street, the clothes definitely do the talking. This morning, when I came to Metelkova, some teenagers were hanging out under the tower, and when I cycled past, one of them shouted: 'Piflar, pejt u šolo! 'Go to shool, nerd!' Proof that some readings might be more pleasurable than others? Or the ultimate sign that we are all, in this sense, trans? Written all over and changed with every (re)appropriation? This is my re-appropriation of Luca Donnini's photo as it is going to look on the cover of Pozzoromolo.

Re-appropriation 1: Pozzoromolo

There is another one. A girl called Anna-Carin Isaksson took pictures of feminist-queer girls in Ljubljana some years ago, including myself, for a school project with the idea that they are going to be published in a final school book. That image was, by not such an improbable chance, found much later by my friend Anna in a Swedish "feministisk kulturtidskrift" called BANG. There, the photo illustrated an article entitled Min transkropp och jag. Or, in English, My Trans Body and I. How appropriate, I thought, and took it.

Re-appropriation 2: Min transkropp och jag