Turning illness into weapon
Feminist health care research group (Alice Münch, Feli Reuschling, Inga Zimprich, Ingela Johansson, Isabell Gross, Isabella Schiele, Johanna Gustavsson, Julia Bonn, Julia Entner, Tijana Stevanovic)
Prevailing concepts of health and health care surround us invisibly and reach as governmental power deep into our lives. National security systems are made to exclude everyone who does not comply with its national, racial and economic criteria. Health affects us immediately, physically and emotionally in acute situations, in which we and those close to us often experience powerlessness and a sense of subjection.
Because we as artists would like to position ourselves with regard to the politics of health and health care, we have initiated a collective research, in which we can go deeper into the matter together and approach health and care from different viewpoints: What concepts of health/illness, disability/ability lies at the foundation of our society? How is the health care system structured, how does it perform exclusion? How do we obey these principles on the level of our own bodies? Are artists white, young, flexible, productive? What repressed knowledge can we recover collectively? What other care structures do we long for? How does that affect our practice as artists who work together?
On one hand we would like to empower us as a group that works with health and learns about the health care system, in order to object to the existing structural inequalities and divides that govern the field (between doctors and patients, between sick and healthy people, between those in- and excluded by notions of health and ability). On the other hand we would like to give space to our personal experiences and articulate our vulnerability, borders and emotions as artists politically. Next to the immediate question of the functioning of health care and our wishes for other forms and models of social well-being, the research group also develops ways of knowing and learning collectively. We as a group form a knowing body, that we would like to support as well as critically examine. Through our joint research we'd like to become a group that learns from each other and enacts knowledge together, with which we would like to conclude towards new works, be it in the form of zines, practices, acts or exhibitions.
Our first meeting took place in Berlin from May 4th to 10th. We worked at Flutgraben e.V. and visited ffgz, Spinnboden and HeileHaus. We are publishing a small zine summarizing our first meeting.