Writing residence for women in the North

Darkness and Women’s writing

In collaboration with milieu #301, a collective of social researchers from Saint Petersburg, Barents Spektakel 2022 will feature a series of events dedicated to reimagining darkness in connection with women’s experience in the North.

First event in the series – a single-day writing residence – took place on December 25 at the Second School in Nikel. The residence invited women from Murmansk region to redefine darkness through women’s textbody in order to imagine its other possibilities and create new histories and geographies that include those who were rendered invisible, non-geographic “others”.

Topics of the residence: text and body, autotheory, darkness

  • Body is the foundation of thought. Body is a text. When I write I order – I write in order to include what is erased by others when I speak. To rewrite histories that were written wrongly about me, about us.
  • Darkness is “other”, invisible, marginal. But it hasn’t always been that way. The dualism of darkness and light appeared as a symbolic moral formula. Now my darkness, my night is associated with negative and evil forces. But darkness isn’t the absence of light as we were told. It is configurations of light and shade that we can see only when we join it. And when we do, we realise that the shadows are simply places that it tenderly left to guide us.
  • Darkness as the night space of the Arctic, as a particular material condition, space of women’s invisibility and simultaneously a source of emancipation and alternative knowledge.

 The ideas of the residence are inspired by fieldwork of Irina Shirobokova who lived and interviewed women in Murmansk region, and texts by Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Katherine McKittrick, Bayo Akomolafe, Hélène Cixous.

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