Questioning Through Writing
Mon 22 May, 7–9 pm
SPACE Mare Street
Free & all welcome
Led by Gabby Moser from EMILIA-AMALIA feminist working group, Toronto, Canada
The next meeting of the Feminist Duration Reading Group departs from its usual monthly slot in order to host a session guest-facilitated by Gabby Moser from EMILIA-AMALIA feminist working group in Toronto.
This writing intensive session is adapted from EMILIA-AMALIA’s five-session arc exploring the various dimensions of “How to Ask a Question,” inspired by Kyla Wazana Tompkins’ 2016 essay ‘We Aren’t Here To Learn What We Already Know.’ The session invites participants to think about how question-asking can be adapted to enable them to write differently about experience, pushing past the more common strategies of autobiography and self-narration. Using a series of text, filmic and visual prompts, participants will attempt to shed the skin of their own experience and to ask questions from inside another body, or from outside the body altogether.
While many feminist writers have debated the limited political potential of writing one’s own story in a language that was always designed and deployed by patriarchy, and have proposed writing in a new, alien, language, this session asks whether there is also potential in attempting to write from outside the self.
No pre-reading is required. All writing will be spontaneous and formulated in response to various visual and aesthetic prompts, provided by the facilitator. However, participants are also encouraged to submit or bring prompts of their own to share with the group. Prompts could be visual artworks, film, music or dance clips (please choose an excerpt no more than 5 minutes in length), or a short text that you feel speaks to the experience of being outside of one’s own, or in another’s, body.
EMILIA-AMALIA is an exploratory working group, based in Toronto, Canada, that employs practices of citation, annotation, and autobiography as modes of activating feminist art, writing and research practices.
Through readings, screenings, discussions, and writing activities, the group investigates historical and intergenerational feminisms, as well as relationships of mentorship, collaboration, and indebtedness between artists, writers, thinkers, curators, and practitioners. In tracing these lines, the group aims to elucidate the histories of feminism that have been obscured and overlooked in the narratives of 1970s, or “second-wave” feminism that we have inherited.
EMILIA-AMALIA critically examines how we fit in with those past iterations, and also how we might update and extend them so that they can respond to contemporary questions. Motivated by a desire to think through these questions collaboratively, each monthly meeting is structured around a text, a conversation, and a writing activity.
EMILIA-AMALIA is an open group that invites all levels of engagement. We are all experts. No one is an expert. Expertise is not expected.
EMILIA-AMALIA is initiated by Cecilia Berkovic, Yaniya Lee, Annie MacDonell, Gabrielle Moser, Zinnia Naqvi, Leila Timmins, and cheyanne turions.