(a manifesto in progress) by h.arta group
• to struggle to achieve our independence (in the sense in which independence is one of the ways of acknowledging our dignity as women) but never to forget that this independence is not possible outside the networks of solidarity, friendship and love that ties people together across different places and different living conditions.
• to train our imagination so that we can envision possible spaces outside the existing norms and to believe that these spaces could be at some point reachable to any of us; to always let room for change.
• to read, see, discuss, learn more and add more nuances to the ways we see the world; to try to put into practice in our own lives the ideas that we found valuable.
• to try to find ways in which art, which although is many times taken over (partially or completely) by the neoliberal system, can still be used as a valuable, self-reflective and honest tool for analyses, critique and creation of alternatives.
• To learn how to ask the right questions.
• to use critique not for putting down people, but for creating ways to change what is wrong; to recognize our own mistakes.
• to learn more about herstory and to find models of people of any gender who resisted, in the course of history and in the entire world, to the pressures of racism, sexism and heteronormativity.
• to never be anyone's oppressor!
• to avoid passing by the unfairness around us with indifference.
• to map the borders between labour as compromise and alienation and labour as creation and self- determination and to find ways of expanding the territories of the latter.
• to analyse our interiorised capitalism, to sort out the real needs from the ones that are only consumerist chimeras and to change our ways of living accordingly.
• to see and acknowledge in our lives and in the lives of those around us, the small, everyday ruptures in the capitalist order and to use these anonymous, ephemeral facts as case studies from which to draw conclusions about possible ways to escape that order.
• to pay more attention to what we eat, drink, wear.
• to ignore sometimes the idea that “time is a commodity” and to allow ourselves in full peace of mind to spend a sunny afternoon in the park.
• to use our condition of being in the same time individuals and also members of a group that share so much of their time, ideas, work, affection with each other, to use these situation of being an “I” whose life is so inextricably linked to the lives of the others, in order to fight against the idea that society is moved forward by individualism and competition; to use the processes of constant negotiation that are constructing our friendship as a political statement.
• to discuss more with our families about the things that we believe in, even if this means discussing in contradictory.
• to dominate our fears, to avoid letting our fears of failure, our fears of not fitting into the values and structures promoted by the patriarchal order govern our lives.
• to expose the unfairness and the danger residing in the ideas which present the heterosexual nuclear family as the only space where women can have a fulfilled, meaningful and economically secured life and to find alternatives to these ideas; to acknowledge examples of communities which organize their lives outside these norms; too try to live according to our ideals, no matter how difficult it is.
• to look for solutions
• to find energy
• to look for inspiring examples
• to give back our support!
h.arta is a group of three women artists, Maria Crista, Anca Gyemant and Rodica Tache. We work together as h.arta group since 2001, when we founded h.arta space, a not-for-profit space in Timisoara. H.arta is sometimes a physical space, but many times its projects are taking different formats, changing contexts and locations. Our group is based on our friendship, on an everyday negotiation of the differences between us. We use friendship as a way of learning together how to acknowledge the different nuances of each situation, as a safe space, as a political statement about the power of solidarity. We are interested in topics ranging from knowledge production and (re)writing histories to gender issues in global capitalist times, all these in the context of working in various collaborations with persons and groups with different backgrounds.