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COVEN Berlin Š feminist

An

conqueerors

Online

Magazine


PURPOSE COVEN Berlin is a sex-positive transdisciplinary genderbender collective focused on feminism, love, gender, sexuality and art. Founded in 2013 in Berlin by Lo Pecado and Judy Mièl, it is on its way to conqueer the universe with a feminist conflation of provocative fine-lined aesthetics and critical brainwaves in form of artworks, interviews and essays, always using a breath of irony.

COVEN Berlin wants to create an open sphere with words and visuals, a massive weapon to deconstruct the assimilated social structures on sexuality and gender, to transmit a positive message on sex, to defy body politics, to transversally think about immigration, race and sex and to fight against mind-constricted stereotypes on sex and different gender expressions.

COVEN Berlin is an open space where communication flows in multiple directions and we welcome all those interested to make contributions in whatever form of expression you feel most comfortable with.

We want to grow, learn, create, play, perform and share.


FOUNDERS’ STATEMENT Like almost everything that matters in life, COVEN Berlin started with a good glass of wine, a tasty meal and the right companion. After months of talking, ranting, laughing and philosophizing about our coming-of-age stories and experiences as queer women, we began to toy with the idea of shifting from our particular kitchen discussions to the public sphere. We had so much energy and so many things to say, and yet the words seemed to simply evaporate into thin air like a puddle on a hot summer day. We needed a space where not only could we share our opinions but also create a new platform to help defy heteronormativity and sexism in our society. Suddenly a flip switched in our minds and we just knew that we had to take the terrifying and exciting step from words to action, from fantasy to reality.

This is how we gather our courage and plunged into the deep worlds of blogging – the voice of our generation. After a bit of brainstorming and a few clicks here and there COVEN Berlin was born. At first insecurities and a high dose of self-criticism made our attempts to reach a broader audience than the two of us go slowly. But lo and behold! We attracted interested - positive reactions, requests and participation. So we knew in this huge world full of options there was a place for our ideas. And we wanted more.

-Lo and Judy


HOW WE WORK COVEN Berlin is an online platform with flat hierarchies and diversity as key strength where every opinion and perspective counts. Our aim is to provide an open space for our contributors to start a multidirectional dialog and to express themselves with words and visuals. From brainy to frivolous to edgy, our main intention is to share our experiences and thoughts on gender and sexuality, as well as their reflection in our social interactions.We think of COVEN as a plural, fluid and critical collective of people coming from different sociocultural backgrounds. And this means that sometimes our personal opinions do not match. However, we embrace this diversity and understand it as an enriching aspect of the collective.

COVEN Berlin does not work with assignments or deadlines. Our editor-in-chief’s job is to keep the staff stimulated and to help them find out which communication’s style suits them better, always based on their personal experiences, features and preferences.


LANGUAGE & STYLE It was not an easy task to decide whether to use English or German as main communication vehicle for COVEN. Although we always thought of COVEN Berlin as a multicultural and international collective, German was the language in which the idea took form, so to say our project’s mother tongue. Moreover, for both of us English is just our second language and we felt unsure about our ability to transmit our message with acceptable grammar and writing style.

Nevertheless, we didn’t want our content to be restricted to local events and circumstances. We aim to reach the widest audience and, although we are based in Berlin and that of course inspires our work, we don’t want the German language to represent a barrier for our potential readers/collaborators. Thus we think that English is the most suitable language for our project.

Besides, there is always something very revealing about writing in your second language. It is a fact that the way our brains are wired is intrinsically shaped by our mother tongue, that it shaped inevitably the way we experience the world. And this is why it is so rewarding to bring people from different sociocultural and language contexts in a maybe-not so-grammatically-correct but vivid exchange about gender and sexuality. Although we always try to get our content proofread by an English native speaker, it can happen that you find some minor grammar errors or eccentric expressions in our texts. Far from taking it as a flaw, appreciate it as an intimate sign of the personality and uniqueness of our contributors.


FORMAT OVERVIEW Webpage: Platform: Theme:

www.covenberlin.com Wordpress.org

Origin by AlienWP - a minimalistic theme with responsive layout

Columns:

- Wish You Were Queer - Feminism And All Her Friends

> Queer lifestyle

- When 2 Or More Become 1

> Gender, sex & sexuality

- All That Glitters

> Artwork section

> Feminism & activism

- Diary > What we love and what inspires us - The Grinch > Ranting - Unwanted Comment of the Week > Personal experiences in random environments - Party like it’s 1928

> Events & parties in Berlin

Articles:

open structure and visualisation including text, images, gifs, videos and links

Language:

English (with exceptions)

Target

Audience:

queers and (pro) feminists


COLLECTIVE

Lo Pecado (ES) is an intercultural mediator and translator living in Berlin. She currenty writes her PhD dissertation on gender roles and women’s representation on the Internet. She is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of COVEN Berlin, and of

therefore the

responsible

collective.

issues,

as

adventurous

well and

as

She

for

works

body

curious

the

written

content

transdisciplinary

politics nature

and

and

with

immigration

enjoys

and

clicking

conceptual

gender, affairs. on

age, Lo

“random

arrangement sex

and

Pecado article”

race

has

an

during

her extremely extensive Wikipedia visits. One quarter of her brain is believed to

serve

first

as

time

Internet’s in

her

garbage

life.

dump

Heretic

Lo

and

yesterday

Pecado

was

she

born

went

on

to

Easter

the

gym

for

the

Sunday

and

her

blood is Spanish like the Inquisition. Our editor-in-witch loves to brag about having

one

baby

tooth

and

no

wisdom

teeth.


COLLECTIVE

Judy Mièl (DE) was raised in a small village in the south of Germany. Her home was a

situated

lot

of

in

time

the

midst

drawing,

of

corn

fields

bunnysitting,

and

rabbit

playing

in

hutches,

the

where

sandpit

and

she

spent

attending

ballet lessons. Her closest experience to the afterlife was when, after having buried and mourned her beloved tomcat, he appeared safe and sound at the front door.

It

is

co-founder queer

likely is

artwork

a

that

the

neighbour

multimedia

with

the

main

artist focus

on

looked

creating

for

her

cat

for

a

transdisciplinary

illustration,

gifs

and

long

time.

The

genderbending

video

art.

As

the

creative director of COVEN Berlin she is responsible for the visual appearance of webpage content, art works and exhibitions. She has a pathological aversion to

fruit

stickers

and

fake

tattoos.


COLLECTIVE

Esther Nelke (ES) was born in a lost village in the heart of Extremadura. During her

childhood,

and

spent

After

her

she

teenage

surviving

Salamanca,

was

years

there

where

she

often

for met

confused reading

18

years,

another

about

campy she

whether

sci-fi

studied

witch:

Lo

she

and

was

being

Translation

Pecado.

Due

to

a

a

boy

or

a

afraid

of

people.

&

girl,

Interpreting

chronic

in

unability

to settle down, in the last years she has lived in three different countries in four different cities, amongst them Berlin, where she met the other witches of the of

coven.

She

becoming

a

with

sex

work,

works

as

mediocre so

she

a

freelance

artist. is

Her

translator field

opinionated

on

of

and

work

the

tries

has

topic.

to

been

Often

fulfill

closely she

her

dream

intertwined

writes

in

COVEN

Berlin about sexism, social dynamics, sex work, intersectionality, and her own awkward is

relationship

sissy.

current

Her

with

pronoun

whereabouts

is

are

gender.

she,

but

Munich

/

But she

she

mostly

rants.

is

not

particularly

Berlin.

Her

favorite

food

Her

gender

invested is

on

hummus.

identity it.

Her


COLLECTIVE

Eve

Tagny

each

year

(CA) to

was

the

raised

gay

by

pride

a

feminist

parade

in

her

single

mother,

who

native

Montreal.

used

She

to

thus

take

her

learned

at

an early age that queer rights celebrations are (amongst) the bests (parties). Since

then,

she

has

always

spoken

out

for

the

rights

of

minority

groups

and

held at heart the project of an inclusive society. Her video, photographic and journalistic production the

work

from

University

reflects

Concordia of

those

values.

University

Montreal.

Eve

T

and

likes

She is

to

holds

a

currently

crazy

dance

bachelor studying to

Kate

degree

in

Film

journalism Bush

songs.

at


COLLECTIVE

Abigail yet

Liparoto

traditional

(UK),

born

family

in

the

USA,

environment.

As

was a

raised

child

it

in did

England not

in

take

very long

loving for

her

to become aware of gender imbalances at work within the home. In her childlike simplicity these inequalities seemed totally illogical, a belief she held into adulthood. uses

her

She

work

is as

now a

committed

conceptual

to

rally

artist

to

against reflect

inequality on

ideas

of

on

any

social

basis

and

cohesion,

identity and gender expectations. She is a big believer in opening one’s mouth and starting a conversation. She is currently studying masters in fine arts in Gent

Belgium.

Abigail’s

most

favorite

thing

are

hugs.


PROJECTS CONCHA

(2013)

D e s c r i p t i o n : CONCHA f (plural conchas) 1. seashell 2. Popular Spanish female name meaning “conception” 3. (vulgar, Latin America) cunt CONCHA is the Spanish word for seashell and also a Latin American voice for cunt. CONCHA can also be your neighbor, since it is a popular Spanish female name which means conception.

CONCHA is the first postporn short by the queer feminist collective COVEN Berlin. Inspired by the Foucaultian concept of the degenitalization of sex and pleasure (i.e. the breakup of the erotic monopoly traditionally held by the genitals), this film tries to disrupt the spectator’s expectations about porn by mixing symbolic and nonexplicit elements in a provocatively intimate dance.

CONCHA is a sensual 02:09 minute video piece with music by the Berliner-based Jane Freiheit, shot by the queer multimedia artist Judy Milk and starring the tongue talent Lo Pecado.


PROJECTS 1st

Queer

Haiku

Description:

Contest

(2013)

COVEN Berlin invited their followers to join

their 1st Queer Haiku Contest in 2013. Haikus

are

the

minimal

expression

of

poetry:

they

rely

in

the

juxtaposition of two poetic images or ideas and a kireji, or cutting word. The English version (that cannot convey the deceitful simplicity of

the

Japanese

language)

has

17

syllables

and

follows

a

5-7-5

structure, but exceptions prove the rule so let your creativity bloom and don’t feel the need to follow this pattern. By their own nature, haikus are surprisingly fit for queer narratives. They tell the stories contained in casual glances, romances never shown but as a wrinkle in your clothes or whispers in the dark. They depict intimate yet abstract landscapes. In this impossible equilibrium we can find the perfect tool both to reveal and conceal, to tell the stories of the overlooked and the silenced.

Three haikus were chosen from all the submissions to be illustrated by Judy Mièl (http://judymiel.com/) and featured in COVEN Berlin.


PROJECTS Queer

Film

Week

at

MindPirates

e.V.

(2013) Art

work:

Wish

Description:

You

Were

Leading

up

Queer! to

Illustration

Christopher

Street

Day

and

the

Transgenialer Christopher Street Day, MindPirates e.V. was screening a selection of queer films in the week the 17th till the 21st of June in celebration of Pride Week in collaboration with jozo pr (www.jozopr.com) and COVEN Berlin.


PROJECTS Art

Porn

Week

at

MindPirates

e.V.

(2013) Exhibited

art

work:

Potentia

gaudendi

D e s c r i p t i o n : This gif installation represents the carnal, fluid and digitalisible nature of the potentia gaudendi or “orgasmic force”, according to the queer philosopher Beatriz Preciado, this notion describes a new order of capitalist power that is structured via the orgasm. This potentia gaudendi is the sum of the potential excitement inherent to every life molecule. This orgasmic strength is the most abstract and at the same time the most material labor force in the capitalist system, for although it cannot be possessed or conserved, it can be transformed into capital. Pleasure capital.

D u r a t i o n : 58“ in loop / 63“ in loop


PROJECTS Cofradía

de

los

Invertidos

(2013)

D e s c r i p t i o n : With the illustration series ‘Cofradía de los Invertidos’ COVEN Berlin inflames the edge between symbols of Catholic cults and emblems of queer rebellion and empowerment – minorities slip into their reputed despisers’ costumes and celebrate the hidden, the censored and the untolerated. The queer imagery in these portrayals is inspired by the traditional Holy Week processions in Spain, where the worshippers carry religious sculptures on their shoulders commemorating the last days of Jesus Christ while the audience gets carried away by the solemnity of this visual spectacle.

The series is, amongst other COVEN Berlin artwork. supposed to be exhibited in early 2014.


FUTURE COVEN Berlin aims to get visibility not only in a queer and feminist sphere but to

reach

a

wide

range

of

various

readers

and

participants

independent

of

age,

ethnicity, sexual identity or orientation. The Online Mag, linked with different social but

media

also

a

real-life

Berlin-based zines,

platforms,

essays

level or

is

first

experience

like

art

going by

be

a

performing

projects,

compilations.

to

virtual

venu

for

transcisciplinary

parties,

talks,

paper

its

followers

actions

at

publications

a of


CONTACT

c o v e n b e r l i n @ g m a i l . c o m


COVEN Berlin // Press Kit 2013