What I want to do:
Main topic >>> Slavic paganism
• In opposition to Catholicism;
• As a way to find my own spirituality that is not associated with organised religion (specifically Catholicism);
• How does queerness come in? >>> connected to opposing the institution of the Catholic church, one of the main obstacles in starting radical social change;
As a Polish (Slavic) queer, I feel fucking stifled and hopeless so I need some sort of escape in a form of cultivating our forgotten religious and cultural roots, wiped out by Christianity over a 1000 years ago. It brings me comfort to explore it and find out more about it. It is a continuation of my research from the past 2-3 years at the academy. It’s all connected to my roots, identity (national and otherwise), family. I’m just trying to process all of this heart breaking, fucked-up history and how it has affected me since I was a child, how it has affected other Poles and Slavs. How it shaped me – the Catholicism, the nationalism, the antisemitism, the after math of communism. The fucking crusade against queer people. Don’t even start with the western communists in this country (Holland) what the fuck. A fucking hammer and sickle tattoo? Really? Stupid fuckers.
To present what I wanted to say about the state of religion and its negative impact in Poland, I decided to use depictions of Slavic deities. I specifically chose rusałki, which are Slavic nymphs. They represent four forces of nature: water, the forest, the sky and the mountains. They have always stuck out to me, because of their feminine energy and strength. They are similar to the Greek sirens, as they tend to lure in men with their enchanting beauty and then use them for their own benefit. Sometimes they eat them, other times they keep them around for a while to satisfy their sexual needs. Rusałki are more of a monster-like deity disguised in a pretty package, or a package that would appeal to men's desires. I love their deceitful nature, because they are not what they seem. Being underestimated gives them an advantage, and no man sees it coming.
In my project, I wanted to show a different side to these beings. Most depictions of rusałki that I’ve seen do not live up to the standard that I have of them in my head. None of them speak to the way I imagine them. They’re always very pale, skinny, young, with long wavy hair. I want to make the depictions a little more tender, ethereal, symbolic. I want to show different types of bodies, young, old, fat, muscular. I want them to be welcoming, full of love and care for those who deserve it. But also ruthless to those that wrong them. They’re described as demonic creatures after all. Beautiful, divine entities that draw you in.
Google image search for "rusałka"
Holy shit it's HOLY CARDSSSS. What are holy cards, you might be wondering. They're little cards with depictions of saints and prayers to those saints. They're very popular in catholic countries and communities.
What kind of printed publication?
I gravitated to this medium because it's easily distributed and given away for free. I thought it was a nice way to integrate the aspect of community care into the project. A way to share the divine energy with anyone that would welcome it.
Making holy cards with pagan symbols on them was also