Zine Review: The WITCHTITS Book of Magic

Zine, Alicia Grant and Zinzi Buchanan, [email protected], $5 

Alicia Grant and Zinzi Buchanan are WITCHTITS, a feminist performance duo based in Berlin who are interested in “soft boundaries,” such as those between performance and lived experience, and between the fake and real in rituals surrounding healing. The WITCHTITS Book of Magic is their first zine, and it functions as an extension of their performance practice.

The zine revolves around nine sets of instructions that are framed as dance or performance scores but can also be read as the steps of rituals or spells. The most interesting scores are the ones that involve breaking down societal codes and norms surrounding bodily functions and women’s body hair. For example, one score entitled “Banishing Shame” involves getting together with a friend to mingle and scatter pubic hair. The intimacy of the practice of blending hair seems to facilitate the discarding of shame, from which participants can walk away at the end of the ceremony.

There is a strong element of humour in Grant and Buchanan’s approach to the content of their zine. Abstract instructions (“imagine you are giving birth to your worst enemy”) are mixed with extremely precise guidelines (“Duration: 17 mins.”), and the language and diagrams are quite playful. Yet one does not get the sense that the duo is mocking mystical practices. Instead, the laughter and play seem to encourage creativity. Indeed, the zine invites readers to join the duo in explorations and reinventions of the rituals of daily life, and to collaborate with friends and strangers to locate the healing powers of various objects in our immediate environments. (Norah Franklin)

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