Autohagiography: I Am My Own Ecstasy, Suffering, Love, Pain, and Magic, And I Will Write About it in the Face of Those Who Tell Me Not To
Sun, June 5, 2-5pm
$35 Members / $45 Regular
A writing workshop that holds space, bears witness, journeys through the underworld, and finds empowerment in the dark. A space for those with mental illness, chronic illness, disability, neuro-atypicality, difference, trauma, wounds, sensitivity, visions, vulnerability, and/or the feeling of being all too permeable, to tell the stories, the magic, the poetry, and the knowledge that their bodies and souls hold. A space to honor, respect, excavate, articulate, and illuminate.
Autohagiography as a genre emerged in response and in resistance to hagiography (“the lives of the saints”): the religious texts written by literate, male priests that described Medieval women’s mystical experiences. It’s no surprise that the official Church-sanctified texts, which declared these women to be saints, also fetishized, censored, omitted, edited, and significantly altered the source material, as it was told by the women themselves. Autohagiography, then, is the taking back of one’s own seemingly ineffable experiences: the writing of your own body, emotions, ecstasies, and sufferings, especially when they are messy, de-legitimized, incorrigible, don’t follow the rules, and take you to a different place than the one you’re supposed to be.
Johanna Hedva is an anticapitalist psychonaut sorceress, who is a fourth-generation Los Angelena on her mother’s side, and, on her father’s side, the granddaughter of a woman who escaped from North Korea. She has been attached to a grand total of seven ICD codes (International Classification of Diseases), all of them deemed “incurable.” Her performances and plays have been hosted at, or supported by, the Hammer Museum, Machine Project, The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time, High Desert Test Sites, Southern Exposure, Human Resources, PAM, d e e p s l e e e p (which is also her apartment), and others. Her writing has appeared in PANK, 3:AM, Eleven Eleven, Entropy, Circle, Baumtest Quarterly, and others forthcoming. She is currently at work on This Earth, Our Hospital (Sick Woman Theory and Other Writings), an excerpt of which was recently published in Mask Magazine, and first presented by the WCCW in October 2015, as My Body Is a Prison of Pain so I Want to Leave It Like a Mystic But I Also Love It & Want it to Matter Politically.
While most WCCW programming is free or donation-based, with no one turned away for lack of funds, we do offer some workshops that have fees associated. This covers materials and allows us to pay the leaders of these workshops for their time and expertise, and to put a small percentage back into WCCW. This income, in addition to memberships, is what lets us keep the doors open and the lights on. We want to make programming as accessible as possible to anyone who is interested though, so we also offer volunteer opportunities and free community tickets to each event or workshop (number varies depending on capacity of the class). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or to find out more about this opportunity for a specific event.