The
,
,will take form as an intimate workshop over Zoom. During the workshop, some moments will be felt silently while others will be filled with explanations and reflections of the wider aims that Our Starter Culture tries to achieve. This will include the history of the
Libellus de Medicinalibus Indorum Herbis
, the
methadology
of the project, the role of
empathy
and remedies within the realm of
social and environmental injustice.


We will then dive deeper into the project by exploring
, the remedy for
fever
and its connection with
. Through the creation of chapter two and the gathering of objects, I learned how to
. In this workshop I will be sharing the knowledge that I gained and will be teaching an introduction to knitting, showing the participants how to:
       

       

       

       

       


This is with the aim of creating a
coin purse
with two different colours. A coin purse was selected to physically connect with the social and environmental injustice highlighted in this chapter, which is the role of banks in the climate crisis.

I will be making a knitting
which will be shared with the participants before the workshop to familiarise themselves with the work. We will work through the pattern in the workshop and the participants can finish the work in their own time. This knitting pattern will also be a small information packet on the work, the remedy and what they can do to


The intervention seeks to create a healing environment where tougher subjects can be discussed and empathy can be shared with everyone involved. The goal is to be able to leave the intervention having learned a new healing act, a new skill and having a bigger capacity to empathise and act in a way that helps the intersectional environmental movement.

This intervention was heavily inspired by a
I did in the summer by
. It was over
Zoom
and we were sent over our materials a few days before through the post. The class was small with only about 6 of us which was the perfect size. She went through the history of Sachiko, its place in economic class, and the beautiful order in which you stitch to make the most out of your thread. It was a very beautiful experience and probably one of the most successful Zoom classes I have had. There was short theory, an activity where you learned followed by some silence while we stitched together and where people would ask the odd question; it felt like a real online stitching group.


        

Watch the Zoom recording to get a snippet of what the class was like here



Previous iterations of this work have
been done in the past...

The Church


I wanted to experiment with the idea of healing and existing while defying capitalism. Of course, this is almost an impossible task, but I began to think of it as a
church
. I thought about some of the elements a church contains and how these could relate to the live intervention, and I ended up with these 5 elements; a god, a place of worship, acts of devotion, planned congregation and a teaching. The god was us and the community. The place of worship was a place in your home (as we cannot go out right now), where the capitalist mode of production existed the least. The acts of devotion were an activity the person did that allowed them to heal, emotionally and/or physically.

The planned congregation was a Zoom call where I did a
reading
on healing and justice (this is also where the teaching element came in) by adreinne marie brown. Then everyone explained their acts of healing and the place they chose. We finished it off with a few minutes of everyone
doing their act of healing
, but by doing it together we were helping each other heal and we were also defying the capitalist mode of production by not being useful to it. At the end we talked about how it created a time to relax and be together, and about about the existence of capitalism in our homes. We also learned different ways of healing and how we could adopt them into our daily lives.  

A moment I especially cherish was when we could hear the birds chirping in Mexico City, the rain falling in Amsterdam, and the sandy wind in Doha, all while doing our act of healing.

Using all those five elements, we could hold our
"sunday service"
which ended up being the Zoom call (mentioned earlier) that we held on a weekday during working hours. I created an
invitation
to the Zoom call and sent it to everyone where they could also share it with others. The invitation also explained some theory being used in this project.

Reflections:

  • Does it work like a group project? I don’t think it necessarily did in this format.
  • Was it because of the Zoom call or was it because of the format of the event? I think it didn’t work because there wasn’t a concrete sense of exchanging of knowledge. It was more me speaking and them listening, there wasn’t an openness for the participants to share.
  • When I did the reading I felt like it was somewhat too complicated to be able to be useful, this is where the idea of storytelling is way more effective… trying to talk about theory in a more creative and graspable way.
  • Could we do the act of healing ourselves at the same time, but not together? The sense of real-time linking us? The idea of looking at the moon and wondering if someone else is also looking at it at that moment, etc.
  • I hosted the Zoom call on my sister’s work account, so we couldn’t do it outside of a capitalist system or perks… but if I did it on an individual free account then it wouldn’t be encrypted, and I would only have 45 minutes. Not everyone has access to these things? A larger disconnect between people of a higher age and lower age, income etc.
                                

Zoom of One’s Own


This
centred around a different form of explaining the work while bringing a sense of tactility to the Zoom world. This is where I found it extremely important to make sure that that string of tactility was present in anything I do in the future. It became a vital form of the work and something that I try to emulate even on this webpage.

I connected my phone camera to my Zoom account and
so that I was presenting the table and the objects on them. I explained the work using 
cards
,
images
,
objects,
and
crafts
. The viewer seeing my hands made it feel like they were the ones moving the objects, in turn making it easier to focus on the presentation because instead of looking at a PowerPoint, you were looking at actions and subtle hand movements and gestures I was making.

This turned out to be quite an effective presentation tool and allowed me to show everything that I had gathered over the course of the project, which I wouldn’t have been able to do so lively by simply showing a still picture of the objects.




Chapter Nine, Cha


The next experiment was a retelling of one specific chapter of the work, Chapter Nine, Cha. It was a 10- to 15-minute presentation of the journey of the chapter, like an extended zine, which focused on the making of the tea; showing the colour of the water change, the steam, the pealing of ginger, the pouring of the finished drink and the telling of the story. It was a presentation to create a healing environment. It was done in my
Kitchen
with my phone’s camera connected to Zoom on a
tripod infront of me
. This allowed for just my arms and hands to appear, creating a subtle illusion that the viewer was the one making the tea. This, again, gave a tactility to Zoom and created a more engaging performance of the work. I was also able to experiment with the tone of my voice, my hand movements, my pace and creating a
healing setting
.

This format is what heavily inspired the
that I later produced and experimented with.