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  • Read & Repair - Community Memory feat. Elodie Mugrefya and Amy Suo Wu
    2021-11-28 11:00:00
    Published at 19 november 2021

    Every last Sunday of the month the Varia Library and the Rotterdam Electronica Depot hold Read & Repair events. We invite you to visit our space, make yourself comfortable, read or repair some things together, and share thoughts and ideas.

    In 2021 our Read & Repair sessions will be paired, we will take two months to explore one theme. During October and November 2021, we will be exploring the theme Community Memory. Libraries and archives have similar aims, to preserve memory and knowledge and to pass it on to further generations. How can we imagine anti-imperial, anti-racist, community-led practices for disseminating, passing on and maintaining knowledge, customs and beliefs?


    Date: Sunday, 28th November 2021

    Time: 11:00-13:00 CET

    Location: Varia (Gouwstraat 3)

    NOTE: This reading session will be held in English.

    The text selection and our reading choreography in October was made by Elodie Mugrefya. The readings are selected accordingly to Elodie Mugrefya's sensibilities towards counter archiving practices. Elodie is part of Constant in Brussels and does not really have a bio so here's instead something beautiful which suggest the ways with which she approaches the practices of 'counter archiving' :

    What you might think
    a simple case of tomato tomato
    is life and breath
    to somebody like me;
    who could search all your histories
    and never find his epithet
    glowing among those annals and tracts;
    who does not exist according
    to your version of events

    (Extract from the poem "For Those Who Mispronounce My Name" by Kayo Chingonyi)

    During this reading session we'll be with texts which do not claim the 'traditional' practice of archiving, so to break off its norms and authority, but which are very much attentive to and invested in modes of memory-caring.

    • Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
    • The Plot of Her Undoing by Saidiya Hartman


    Date: Sunday, 28th November 2021

    Time: 13:30-15:30 CET

    Location: Varia (Gouwstraat 3)

    NOTE: This reading session will be held in English.

    The Repair session will be guided by Amy Suo Wu. Amy Suo Wu was born in China, grew up in Australia, and lives in The Netherlands as an artist, designer, and teacher. Her recent interest and practice circles around literal and metaphorical approaches of mending, design as remittance and self-fulfilling prophecy, and how text and textile might be woven together to form embodied publishing. She is currently researching intergenerational mending together with her mum Maria Ling Qing Huang under the auspicious title of Serenity Department. Her previous body of work on steganographic practices as acts of protection, survival, and resistance in the face of oppression and violence is now published under the title A Cookbook of Invisible Writing through Onomatopee. From 2014-2019 she co-organized Rotterdam zine festival, Zine Camp. She has taught at Experimental Publishing at Piet Zwart Institute and Cultural Diversity at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and is currently teaching in the Design Department at the Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam.

    Mending with Meenadchi’s Decolonising Non-Violent Communication.

    In this session, we’ll explore facilitator and healer, Meenadchi’s Decolonising Non-Violent Communication (DNVC)*, through the practice of mending damaged textiles. As Meenadchi’s DNVC is a body and trauma-informed approach, we will attempt to put into practice how the physical gesture of tending to our ruptured textiles might help us reflect upon and give vocabulary to our own experiences of pain.

    To join please bring along a piece of damaged textile. We will provide needles and thread, but feel free to bring along your favourite haberdashery accessories. Do wear comfy Sunday clothes as we’ll start the session with a qi gong exercise.

    *Decolonizing Non-Violent Communication is a workbook stocked with activities, exercises, and ideas to explore our relationship to communication, our bodies, and each other. Using a trauma-informed approach, this workbook encourages readers to deepen our emotional vocabularies so that we can work towards a more enlivened, healthy interdependence.


    To practice cautious conviviality with you, we will be wearing masks in the space and keeping a 1.5m distance. For this reason, Read & Repair has a limited capacity, please let us know if you would like to join by emailing info@varia.zone with the subject "Read & Repair".

    Read is alternatively guided by a Varia Library group member, the following Read (in the next month) is guided by a guest. Both sessions revolve around the same theme, with different texts and methods to read them. The guest Read session is accompanied a Repair session. The Repair session is a practical exploration of the same theme, led by a guest or a Rotterdam Eletronica Depot member. It is an active workshop you can experiment with at home, and one day in our Depot, when we can physically gather.

    Our January-November 2021 programme is funded by Gemeente Rotterdam.