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The Original Machine

The Original Machine

The Original Machine (working title) is an in progress collaborative project began in 2015 by Jinks Holladay and myself.  The first goal of the OGM is to produce an illustrated adaptation of Silvia Federici's Caliban and the Witch, a pivotal and heavily researched academic work recounting the transition to capitalism and its relation to female, queer, and indigenous oppression as well as environmental destruction.

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statement

Our work seeks to honor our ancestors and inform debates on colonialism, patriarchy, religion, and race.  Most importantly, however, we aim to reawaken a spirit of solidarity among those currently bearing the brunt of oppression by empowering them to speak and continue to fight in a long tradition of resistance. 

By retelling stories of struggle and sacrifice through an illustrated adaptation of Caliban and the Witch (with the author’s permission), we hope to make accessible a lost history of the female body and its relationship as a bedrock to capitalism.

As queer activists, women, and witches, we each read Caliban and the Witch at critical times in our lives. It helped us understand our inheritance of both trauma and struggle, loss and community in an empowering light.  We were able for the first time to recognize and respect our ancestors, both spiritual and blood, and to locate ourselves in a long tradition of resistance to the dismemberment and commodification of our First Mother and all that accompanies that -- misogyny, racism, and class conflict. By creating a popular adaptation of the original academic text, we envision a work that is accessible to our mothers and sisters who never went to college, our co-workers at a temp agency, single moms, women whose first language isn’t English, women who remember in their bodies and spirits the struggles of our ancestors and the ongoing struggles of our sisters all over the world, but who don’t share a fluency in academic language or have a formal political analysis.

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Excerpts, Early 2015 Zine

exhibition + Talk

In 2015, Jinks and I were invited to the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum's Beyond the Womb Veil exhibition to announce this collaborative effort and to speak at New Orleans's Alvar Public Library to expand on the project's aims.