In June, Ravon and I headed to Mexico City to present a new project at the 2018 Digital Humanities Conference! We had an amazing time talking about the future of digital humanities work with everyone we met, and during our poster session, described our newest work, titled, Bad Brujas Only: Digital Presence, Embodied Protest, and Online Witchcraft.
Bad Brujas Only is the first project in our Brown Art Ink 2018-2019 programming series around citation and memory, and examines online witchcraft communities that have formed on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. From our poster session:
The organization of social justice activism through interpersonal networks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms is not an unusual phenomenon for marginalized communities, evidenced by such movements as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo. However, the model of integration between online and offline practices demonstrated in social media witchcraft con brujería communities is worthy of note, as a reclamation of the female-identified body and indigeneity in this current political climate. Witchcraft in its traditional forms would seem to be the antithesis of digital media due to its emphasis on materiality, embodied presence, and physically-enacted rituals. However, these networked communities of digital brujas transcend this divide, as a politicized tool for empowerment, and decolonization of history and the female body.
If you weren’t there to see us in Mexico City, you can still check out the project’s digital tool and read all about our research and findings!