Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Warszawie

Traces of Sisterhood (TRACTS)

Edited by Eliza Proszczuk and Ewa Chomicka

This publication outlines the topics discussed during the “Traces of Sisterhood” workshop (curated by Eliza Proszczuk and Ewa Chomicka, May 13–15, 2022) and the “Traces of Sisterhood” exhibition (curated by Eliza Proszczuk and Eulalia Domanowska, August 16 – September 16, 2022), which took place at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The workshop and this publication were developed as part of the international COST project “Traces as Research Agenda for Climate Change, Technology Studies, and Social Justice”

In May 2022, the Traces of Sisterhood workshop was held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. This three-day meeting launched a several-year-long project on sisterhood as a form of social organization and, more broadly, of being in the world. As curators of this initiative, we were interested in the meaning of the concept – the manner of revealing and developing new practices both in the international context, and in local communities. During the workshops, the perspectives of women from the world of art, culture, activism, and science converged. We became acquainted with various approaches to sisterhood and various forms of practising it – in everyday life, in artistic or artivist practice, in social research. We endeavoured to capture its core values, we wondered about new forms of solidarity, and the potential of sisterhood as a model for the future social organization.

Traces of Sisterhood exhibition presented at the Salon Akademii gallery in Warsaw (August 16 – September 16, 2022) expanded the threads that the workshop touched upon. Textile art – one of the vehicles for the development of feminist thought – became the medium for our message. The exhibition presented works related to the textile art by contemporary artists, as well as examples of using fabric to create sculptures, art objects, patchworks, and collages. It demonstrated how artists today either continue or return to the traditionally feminine technique, addressing it in new ways. They do not produce decorative works or functional objects; instead, they create contemporary objects of art engaged in telling stories about society, community, nature, issues of minority groups, etc.