Blood sisters

Video work by Helen Anna Flanagan & Josefin Arnell

Blood Sisters (2020), 4K video, 1’00 excerpt (original 11’00)

“Blood Sisters” is a collaborative video work by Helen Anna Flanagan and Josefin Arnell in Groningen, Netherlands. The location was used as a site to research into the active student fraternities present in the city. They were particularly drawn to the traditional hazing rituals, using them as a loose starting point to create a fictional initiation ceremony for four older females. Hazing rituals often involve forcing new members into humiliating acts and is a technique used by the fraternities to strengthen group cohesion and identity. The work took an interest in these rituals and a number of corresponding topics, including the abject physicality of a woman’s body, conformity, social pressure, age and agency. The work playfully explores power, humiliation and hierarchies in relation to fear in public space, focusing on shame as a way to control and manipulate behaviour.

Produced with Stichting SIGN (with the additional support of Research Group Image in Context Hanze UAS Groningen & DesignArbeid, Amsterdam)

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