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It cannot rain forever

When we hear the word witch, most of us think of a scary woman on the fringes of society, living in solitude, and using magic with malicious intent. It’s no wonder that, in the stories we used to hear as children, the wicked witch is the cause of all evil – making life miserable for an orphaned girl, or eating children who stray her way. But fairytales are only the surface; we must look for deeper and more complex reasons behind the negative connotations associated with the word ‘witch’. Fairytales are a simplified imprint of centuries-long realities in which the negative image of women has developed. Historical cases of women being accused of witchcraft – and thus ostracised from society – brought social changes that are still felt today.

My project follows women who have experienced great emotional depths and who have found their spiritual strength in various forms of witchcraft. They believe in everyday signs; in their ability to control their own destiny, and in their knowledge of a world that is invisible to the uninitiated. Alongside the details of the reality they experience, I present a picture in which the word ‘witch’ is just an attribute, encompassing the pain of centuries of suffering, subordination in society, and the strength of women who have endured vulnerability. It proclaims the strength of fragile women who find each other in their exclusion and thus create community. Belonging is an elemental need, and the women I encountered need to feel that their presence in the world is unique and meaningful; that their beliefs, opinions and worldviews are valued.

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