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Syster Papyri Magicae is a project that unfolds the phenomenon of gender exclusions in male-dominated tech environments, aiming to document, discuss and activate a variety of feminist practices that respond to this issue.
The Syster Papyri Magicae website enables a playful navigation to a collection of stories and practices that are gathered in a growing, editable ★ Wiki ★. Aided by the early web magic of hyperlinks, one may discover documentation of sexist incidents in tech, feminist hacker projects, wiki pages to write their versions of stories, or even dead-ends. A fictional context of sorcery provides a game-like atmosphere but is also tactically used. On the one hand, the witch as an excluded figure symbolises female strength, that challenges patriarchal systems. On the other hand, witchcraft is a theme ever-present in the geek culture, proposing that technology has a source of magical power, that one can harness for their own sense of agency and empowerment.
Strolling through the website, the visitor encounters several quests, that challenge them to choose what they would do in situations of exclusion. This method helps them realise how hard it is, to take action under these circumstances. It is also a way to open discussions on diverse feminist approaches, learn about feminist hacker practices, and if interested, become a contributor.
This project builds upon the research done in the context of the publication:
Syster Systems: On the urgencies and potential of feminist hacker initiatives.
This work has been produced in the context of the graduation research of Artemis Gryllaki from the Experimental Publishing (XPUB) Master course at the Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.
XPUB is a two year Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design that focuses on the intents, means and consequences of making things public and creating publics in the age of post-digital networks.
The graduation project Syster Papyri Magicae, developed under the supervision of Michael Murtaugh and Amy Suo Wu.
Syster Papyri Magicae (2020) is published under the terms of the Peer Production License.
The Peer Production License is an example of CopyFair licensing, in which only other commoners, collectives and nonprofits can share and re-use the material in question.
Special thanks to the organisers of the /ETC Athens 2019 and all womxn who contributed with their participation in this event. Special thanks to Varia centre for everyday technology (Gouwstraat 3, Rotterdam), that hosts the initiative Feminist Hack Meetings, and the project We hope this email finds you well* - a radio drama series. Special thanks to AMRO 2020, biennial community festival, that hosted the project Voice of Conduct.
Heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to the development of this project and without them it wouldn't be possible.
Angeliki Diakrousi, Donna Metzlar, /ETC Athens Crew, my fellow XPUB comrades, Aymeric Mansoux, Marloes de Valk, Michael Murtaugh, Leslie Robbins, Lídia Pereira, Clara Balaguer, Amy Suo Wu, André Castro, Steve Rushton, Femke Snelting, Petros Pathoulas, my best friends from Athens and Hidde van der Grind.