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Feminist Health Care Research Group: A Special Issue in Power

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Founded in 2015, the Berlin-based Feminist Health Care Research Group (FHCRG) has focused on collective ways of dealing with crisis and mutual care structures. FHCRG currently consists of the artist, bodyworker, and mother Julia Bonn, and artist, curator, care-assistant, and mother Inga Zimprich. With a strong research-based social practice, they are interested in the political meanings of illness and aim to politicize health care systems.

For 84 STEPS, artist Inga Zimprich of FHCRG presents a newly commissioned work centering around Radical Therapy (RT). Developed in the late 1960s by therapists and activists in the United States, RT was a movement that sought to democratize and de-professionalize therapeutic tools as a means for social empowerment and political change. Their primary node of dissemination was the newspaper The Radical Therapist. By initiating problem-solving groups for women, Marxist feminist Hogie Wyckoff developed a framework that aimed to challenge sexism at the outset of Radical Therapy groups. In 1975 the feminists Gail Pheterson and Lillian Moed facilitated three-week-long training sessions for groups of Dutch feminists in the Netherlands. Pheterson and Moed combined two different methods in these workshops: RT and Re-evaluation Counseling. From these initial trainings, Feministische Oefengroepen Radikale Therapie (FORT) emerged, forming a grassroots movement of feminist RT exercise groups that grew in numbers in the Netherlands.

Zimprich’s display unfolds through a studious environment for contemplation, interweaving historical footage from RT and FORT, including interviews with its early protagonists as well as contemporary practitioners. Tracing the development of FORT, Zimprich invites the public to consider methods of political and intersectional analyses that could revive RT practices today.

This installation was made possible courtesy of Collection IAV-Atria, Institute on Gender Equality and Women’s History.

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