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

Blood Sisters (2020) is a collaborative video work made by the artists Josefin Arnell and Helen Anna Flanagan. The student rich location of Groningen was used as a site to research into the old student fraternities present within the city. The artists 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 considered to help 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. As such, 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)