Twisted myth is the most recent step in Karina Roosvita and Vicky Gerrard's ongoing work on the adoption, adaption, and evolution of myth
Drawn together through their interest in experimental ethnographic approaches to creative practice, Karina Roosvita and Vicky Gerrard began working together in 2016, when they met in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. The pair are particularly interested in the ways that myths are flipped, turned and twisted to meet particular political agendas. Their work together has focussed on the myth of Kanjung Ratu Kidul, a mythical sea queen who lives along the Southern Coast of Java. Over centuries Ratu Kidul has been a leprotic princess, a protector of livelihoods, the sultans lover, and an object of sexual fetish. She is a powerful figure and each retelling has sought to harness that power to meet particular political agendas. More recently, Karina and Vicky have begun to draw parallels between the political twisting of Kanjung Ratu Kidul as the protector of Java's Southern Coast, and the myth of British exceptionalism where England's Southern Coast, and particularly the English Channel, evokes its own protectionist political imaginary. Drawing such parallels led Karina and Vicky to wonder about the politicisation of other myths and how such political manipulation is experienced by those for whom the myth is important. Twisted Myth is an open curatorial initiative which invites artists, writers, storytellers, designers, and researchers to join Karina and Vicky on their creative enquiry into the politicisation of myth.
Karina is a storyteller with 18 years of experience. Over the last 10 years she has moved from writing for TV towards more research driven storytelling - expressing ethnographic research through audiovisual means. Karina is particularly interested in exploring gender and identity, including documenting the life of sex workers and the transgender community. Her collaborative projects have been presented in Adelaide, Brisbane, Penang, Warsaw, and Yogyakarta, and have been awarded Best Parallel Event at the Jogja Biennale XI and XII. More recently she has organised a series of research seminars under the umbrella of 'Inkubator Inisiatif' with Indonesian artists and scholars.
Vicky's work considers new, creative forms of public engagement in research and beyond. She draws inspiration from the world of design - taking a specific interest in design that prompts self-motivated critical reflection on difficult topics such as social inclusion, environmental interdependencies, aging, nationalism, health inequality etc. She is currently pursuing an AHRC funded PhD to consider the performative potential of design in public engagement at Loughborough University London. And, while currently based in the UK, she draws heavily on her experience of living and working in Singapore and Indonesia in her work.