Through the voices of the contributors gathered in this third issue of sika, a space for reflection on questions of toxicity and contagion is formed. They speak from multiple situations where relationships of domination, the fragility of positions, the complexity of exchanges and the invisible forces that act on bodies and our ecosystems are experienced and deconstructed.
Each of the contributions reminds us that we are always the product of interdependencies that we have not chosen, that if our common ground is made of relationships, toxicity and violence are also part of it.
For this second issue of sika, we have chosen to present the documentary and performative work of several visual artists and photographers. Their works all question dance as a medium of expression, of empowerment and as a tool for political demands. Among the movements mentioned, voguing—which derived from Ball culture—developed from the 1970s onwards in the hearts of clubs frequented by Latin American and Afro-American homosexual communities; pantsula dates back to the 1940s in the suburbs of Johannesburg and is inspired by traditional and contemporary dances, jazz and everyday gestures; bootyshake or twerk has its origins in sabar or mapouka—dances celebrating the power of the female body and its self-regulating powers. Each of these dances, in its specific context of oppression, has participated in the constitution of communities fighting for the emancipation of bodies and the creation of a true power of action.
As soon as man settled down and agriculture developed in the Neolithic period, the barter system appeared as a means of acquiring foodstuffs and objects useful for everyday life. Gradually units (or currencies) used for exchange appeared, for example: shells and then precious metals such as gold and silver. Metallic money took off in the great Greek Empires. Croesus, King of Lydia, was renowned for his wealth and credited with issuing the first true gold coins bearing the effigy of a lion. During the colonisations during the modern era, the fiduciary currency gradually replaced the currencies of account such as cowries, raffia, manila shackles, copper bracelets, indigo cloths and salt in order to establish an economic stranglehold. In the 20th century, metallic and fiduciary currencies such as cheques, bank cards and electronic transactions began their gradual dematerialisation and took on various forms such as cryptocurrencies. In this first issue of sika, artists and authors reinterpret the history of money from a specific point of view and notably the thirst and power of gold which has led to widespread violence and misunderstanding of its value placed by different societies. We hope you enjoy reading this issue, accompanied by an exceptional playlist concocted especially for this issue.