Katarina Strasser on HYSTERIA

A brief Q&A with member of HYSTERIA, Katarina Strasser

Who are you – where are you from – what do you do in your day to day life?

I look down upon myself and I see breasts. With hair. Uneven. Like milk bottles – the flowing rivers of Baby-lon.

A man: I look at you and see everything that I am not.

I am a product of Western ideals. I had dolls and I wanted to be a princess. My mum never let me though. She hated the idea of me walking around in a pink dress and golden crown.

I thank her for that!

As a result, I respect feminine pride, in all its approaches. I am a woman and I am lots of different women at the same time. I can be radical and hysterical and I can crumble like a little boy.

My name is Katarina. I have lived in London for the past ten years but have decided to set foot in my homelands again. Home is the deep south of Germany – Stuttgart. I spent my years in London studying and practicing the arts, particularly writing and video-based arts. Life was radical, at points.

Being back in Stuttgart I am now working as a cultural manager for an educational institution. The outside has calmed down, the insides remain radical.

In my spare time, I try to spend a good amount of time surrounded by nature. Because it is the green, the woods and the smell of the trees that eventually drew me back to this familiar setting called home.

What made you join HYSTERIA to become an active member?

I have been familiar with the HYSTERIA collective for a couple of years and decided to submit my piece “Utility to Futility” in autumn last year. Patricia, fellow members of HYSTERIA, took on the task of editing the piece, which developed into a productive experience for me. Particularly the recommendation of further reading was spot on and enabled me to take the essence of the work one step further.

What is your role in HYSTERIA?

I am editing written works for HYSTERIA, in particular essays. Works that sit between poetry and prose as well as performance pieces. My main interests lie in art history and theory, with focus on feminist works from the 1960s and 70s and arts with an academic and philosophical context.  

What is your most hysterical moment?

  1. Always making a point – whether at a dinner party, at a night club or in the sauna. I am not a natural born extrovert but the flames of urgency towards a more equal society rise occasionally and don’t get put out until the point is established and understood.

  2. Once a month I suffer ‘of the womb’. Once a month when the wandering animal enters my womb I turn hysterical. The sheer joy of bleeding makes me turn into a bloody wolverine, radical, raw and fleshy. It is the time of the month. Hysterical from within and without

What does hysterical feminisms mean to you?

It means finding a space to talk, to write, to visualise - without borders and regardless of the consequences.  It is a bullhorn through which feminist voices are spread into the world.

How can HYSTERIA make a difference and bring to feminism?

I believe HYSTERIA can make a difference through naming and describing. It is the first step towards a better understanding and establishing a fluid dialogue that names and describes the complexity of the world we live in and resulting in an appreciation of language in all its forms.

HYSTERIA can bring about a tolerant space, actual and virtual in which voices are highlighted that might otherwise go unseen.

A radical and friendly activism articulated through the power of the arts, that goes against the status quo of capitalism and consumerism.

Artwork: Elya Elapovok