A Sister’s Web

Content warning : abortion.

‘A Sister’s Web’ is one of the outcomes of a collaborative research effort with Layla Durrani into the methods women have used and are still using to prevent and terminate a pregnancy. Our quest to embody these knowledges has taken us through early internet websites, making tinctures, and cooking herbal aspics. We aim to reconnect and navigate fragmented female-coded lineages while acknowledging that there is no simple way back to the historical practices and that everything we do is an inevitable re-interpretation colored by digital media and the traumas induced by the interrelated fields of neoliberal work relations, colonialism, and misogyny.

Working together on a video re-reading the site ‘www.sisterzeus.com,’ we explored what it means to inhabit online platforms that host herbal resources. The early-internet website, created in the late 1990s, provided a space where women could share herbal contraceptive- and abortifacient advice while employing a digital language and visuals typical of this era but perhaps alienatingly corny to our eye. Nevertheless, ‘www.sisterzeus.com’ was and continues to bind women and their narratives across times. By embodying and enacting the stories on these pages, we commemorate the feminized knowledges shared amongst ourselves for generations despite violent attempts to thwart such generosity.