Led by Emily Walters and Eden Szymura, MEDUSA is a London-based arts collective catalysing conversation on feminism and connection as a means to practise radical care. Striving to reimagine through writing, curation and participatory practices, the pair critically examine culture surrounding the female experience. Their work unpicks mythmaking, psychosomatic interactions, and semiotics, drawing on Medusa as a figurehead for reclamation and rebirth.
Eden Szymura is an award-winning writer and cultural thinker whose work critically unpacks our relationships with ourselves, one another, and society at large.
Drawing on her interests in visual and literary art, critical theory and psychotherapy, Eden has published articles in Palatinate, The Eyes Journal and Twenty Two Percent; her poetry, including the award-winning ‘For Henryk’, has been published in Penny Thoughts, Iceberg Tales and The Butler Scholarly Journal.
With a background in campaigning, Eden has organised events for Amnesty International and ECO DU, including climate strikes and arts showcases. In 2019, she curated ‘Optica’, a long exposure photography exhibition in collaboration with Alexandra Carr and Outstanding Art Gallery. She now spends her days working in social impact communications and lives in London.
Eden has been a feminist as long as she can remember. A turning point for her was being given Hélène Cixous’ ‘Laugh of the Medusa’ to read by a teacher. It led her down a rabbit hole she is still exploring and opened up for her a language through which to explore gender and sexuality, one that she got to explode open through her research as an English Literature graduate into the novels of Angela Carter. She hopes MEDUSA will spark that same fascination in other people.
Fascinated by the intersections of art and activism, cultural memory and curation, Emily Walters is a linguist, writer and illustrator. Having studied German, French and Visual Culture whilst working in creative events management, much of her writing is centred on identity, connection and the arts.
Amongst other recent work, she has reviewed the RA’s Summer Exhibition and Elisa Shua Dusapin’s ‘The Pachinko Parlour’ for Lucy Writers. Her essay on the interplay of censorship, feminine agency and the art of protest within Ireland’s Referendum to Repeal the Eighth Amendment was published in the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture Journal.
As part of her MA she discovered her love of curation – interning at mima during their preparations for Fragile Earth, an exhibition on ecology and the urgent, collective need to protect our planet, as well as co-curating Time, Perception, Environment, an exploration of slowness through Durham University’s art collection.
From her perspective, the core of feminism is advocating equality, speaking out against injustice and dismantling oppressive structures of power. Incited by Cixous’ vision, she hopes for MEDUSA to be an inclusive, creative space, always seeking to encompass a plurality of perspectives.