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 a writer and critical thinker whose work interrogates the relationship between bodies, gender and consciousness as a means for greater connection; her work sits broadly in experimental prose and performance, combining memoir, criticism, stream of consciousness and literary theory.
Cutting her teeth on second wave feminism and Angela Carter’s explosive subversions of sexuality in her 1970s novels, Eden has since moved away from exploring patriarchal discourse on women’s bodies, and towards the internal, socialised, voices and complex physical sensations that sit underneath. She asks how women, people of marginalised genders, speak within and outside, in relation to themselves, to nature, to their cultures.
Alongside working on MEDUSA, Eden is also collaborating with multidisciplinary artist James Bailey on a project about unuttered folk stories, which is currently in its research stage, and she regularly publishes an experimental newsletter / journal called ‘Yearning’.
Eden holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Durham University, and in the autumn will begin an MA in Creative Writing, specialising in New Prose Narratives. She also has four years experience working in both corporate and grassroots social impact and cultural communications.
Core research strands include: Jungian and somatic psychoanalysis, Eastern philosophy, Marxist feminism, cultural capital, deep ecology, semiotics and gender performativity.
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.