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Witchy Women: Hillfoots Tales Empowering Women

Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 | 14:00

Ed Thomas, UK

Local traditional arts storytelling group Hillfoots Tales teams up with renowned academic Dr Tarbuck to talk Witches and Witchy Tales in celebration of Monday’s International Women’s Day, Wednesday evening in a 7 pm via Zoom.

Haunted Hillfoots – Exploring the witches of the Hillfoots will be on Zoom from 7 pm on Wednesday as Joanne Dowd and Laura Fyall “bring to life the stories of the witches who were said to roam the Hillfoots”. Whilst Dr Alice Tarbuck “delves into” the “local history” in the online lecture.

This event will continue a more contemporary tradition of reclaiming the word witch for women, as Dr Tarbuck explains: “It is vital that women, and people of all persecuted minorities, feel they can stand by the word ‘witch’, and use it to describe a practice and identity historically outlawed.

It is vital that women, and people of all persecuted minorities, feel they can stand by the word ‘witch’, and use it to describe a practice and identity historically outlawed.

Dr Alice Tarbuck

Azealia Banks is credited (by the Guardian) as beginning this recent tradition, with her infamous tweet, which went viral and received some backlash: “I’m really a witch”.

According to the Guardian, she went onto say: “But really, it’s all about magic. The most magical people are the ones who have to deal with oppression, because the non-magical are jealous…and the sooner we ALL learn to cultivate them and access them, the sooner we can REALLY fix s***.

When Margaret Thatcher, love or loathe her, who rose to be the first female PM, something 200 years previously she would have been accused of witchcraft in achieving, reportedly said: “In politics, if you want anything said ask a man, if you want anything done ask a woman.” Showing that women really are ‘doing it for themselves’.

Women have historically held second class citizenship compared to their male counterparts. Perhaps, that is why it is essential for women, to reclaim this identity.

A chance to throw off the tyranny of oppression, and proudly stand with the 40,000 to 60,000 individuals, primarily female, who were tortured and executed for the crime of witchcraft in the Early Modern Period. As part of this reclaiming of the word ‘witch’: the Hillfoots Tale event, taking place on Wednesday 8th, will talk about the impact of Scotland’s Witch Trials, as well as the local folklore surrounding witchcraft.

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