Art channel


Notes of a Trans-Witch

photo: Stan Barański

Notes of a trans-witch: Magic, sex, politics.

2018-2019 †

To me, magic is a kind of power I am eager to have and which I cannot gain in any other way. Magic is a space in which I am a goddess, at the same time being vulnerable and naked. I am entirety and majesty. My bitterness turns into sweetness.

My magic has become primarily a political strategy and artistic activity. I have stopped distinguishing between politics and art, my body and social body, home and public space. When I lost my home, career and a community, I turned my wounded body towards Mother Nature. I was looking for simplicity she selflessly offered to me. I simply wanted nothing more than the Earth – a surface I could punch in pain, bitterness, and longing. When I surrendered completely to intuition and emotions, I felt this was where my true femininity opened, and, at the same time, a deep healing process began. In this process exactly, I saw myself – a true woman, a witch, a priestess, a holy and divine woman.

My body has become the only reference point – the role a one-hundred-year old house used to play before. A tenement house from 1907 that I married forever and ever, amen. My body has become my technology, where intuition led me through all the recesses of magic, where I came close to the other world, where I talked to my ancestors, where I bribed all the saints and gods to take my side and be my support. This technology is exciting and powerful, and, at the same time, I was terrified by it…

photo: Stan Barański

photo: Stan Barański

photo: Dara Bram

photo: Dara Bram

Notes of a trans-witch: Choreography of memories, feelings, and traumas.

1907-2018 †

I am saved by nature. Greenery. Textiles. My clothes tuck me with their gentleness. I wasn’t stroked, hugged, or combed for such a long time. I brought my scarfs decorated with roses and peonies, with which I bid Aneta goodbye while starting a fire on 8 Szwedzka Street. Scarfs – with which I change my shape, with which I cover my body, with which I make love with myself. Silk, cashmere, velour – delicate, sheer attire, to make me feel like a wanted guest. Like a lover, a wife, and a queen. I also brought my precious dark blue cashmere coat from Berlin in which I feel safe.

I went to the forest in a tartan. I hugged an oak tree. I greeted my grandpa and all the ancestors. I kissed the oak’s dry bark with my lips. It stands so valiantly. Dignified. Strong. Tender. Supportive. I sat in the green of the grass, tired after the walk. I looked at an enormous root that, ripped out of the earth, rested peacefully. Its roots, covered with sand and cobwebs, gave me a shelter. I wanted to meditate near it, which also turned out to be too much of an effort. I fell down in the grass, exhausted. I shed some tears. After all, I am weak. Confronted by nature. A mother who loves fully. I let myself cry salty tears. I held a stick tightly in my hands, which made my fingers go numb.

When I released it, even more tears streamed down my face. I don’t have to be strong. I can be fragile, weak, small, tired, hopeless, sloppy, frustrated. I lay in the grass and listened for the sounds of the approaching boars. “But I’m not scared of them” – I said to myself. An irrational fear made me rise up and I came back home. I fell down on the ground in my garden. I stripped naked. I squatted and peed. I let the wind caress me endlessly and the sun warm up my skin. I was fed by a huge fiery ball. I contemplated its warmth. I saw a red sword under my eyelids. Blazing like a ruby. It stood in front of me like a temple and waited patiently. At night my third eye of St. Rita vibrated really hard and I felt Turkey was being covered with roses.

Vala Foltyn, private archive

Vala Foltyn, private archive

I drove here, even though the leaflet of my medicine advises against driving. The car didn’t start right before my departure. I asked my neighbour for help, but somebody punched the bonnet of his car at night. And the mechanic said he was too busy to take care of my car and added he was not a Holy Spirit and it’s not possible to repair a car like that, with a magic wand. I came back to my flat and took a hammer. I opened the bonnet and hit the starter. I got here. And I’m so proud of myself.

Let no one ever tell you that you have no potential. Let no one ever tell you that you are wearing the wrong lipstick. Let no one ever tell you that they will burn your furs and paint your face black. Let no one ever tell you that you have little twig legs. Let no one ever kick you out of the house. Let no one ever tell you that you are a stupid bitch and a ditzy. Let no one ever tell you “This is too much…”. Let them all go to slam. May St. Rita and all the saints watch over me.

And now my sisters owls and roes call me to go out with them to sing and wander at night through all the recesses of magic, poetry, and luscious sex…



Valentine Tanz / Vala T. Foltyn – poetic choreographer, post_trans_ witch, performer. Founder and curator of Lamella – the House of Queer Arts and Krakow Art House. She graduated from Shahara Dor Artness – Home and School for Movement (Israel) and Performers House (Denmark). She studied anatomy and philosophy of dance under Anna Halprin in California. She also graduated in cultural anthropology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Based in Copenhagen since 2019.


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