Survival Manual is a participative platform designed for people with diverse experiences but a shared interest: to be able to find support in difficult life situations and to collectively build autonomous support networks for their communities.
It is a space of encounters between survivors of sexual violence, psychiatric survivors, Roma women, people with an addiction experience as well as LGBTQ+ activists and other activists, dealing with various forms of oppression. Through the exchange of methods, needs and frustrations, this polyphony of voices offers a critique of the institutional care system and aims to develop alternatives.
The project took place in Ostrava over the course of several months. It was divided to chapters, including public and private events and an exhibition in gallery Plato Ostrava. Being a processual project, it was deeply affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, the platform shifted into a virtual intimate space.
Collaborators: Jakub Černý, Ladislav Fabian, Zuzana Fialová, Elena Gorolová, Anastázie Klemensová, Martin Novák, Alex Sihelská, Mirka Slívová, Radek Šabacký, Magdalena Šipka, Robin Štoček, Tess, Andrea Tobolová, Alex Vonsík and others.
chapter one: public reading
In the performance, each participant offers a piece of themselves. Each came to read a text meaningful for their existence. Some wrote their own words and some borrowed from the words of others. All are here to transform silence into collective action. The performance was documented on video and more info can be found here.
chapter two: collective library
As a part of the installation in gallery Plato Ostrava, a temporary library of borrowed books and magazines was made available for visitors. It was focused on feminism, empowerment and transformation. Since each contributor chose which reading materials to lend, the produced library had an eclectic character, ranging from self-help literature to academic research.
chapter three: working group
Throughout the project, a group of experts by experience and additional activists met regularly. The group explored possible models of mutual support in the local context. One outcome of the meetings was the foundation of a survivors-led support group for women who have experienced sexual violence in Ostrava.