What is W.O.C?
Weapon of Choice (aka. W.O.C) is a genre crossing sound art project, that merges the disciplines of sound design, storytelling, poetry and music into an english spoken word anthology.
What is W.O.C about?
The red thread throughout W.O.C is the constant challenging of the normative understanding of identity, through an exploration of a swedish word known as “mellanförskap”. The word is best translated as “betweenness” or “betweenship. In the process of creating W.O.C. we have understood mellanförskap as “A sense of non-singular-belonging, a society’s/country’s social and cultural rejection of one’s claim to its complete association and/or one’s own rejection of being labeled with one singular definition of the “self”, both culturally and psychologically.” – S.T.I.C.S
In some cases mellanförskap can also be equivalent to the english term “Third Culture Kids” (TCKs) “…a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. ” – David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken
W.O.C is loaded with an arsenal of perspectives, understandings, phrases and words in order to create a set of reflective tools. These tools are designed to help people in “mellanförskap” explore and define their own definition of “self”, beyond the preconceived understandings of what can be accepted as an answer by an inquirer. The theme of “mellanförskap” is further explored in W.O.C by branching into various topics such as freedom of speech, beauty ideals, racism and self-empowerment.
Who Created W.O.C?
Behind the project is the artist collective S.T.I.C.S, consisting of three members that are all raised in “mellanförskap”, with roots in zanzibar, sweden, and denmark. For over 13 years S.T.I.C.S have challenged and inspired people around the world to self-empowerment, reflective thinking and democratic involvement through music, spoken word, workshops and interviews. The collective is amongst other things known for having won the Swedish championship in spoken word twice (2007) (2010) and reaching a top 5 placement at the Scottish Championships (2012). Over the years, S.T.I.C.S have had shows and workshops from Beijing to Warsaw, toured with the American rapper One Be Lo, warming up for some of the biggest names in hip-hop and soul genre such as as Angie Stone, Talib Kweli and Mos Def.
Why was W.O.C created?
Although the point of departure for the actual creation of W.O.C originated from a desire to explore and empower people in “mellanförskap”, the purpose of its actual format has been to introduce the spoken word artform to a broader audience and challenge the norms of where and how one experience sound art. The project is the culmination of three years of intense work, where the focus has largely been on challenging the experience of audio consumption. The project is among others visited by the american grammy award winner Athony Hamilton, the Swedish Grammy award winner Seinabo Sey, the British sound design expert Julian Treasure and more.