Witch Hunt, 2018-19

Fairy tales are the stories we pass from generation to generation; the primary place in which many learn good from bad. Yet behind the enchantment and romance of these tales, lurks a paradoxical horror and realism. Contrary to their Disney counterparts, the literary versions echo archaic societal beliefs, in their unflinching depictions of violence and prejudice. Their raw brutality may seem like long-passed paradigms; yet the monsters and enemies of these tales highlight the darker aspects of the human psyche, in a purer fashion than many genres.

‘Witch Hunt’ is a study of the parallels between fairy tales and contemporary treatment of women. The everchanging technology of modern life has allowed women to either feel empowered or yet more defenceless. When viewed from a 21st century perspective, the plight of female characters within fairy tales mirrors this anxiety, with the protagonists often facing grizzly endings. Does the absurdity of these stories reflect invariable universal truths about humanity? Or does their timelessness instead reflect on our ability to distinguish right from wrong?

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