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Installation and performance
HIDDEN PLACES & IDENTITIES
Parallel Events Manifesta9
curated by Michela Sacchetto & Francesca Berardi
On Saturday morning at the market, the witch Putheks tells her story:
In 1725, a poor illegitimate girl was accused of witchcraft. She was sentenced to be burned. However, during the journey towards the place of execution, she managed to escape and mysteriously disappear into a hole. People called her the Putheks, literally ‘the witch of the hole’ in Dutch. For centuries, people held her responsible for all that was unexplained. When the mines were established in Genk in the early 20th century, the Putheks started a new life. People said that she lived in the mine galleries and persecuted the miners in their work.
Today, as the mines have closed, she is unemployed and tries to make a living with her new business. She invites passers-by to buy her product: magic coals.