Hava Liebowitz

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Harbinger

Performance Piece

 2020

During this quarantine, I returned to my hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina. It's a town that would be rural if not for the small women’s college here. It’s a town that can never quite decide what it wants to be. As such, it has as many shiny new franchises and neighborhoods as it has abandoned lots, mills, and impoverished neighborhoods. There’s an old joke that goes “to get to Spartanburg, take a left on I-85 and go back 50 years”.

Now with this pandemic raging, I feel even more out of place and time here. It’s the longest time I’ve been home in some years. Growing up here as a Jew, a queer, and an outspoken woman, I ruffled a lot of feathers just with my existence. I was even accused of being a witch once, a manipulative “evil spirit”. Here in these photos I return as a harbinger. In the South, we don’t respond to danger we can’t see. We’ll buckle down for tornadoes, hurricanes, and even sprinkles of snow, but a pandemic won’t keep people from gathering for Easter. In the midst of all the sunshine, I am summoned back to haunt this place. 

Approaching Time