Women drug addicts, who represent between 4 to 14% of Europe’s total population of drug users, are considered by the legal system and society as statistically insignificant and classed in general as a negligible phenomenon. In women’s prisons, ± 65% of the inmates are registered as drug addicts. OUTCAST REGISTRATION is a gender-specific reflection on this marginal group in western European countries.
Since 1997 Ulrike Möntmann has been devising and carrying out multi-year projects in collaboration with junkies in prisons, therapeutic institutions, and rehabilitation centers in a number of western and eastern European countries with partners from the fields of art, science and the humanities, and politics. The practice of art and its study serves to decipher complex questions and issues which arise out of the collaboration between all project participants. The goal of the studies is to expose and name facts from a variety of different perspectives. It is not about manufacturing asymmetrical relationships with the women affected or discussing the activities of executive bodies, the aim is to uncover the conditions in societal systems that are unthinkingly taken for granted and accepted.
OUTCAST REGISTRATION is a form of intervention, which requires reflecting upon and taking a stand in order to render the conditions transparent that are consolidated structurally in social processes. By articulating the lifestories of the women concerned and placing them firmly in the public domain OUTCAST REGISTRATION underlines that this is indeed a matter of public concern.
The audiovisual portrait THIS BABY DOLL WILL BE A JUNKIE consists of eighteen biographies of female drug addicts from five western European countries and it forms the basis of OUTCAST REGISTRATION. As artistic research it is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK, Project Number AR 211-G21) at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria, and Mondriaan Fonds, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.