Reading with Echo *** 24-29 July 2024*** @ PAF

Building on the past 5 iterations of the Sensing Salon at PAF, Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva propose a new format Reading with Echo to present the next phase of their collaboration.

For the past five years we have been working to develop a new reading tool for our Poethical Reading’s toolbox: the Echo Tarot Deck. The process of composing the Echo deck is itself a reading practice since it is inspired by our poethical readings of Ai Ogawa’s poems, having only the poems themselves, our Tarot decks, Reiki Reading, and our intuition as guides for the creation of the deck.

The Echo Deck differs greatly from the traditional tarot decks. Not so much in content, it still includes 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana, but in how they are interpreted. Instead of presenting the major arcana as moments in a linear trajectory of self-actualization (self-development) represented by The Magician, in the new deck, the Major Arcana combine into a complex composition. In it, The Fool and The World as well as The High Priestess, The Empress, Strength, and Justice play key new roles. The numbered cards remain in the Minor Arcana but their meanings have changed to reflect the prioritisation of the elements while the court cards were replaced by descriptors of operations, which maintain a correspondence with the old roles. There is much more to be said about the new deck but, as everything else we work on, it is an unfolding, of which we only grasp what has become apparent up to a particular moment.

As we have now assembled an initial version of the deck - providing a structure, images and descriptions for each card - we are now ready to begin reading with it.

At PAF we plan to introduce the deck, share our approach and practice reading with it. Through our readings we will engage in a collective study of the mythological figure of Echo, its relation to the figures of Narcissus and Oedipus and their theoretical deployments.

Provisory schedule:

24 July

Arrival day

21:00 Introduction and film Sooth Breath by Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman

25 July

10:00 - 12:00 - Reiki Initiations

15:00 - 18:00 - Introduction to the Echo Tarot deck and reading of Ovid’s Metamorphosis.

26 July

10:00 - 12:00 - Collective reading with the Echo Tarot deck

15:00 - 18:00 - Study Group on Echo / Narcissus / Oedipus and reading selected texts of Freud and Lacan.

27 July

10:00 - 12:00 - Individual reading practice

15:00 - 18:00 - Study Group on Echo. Reading Spivak’s Echo and Moten’s In the Break

28 July

10:00 - 12:00 - Collective reading with the Echo Tarot deck

15:00 - 18:00 - Study Group on on Echo. Reading interview with Hortense Spillers Sending Language into Battle.

29 July

Departure day

Practical details:

Reading with Echo will take place at PAF Performing Arts Forum from 24 -29 July 2024. To come earlier or stay longer is of course possible. The meeting will have a cap of 40 participants so please book early in order to ensure your place.

You are also welcome to mention whether you identify as BIPOC and/or Trans when writing in so that we can do our best to prioritise your booking.


This year PAF will implement a sliding scale payment system as part of a more extensive effort at making PAF more accessible. We encourage you to pay as much as you can so that we can start to address structural asymmetries among PAF users. 18 euros per night is the basic fee; combined with the volunteer efforts of all PAF users, it has enabled PAF, as a project, to stay afloat for the last few years. You can keep paying 18 euro per night if your financial situation is fragile and a higher nightly price would prevent you from coming to PAF. 20 euro is the advised base price per night. 20 - 25 euro or more if you have stable income, institutional funding, property or family wealth. PAF will not ask you about your financial situation, you will evaluate the price to pay by yourself. The membership fee is now 20 euros per year. All contributions above 18 euro per night will go to The Mattress fund.

The price for food per day will be 12 euro, including breakfast, lunch, dinner. If you have any specific dietary requirements, please specify it in your booking. We are also asking for a 50€ workshop fee to support the expenses of the conveners and materials for the workshop.

We can only accept payments in cash (or French chèques), so bring it along (there is an ATM in the village).

If you would like to participate but feel you are unable to for financial or other such reasons, please reach out.

Access notes:

At the time of writing, more detailed access notes are in the process of being made by a working group at PAF. Until then, we really appreciate you contacting us to ask about any information that is missing in the provisional notes below:

- There is a lift

- There are two bedrooms on the ground floor with toilets, and one with a shower.

- There are bathrooms on the ground floor but there is a step up to them. Please contact us if you would need a ramp to access these.

- None of the toilets are equipped with handrails.

- There is a big variation in mattress quality and light/sound levels in bedrooms. If you have any needs in this area, please get in touch with us so we can discuss options.

- There will be mediation volunteers on site to handle any accessibility/accountability issues that may arise during the course of the meeting.

There is no public transport from St Erme station to Paf, so it is best to get the taxi. It is around 25 minutes to walk, and it is uphill.

The taxi brings you for 6 euros to paf from St Erme station and for 35 euros from Laon. The same price for a 3/4 person taxi as for a 7/8 person one. Before 7h and after 19h and the weekends 7 euro and 42 euros. They only speak french. Call them in advance as they have to come from St. Erme - as they are a small taxi firm it is advisable to call at least a day in advance. Inform them when you have a lot of luggage.

Taxi Leblanc (St Erme) tel +33(0)323226909