Macarena Costan

Fe+ Minus

Fe+Minus is a personal and critical exploration of the book Malleus Maleficarum published in 1486 by the inquisitors Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. This book served as a comprehensive guide for combating witchcraft and prosecuting individuals accused of practising it.

With this body of work, I embark on a journey to unveil the brutal massacre and persecution that unfolded under its influence. Through my photographs, I delve into the depths of this historical text, exposing the criminalization of women accused of witchcraft, its role as a manual for oppression, and the devastating consequences that ensued. By challenging the authority of the book and inviting viewers to question the validity of its claims, I aim to inspire critical reflection on the lingering influence of power structures and ignite conversations about the oppression of women today. My images reclaim the agency of accused witches and challenge the historical narratives that have silenced their voices.

The title of the book refers to the erroneous claim that “Femina-” (Latin for “woman”) which can also have the form ‘feminus’,  derives from “Fe” (Latin for “faith”) + “minus” (Latin for “less”). 

About the Artist

Artist Website

Macarena Costan is an artist and photographer based in Bristol, England. She holds a first-class BA (Hons) in Photographic Art from the University of South Wales (2016), and an MA from the University of the West of England, Bristol (2019), with distinction. 

Macarena’s artistic focus revolves around shedding light on socially, and politically overlooked or ignored topics, exploring concepts of femininity, gender stereotypes, identity, and cultural traditions. She is interested in expanding the vocabulary of photographic vision and exploring the creative possibilities within the medium.

Her work has been showcased nationally and internationally at events like the Pingyao International Photography Festival in China, Ffotogallery in Wales, and the Martin Parr Foundation in England. Additionally, her images have been featured in numerous international online and print publications. She is also been regularly commissioned for diverse creative and commercial projects. Currently, Macarena is presenting a solo show of her new body of work Fe+ minus.