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(Un)Fashioning the Past


This project involves a deck of divination cards that we have made. Each card features feminized embodiments that have been silenced, distorted, or erased by an officialized history.


As a performance, this project manifests as socially-engaged, immersive, and participatory cartomancy (card reading). Therefore, it becomes a collective world-making practice of storytelling. 

At the BAE: Uprising Women's March Activation in January 2017, we opened up a portal to make an intimate cave for interaction. Visitors were given the option to dress themselves in costumes that we provided, which were hanging on the wall. Using our deck of cards that we designed ourselves, featuring untold histories from around the world, we invited participants to choose cards. We took turns telling them about each card’s stories, and then synthesized the main themes of each one into a message for the day to inspire accountability and action. 


Our intention with this project to bring to light subjugated experiences by reading pasts that are yet-to-come (yet-to-be-told), rather than left behind—aiming for a space that holds critical intimacy rather than critical distance, in order to motivate what Chela Sandoval calls “oppositional consciousness”-raising.

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