What is a curse in a broken world? A kind of intervention, a magic, other language that intervenes where existing language is not enough--or part of the problem.
Continuing the work of the AALR Tarot Cards, the AALR BOOK of CURSES is a hybrid, formally dynamic piece of magic and literature, one that opens up how we understand justice, engage injustice, and who gets to decide what counts as each—especially in the era of 45.
To call a curse a curse, to name it a malediction, is to accept an assailant’s eye view of history. It is to look from the vantage point of power upon a challenge to the status quo as necessarily immoral--when that challenge is often the only recourse of the disempowered in a world designed to keep them that way.
The curse, reimagined in this fashion, is justice inside the empire.
Help us curse colonialism, the English language, elephant poachers, Asian fetishists, white chefs of "ethnic" cuisine, immigrants who close doors behind them, prison guards, abusive partners, killers of hope, those who keep silent, and more! Our BOOK of CURSES includes an "advent calendar," pictured below, so we can count down to next Lunar New Year together, opening each new box to find a curse with illustrated glyph and instructions. In our accompanying spellbook are literary elaborations on each of the curses--essays, poems, fiction, graphic narrative--along with tissue paper to tear out, trace the glyph onto, and burn to release the curse into the world.
Help us curse into being a new era of justice.
Curses by Li-Young Lee, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Kazim Ali, Monique Truong, Rajiv Mohabir, Brandon Shimoda, RO Kwon, Sally Wen Mao, Ed Lin, Mimi Thi Nguyen, Johanna Hedva, Kai Cheng Thom, Hiromi Itō + Jeffrey Angles, Shailja Patel, Ronak Kapadia, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Regie Cabico, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Shawna Yang Ryan, Brandon Som, Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, Khaty Xiong, and Nayomi Munaweera, with illustration by Matt Huynh.
All money raised will go to artist payments, printing, and distribution costs. The total cost of the project is approximately $30,000. AALR will commit $15,000 from its operating budget and will need to raise the remaining half. We hope that you will contribute what you can to see this project and its visions for justice come to life.
We are offering a variety of rewards based on the work from this project and a previous project, Open in Emergency: A Special Issue on Asian American Mental Health!
* Tarot Prints: all cards from the Asian American Tarot are available in 5"x7" prints and most are available in 8"x10" ((front and back will be printed on two separate 5"x7" or 8"x10" cards)
* Glyph Prints: all of the glyphs illustrated by Matt Huynh that accompany the curses in the BOOK of CURSES are available as 5"x7" prints
* Limited Edition Original Glyph Ink Drawings: 5 original ink drawings by Matt Huynh, available in PEACH, FAMILY TREE, ELEPHANT SKULL, HEART, and SEVERED HAND glyphs.
* BOOK of CURSES: preorder the BOOK of CURSES! Includes calendar, spellbook, and paper for burning!
* AALR Asian American Tarot: get the full 23-card AALR Asian American Tarot deck along with the BOOK of CURSES!
* AALR x Tommy WARES collaboration t-shirts: AALR is excited to collaborate with Tommy WARES, an ethical apparel company that works with artists to fund social impact investment projects. Their shirts are union-made in the USA out of 70% organic viscose bamboo and 30% organic cotton. As a thank-you for supporting responsible sourcing, Tommy WARES also donates to have a tree planted for every shirt sold. AALR and Tommy WARES have co-designed the following shirts, some of which you can customize further:
- BOOK OF CURSES: JUSTICE INSIDE THE EMPIRE
- THE POINT OF RACISM IS TO KILL US. BUT WE'RE STILL HERE
- WHITE FEMINISM IS A HELLUVA DRUG
- MERITOCRACY IS A HELLUVA DRUG
- [fill in the blank] IS A HELLUVA DRUG
- KILLING JOY SINCE [fill in year of birth]
- [curse glyph of your choice]
- [3-card spread of AALR tarot cards of your choice]
* Personalized Reward Package! Kickstarter lets you choose only ONE reward option (per email address) so please first look through to see if there is an existing option that fits you. If there is a combination that you want but don’t see, message us so we can try to set something up for you. If we’re able to arrange something for you, you can use the “Personalized Reward Package” option to make the agreed-upon contribution, and we’ll keep a note in our records of the rewards you want.
SUBMIT YOUR OWN CURSE FOR THE PROJECT!
We have saved two spots in the calendar and spellbook for guest-contributors! SUBMIT YOUR CURSES HERE!!! Two curses will be chosen from submissions to be included in the issue. Submission deadline is March 11th.
Risks and challenges
The Book of Curses is almost complete, waiting now on final submissions, printing, and collating! We have two different presses completing the project: one printing the calendar, one printing the spellbook and collating the two pieces together. We don't foresee any major issues with completion, only some possible minor delays because of logistics between presses.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)