Saint Agatha Mother Redeemer Art Book || Graphic Novel
An experiential art book told through text messages and self-portraiture.
TW: Rape, Assault
About the Project
Saint Agatha Mother Redeemer is an art book of self-portraiture || a non-narrative graphic novel told in text messages.
About Saint Agatha Mother Redeemer
I died many times over, but, to my disbelief,
I lived after my murder.
The Taking Men took everything from me.
That’s Their nature after all; They take and take and take.
They took my life from me.
Even after the violence, the abuse, the manipulation, the lies, and the infection || all were in the distance, I am haunted by the notion that my rapists || murderers || life takers can think about me when They choose. That They probably do think about me from time to time. Whereas I no longer control my thoughts. Another thing They took.
No longer can I concentrate or work or rest in peace. My thoughts are now sharp, intrusive, loud. The things that once brought rejuvenation–sleep, meditation, writing, walking in nature–now dangerous. No longer can I: travel, be in public, be in mixed company, listen to music with lyrics, leave my home at night, rise above the first level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs ...
I know no rest, no peace
All is lost
and I lost everything.
What I have now: Proximity.
That They know || knew
how I look when I’m scared,
how my body tastes,
the softness of my skin ...
I created this book to act as a requiem for my life || 200 knells of farewell || a lament-come-hymnal with the hope that rejoice might one day echo from the wails and reincarnate my soul into this unliving body.
I am the specter of a life once lived.
A timeless || timeworn existence.
And these are my messages to Them.
Publishing books is a way of creating artifacts of this time and some artifacts deserve to hold space for ideas and to be held in our hands. I recognize that making a book requires resources and the actual impact of consuming resources is exponentially more complicated than just what goes into making a book. I am striving to make all printed works from my STMR project as tree-worthy as possible.
Kickstarter is a nice platform to fund the completion and printing of this book, and offers the ability to produce books for how many people would like to buy them. I already have printing and general pricing specs, and I want to know how many books to print. An exciting thing about this project is that it is complete ... the WHOLE ~200-page book ... I'll finalize the front matter and the cover, and then it goes to print!
Because of the mature nature of the contents of this book, I will not be offering an e-book version of Saint Agatha Mother Redeemer. However, I want to make this book accessible to anyone who would like to experience it. If for any reason you can’t afford the print version, you can contact me when the Kickstarter is over and we can talk through your options. I may be able to connect you with a donor and donated copy. If you’d like to help those who can’t afford this book, please increase your backing for an extra copy and notify me in comments how many copies are to be donated.
For international supporters, shipping books outside of the U.S.A. is expensive. The international price will include shipping costs, which in many cases will be the same price or exceed the price of the printed book.
When the Kickstarter ends I'll know how many books to print and I'll place an order shortly thereafter. The process of printing takes about 3 months, so you could expect your book(s) sometime this Summer.
Becoming a Backer
While you can only choose one reward tier per pledge, you can pledge any amount above the base tier amount, and you can change your pledge amount and reward selection for as long as the project is live. I might add tiers based on interest.
More about the Creator
Michelle Sander is a filmmaker and digital designer.
See more about this project, including:
- Q&A about my films, life with PTSD, and more about the Saint Agatha Mother Redeemer project at https://lomicsa.com/qanda
- Find out more about my film and other work online at https://lomicsa.com
- Follow along on Twitter for more art and film-related updates
Risks and challenges
(1) Publicly announcing personal details and intimate self-portraiture is scary, especially so because I have PTSD. I tried to do this once already and it was simply too much. I feel a bit better about it this time around, so I'm hopeful.
(2) I may strike a chord with another survivor and they may attempt to tell me their story unsolicited. This could be a trigger for me. PLEASE, if you'd like to reach out, make the subject line || first line in ALL CAPS to read: I'D LIKE TO SHARE MY STORY so I can read these messages as I'm ready.
(3) I am a human who makes mistakes and a human with PTSD whose brain isn't functioning at peak processing. I pledge to try my best and make things right when I fall short.
(4) International shipping is expensive and therefore a major challenge is that the bulk of the minimum funding necessary will need to come mostly from people within the U.S.A.
(5) Quality control can also be a challenge when printing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)