The Red Thread Cycle. Shivanee Ramlochan.
The Red Thread Cycle.
(Gender, Sex, and Sexuality)

The Red Thread Cycle.

Farmer, Sonia (illus.)

Nassau, The Bahamas: Sonia Farmer, 2019. One of twenty copies, signed by the poet, Shivanee Ramlochan, and the artist, Sonia Farmer. A profound and painful witness to the trauma of sexual assault in the Caribbean region (and more broadly), the work is presented as a series of seven poems by Trinidadian poet Shivanee Ramlochan. Each poem has its own booklet, uniquely structured and illustrated, which are housed in separate envelopes, and as a whole mimic the form of a rape kit. The viewer, then, is brought into a sustained engagement with the text and its content. They demand emotion, calling forth the fear, desperation, and continual trauma experienced by survivors; in short, the piece answers the call of “We have to look.”

Unflinching in illustration and in text, the booklets are both individualistic, giving each poem’s experience its own ground, and communal, sharing a mutual letterpress medium, Centaur typography, Rives paper material, red and black/gray color palette, and repetitive imagery. The work as a whole, then, achieves its titular thesis, threading a common narrative of violence and survival through its abstract and fragmented parts. An additional envelope bears an audio recording of the poet reading all seven poems. Farmer uses her writing and book art to question power structures and uplift fellow writers and artists to advance the diversity of narratives in Caribbean literature. Nine Tyvek envelopes, seven of which hold booklets of different sizes and folds, one that holds a flash drive, and the last that holds the colophon sheet. All housed in a handmade file box, covered in red raw silk, with the title label inset on the front. Very fine. Item #30417

Price: $2,500.00

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