Existence Stories Project

Five artist books with intaglio and aquatint covers are sitting on a wooden display shelf. There are pens positioned between the books. The shelf is sitting on a long table which is draped with a white tablecloth. Two green and brown folding chairs are positioned in front of the table.

Existence Stories is an interactive activist art project that gathers and amplifies personal narratives about the ways in which people's lives are impacted by the political climate in the United States. The project was begun in 2016 and initially focused primarily on issues surrounding that year's Presidential election and its repercussions. For more information on the reasons and methods of Existence Stories from 2016-2019, you can read the associated thesis paper here.

Much has changed since the origins of this project, but gathering and sharing these stories still feels like a vital act. For many of us - for me specifically, being a non-binary trans person and watching my very identity be pathologized and criminalized state by state - the political climate in the U.S. is still very volatile. Continuing to exist - and to assert our existence by telling our stories - is an act of resilience and resistance. It's an act of self-love and an act of love for those who hear (or read, or watch) our stories.

To participate in the Existence Stories project, please contact me at existencestories@gmail.com or use this google form.


            Transcript of I Knew.  



Existence Stories comics are adapted from videos recorded by participants. These participants share anecdotes about their lives post-2016 US Presidential election for the camera. Each comic's format is tailored to the story being shared.

Transcripts for Existence Stories comics:

Althea, 2017: Nightmare

Lijia, 2018: The Day of the Election

Anonymous, 2019: Accepting That Fear as Normal (image credits)

"Diane," 2017: Grandmother

Coe, 2018: Moonville

"Diane," 2017: Thirty Percent