Archive of ‘art’ category

To Disappear And Never Be Found

Rosie Anne Prosser, Among the first to grow

In the course of a conversation with my baby sister sometime this past week, I confessed that when this business with my grandparents’ estate is over, my grand plan was to fake my own death and run away forever. I was only half kidding.

This is going to come off as a all bunch of whinging and hand-wringing, but I tell you what–I am tired. I took care of their bills and banking and a great many aspects of their business during the last few years of their lives–as well as the day to day maintenance of their actual lives outside of finance-related things, at least for a while before we got some extra help…and yet, my grandmother has been gone for over a year now, but I still can’t seem to extricate myself from all of it it. They had a will, they had their bank accounts put into a trust, so with all that in place, you wouldn’t think there would be so many loose ends and that it all would be such a pain, but who knows, probably because I am an idiot and didn’t do something just so, this probate and estate situation is really dragging out. We’re also trying to sell their house, and the buyers keep backing out and the one we’ve finally got needs all of these repairs done because it’s some kind of a VA loan…so, as personal representative, I’ve got calls with lawyers, realtors, contractors, insurance people and I am sure I don’t have to tell you how stressful and anxiety inducing I find all of this. I just want this all to be over. I can’t properly mourn my beloved Mawga and Boppa, not really. Not with all of this still hanging over my head. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been doing this forever and there is no end in sight.

So yes, I want to be done with responsibilities. With obligations. With meetings and phone calls and relaying information back and forth and second guessing my every decision and feeling like a failure because I’m not doing it right, not doing it timely enough, not doing it the way someone else might have done it. I want to walk away and never look back and never ever have to think about this again. Faking my own death and running away to be a hermit in the mountains, without another human being (or a telephone) for hundreds of miles around, sounds super appealing to me right now. I want to disappear so that they’ll never find me.

Rosie Anne Prosser, A sunless world

It was with a head heavy and churning with these sorts of thoughts that I discovered the photography of Rosie Anne Prosser via her flickr account late last night. A photographer and storyteller who describes herself as a “Mountain Goat raised in The Black Mountains”, her melancholic landscapes of lonely cliffs, secluded thickets and remote paths, the focal point a lone figure, cloaked in mists and shadows with her back to both the camera and the viewer, enigmatically, introspectively, and perhaps even a bit defiantly gazing off to somewhere else, entirely…

Well, I’m having a hard time articulating how it made me feel. It was just one of those serendipitous moments when you find something you needed to see, just when you needed to see it. Each and every image tugged at my heart and seemed to echo back to me everything that I am feeling right now, and my soul whispered to me in a language tinged with both misery and hope, “I want to go to there.” I don’t know that I can say more than that.

For now, though, you can tell them that I was last seen climbing into these photos.  I will be immersing myself in solitude, silence, and still, sunless days. Please don’t try to find me.

You can, however, find Rosie Anne Prosser on: flickr // instagram // facebook // tumblr

Rosie Anne Prosser, West

Rosie Anne Prosser, West

Rosie Anne Prosser, August

Rosie Anne Prosser, August

Rosie Anne Prosser, A crash, a stillness

Rosie Anne Prosser, A crash, a stillness

Rosie Anne Prosser, Self Reflection

Rosie Anne Prosser, Self Reflection

Rosie Anne Prosser, An Admonishment

Rosie Anne Prosser, An Admonishment

Rosie Anne Prosser, When They Fall

Rosie Anne Prosser, When They Fall

2018 Pirelli Calendar

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I only learned about the Pirelli Calendar just this year, so I hesitate to refer to it as something along the lines of “a hoary old institution” ….but when researching a small feature for Haute Macabre this week about their current 2018 all-star, all-black cast, I saw several decades worth of white faces and white bodies gracing the publication over previous years. I then realize that the last time the calendar had an all-black ensemble was in 1987. That’s 30+ years ago. Yikes.

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Photographer Tim Walker and stylist Edward Enninful (British Vogue’s first black editor in chief) envisioned for 2018 a new and different take on Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, Through The Looking Glass, and they have given it a vibrant, powerful new treatment entirely populated by beautiful black models, musicians, and activists  who cavort and contort through the story’s madcap, marvelous world.

See more over at Haute Macabre this week:

Through A Powerful Looking Glass: The 2018 Pirelli Calendar

Bonus: a fabulous video detailing “the making of”!

Interview With Adrienne Rozzi Of Poison Apple Printshop

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This week at Haute Macabre: an extensive interview with Adrienne Rozzi of Poison Apple Printshop, wherein we discuss her art and its inspirations, as well as, her great passion for knowledge and truth. It’s rare when the subject of your interview actually makes *you* feel special and amazing, but Adrienne is one such rare, remarkable soul.

Thank you for your candor and your genuine, generous nature, Adrienne.

Realms Forged Within A Vast Imagination: Adrienne Rozzi Of Poison Apple Print Shop

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The Haunted Menagerie Group Show And Exhibition Debuts In Portland Tonight!

Haunted MenagerieIf I’m being honest, my soul is forever dying slowly due to the fact that I am not living in Portland where so many friends and talented people and wonderful things reside… but my not being local to the area is causing me extreme suffering today, as there is something very special happening that I cannot attend!

The Creeping Museum, whom I’ve written of at Unquiet Things previously and whose creative vision I respect tremendously, is the labor of love conceived between two friends in North Portland, whose mission is to help artists and independent creators give back to their communities by turning their strange and unusual work into tiny pieces of affordable art, for which to support wonderfully worthy causes. And right now they are gearing up to introduce a new project that I think will resonate on some very heart-deep levels with so many of us.

Caley Hicks

Tonight, Thursday, February 15th at 7PM, at their Little Free Library in North Portland, The Creeping Museum will present an opening celebration for The Haunted Menagerie: A Celebration of Spirit Familiars and Ghostly Pets which will include a miniature group show featuring original artwork as well as an artist bookplate(!!)“exhibition”–and oh, how I wish I could be be present to see all of it! Please go in my stead and take lots of photos and beautiful selfies with the enchanting art and the brilliant minds who pulled it all together, ok?

Jenny Fontana

The bookplate collection will benefit the Portland Audubon Society and includes art by the following artists: Layla Sullivan, Amy Earles, Benjamin Dewey, Marybel Martin, Becky Munich, Pantovola, Christa Dippel, Canvas Menagerie, Hidden Velvet, Alex Reisfar.

The group show in the miniature gallery will include original art by the following artists, and the proceeds from the sale of each piece will go to the nonprofit of the artist’s choice.
– Dena Seiferling
– Darla Jackson
– Stephanie Buscema
– Jenny Fontana
– Diane Irvine Armitage
– Joe Vollan
– Gretchen Lewis

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Next week-ish,  or sometime thereabouts as I understand it, The Creeping Museum will have a shop update with all sorts of magical items and spells and wonderment related to The Haunted Menagerie concept. I will be writing about it at length over at Haute Macabre, and will be certain to share all of the wonderful details and secrets at that time!

In the meantime, I have been granted a tiny sneak peek of some of the beautiful bookplates and have permission to share them with you…

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3.5"x4" Post Card Template

3.5"x4" Post Card Template

3.5"x4" Post Card Template
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The Creations of Elsa Olsson aka Fevernest

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Needle craft is, unfortunately, not a finger-busying pastime that I have yet taken up. After talking with Elsa Olssen, aka Fevernest, and ardently gazing at her eerie, elegant creations however, it has become an urgent priority!

Elsa graciously answered a few of my questions for an interview over at Haute Macabre today; do take a peek if you are as feverishly obsessed with her designs as I am.

What Whisper A Needle Makes: The Creations of Elsa Olssen/Fevernest

(And if you’re thinking that one of her framed works features in the piece looks familiar, well, you’d be correct! I purchased it for myself back in early autumn, and it graces my shelf along with some other treasures from beloved artists!)

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17 Artists, Creatives, and Visionaries That I Interviewed In 2017

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In late summer of 2016 I was invited on board as a staff writer for Haute Macabre, a website and dark lifestyle/culture resource whose aesthetic I had long admired and whose blog posts I had been fervently following for many years. As you can imagine, this was right up the alley of one who describes her style as “goth-adjacent” and “must love cats and darkness”–and so of course I jumped at the chance to provide content for them relating to art, and perfume, music, literature, witchy wonders, and marvelous magics.

Below are some of my favorite interviews in 2017 with Artists, Creatives, and Visionaries who I was thrilled and honored to have spoken with and whose works and words I was entrusted to share with you. Thank you, a million times, to all of the creators who have given time to me this past year for these illuminating interviews, and I sincerely hope that 2018 will bring even more of these singular opportunities!

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The Shadow Is Me: An Interview With Jamie Mooers Of Burial Ground My exchange with one half of the creative vision that is Burial Ground, wherein we delve into matters of friendship and familiar comforts, dreams and inspirations, and the pleasures of losing oneself in the beauty of a November day.

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A Disquiet Of Dreams: Colette St. Yves An enigmatic collector of ephemera whose work recalls the foggy tragedies of a recurring dream.

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The Magic Of Earth And Thread: Fiber Artist And Knitwear Designer Caitlin Ffrench in which we discuss the origins of her art, her relationship with the land, and the deep magics found in both wearing handmade adornments and laying one’s self bare.

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A Glimpse Beyond The Veil: Jill Tracy Reveals The Secret Music of Lily Dale It is my extreme pleasure to share Jill’s eerie Lily Dale adventures and uncanny musical insights. Are there ghosts to be found here, of the musical sort, or otherwise? Read on to find out…

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My interview with Nocturnal Reader Box founders Vincent and Jessica Guerrero about their dark offerings in the form of a monthly subscription box for readers of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and thrillers.

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Where The Magic Lies: An Interview With Karyn Crisis; the many layered presence of this supernaturally talented artist and intensely spiritual Shaman, Seeker, Witch, and Healer.

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Good With A Knife: The Papercut Art Of Ivonne Carley. An artist’s enthusiastic penchant for blades and fondness for sharpened edges translates into an elegant artistic medium for emotive storytelling.

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The Somber Poetry Of Dreams. The Collage Art Of Hidden Velvet deals in bittersweet contrasts of lightness and glooms, blooming, fluttering life and the stillness of death, and furtive dread juxtaposed against a serene sense of tranquility.

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Unfolding A Daydream: The Art Of Amy Earles The progression following an artist’s depiction of young girls facing the lurking menaces of childhood and transforming into empowered young women with agency, autonomy, and an awareness that they are in control of their own fates.

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A Woman With Power: Pam Grossman A spirited discussion with this independent curator, writer, and lifelong student of magical practices for her thoughts on witchcraft and the occult as it relates to art, activism, and anger, and what it means to be a woman with power.

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From Bibliophile To Bookbinder: An Interview With Nate McCall of McCall Company. Nate speaks with me about t his genuine love of books, the art and craft of bookbinding, and shared some distinctly exciting news for discerning bibliophiles.

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Ashley Rose Couture’s “My Dearest Dust” & Other Conjurations. I had been dreaming about getting a chance to chat with this fanciful visionary and innovator about her designs and inspirations, and it finally happened! AND early this item, I traveled to Boston to see My Dearest Dust in person!

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Seeing Stars With Mystic Medusa; wherein this astrological purveyor of sagacious observations, fantastic insight, and timely wisdom kindly indulges my nosy questions.

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The Serene, Savage, and Surreal Embroidery of Adipocere, a dark conjurer of thread and needle-based wizardry.

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Illuminating The Many Moons Workbook with Sarah Faith Gottesdiener. In which I speak with the creator of The Many Moons Workbook, a notebook and manual which imagines a world where witches, women, femmes, & weirdos make their dreams come true, and help others and the greater collective in service of their higher self and of spirit.

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Portals Of Power: KillDie’s Crystal Marys. What kind of person, you might wonder, would shatter the holy virgin’s face and stuff it full of quartz? Well, that would Kyle Montgomery of KillDie.

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The Imaginative Olfactive Magics of Solstice Scents; my chat with the creator of visionary indie perfumery responsible for these wildly imaginative aromatic enchantments.

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Delicate and Unflinching: The Art of Nicomi Nix Turner. An artist who explores Human and flora, fungi and bone, beetle and animal are examined in delicate, unflinching detail, and are at turns both lush and fiercely throbbing with life, and ripe and rank with death and decay.

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Artist, Chemist, Goofball: Catching Up With Tyler Thrasher. Tyler Thrasher is a hoot, and, while I don’t like to pick favorites, our Q&A exchange was high on my list of favorites this year! It was a pleasure to discuss with him topics ranging from creation in dark times, and the importance of curiosity, experimentation, and living your own goddamn story.

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Piercing The Veil: The Evolving Work of Caitlin McCarthy. I have been lucky enough to interview this talented artist in the past (see previously); we caught up again just this November to discuss a thrilling shift in her recent works.

Alchemical Catharsis: The Art of Alice Rogers

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When perusing Alice Rogers’ portfolio, or perhaps scrolling through her Instagram account, you get the sense that she wants to frighten you, just a bit. But this isn’t some sort of jump scare, shock-value fright – no, there is a sense of intent here.

Rogers, through her explorations of dark themes on canvas and photography and in sculpture, invites – nay, demands – the viewer to do the same as well. It’s not the stark horrors of fearsome wolves, menacing swords, or lean, beckoning claws of hungry spirits that are the threat here.

As you peer more closely closer at Rogers’ work – despite yourself – you also begin looking inward. Your own shadows, secrets, devils, and darkness are brought to light. Rogers’ works reflects both the damage we do to ourselves and the scars of those old hurts inflicted by others, and at its heart, it is about the vulnerable magic in making something beautiful from these wounds – and the balance achieved in doing so.

I recently caught up with Alice Rogers about her works, these painful yet ultimately cathartic worlds she creates, and the magic and manifestation, power and purification that is part of the process.

12135232_1650655198531383_44520963_n Kintsukuroi-the-Japanese-art-of-repairing-cracks-with-gold-in-the-belief-that-an-object-is-more-beautiful-for-having-been-broken.-Self-portrait.

S. Elizabeth: Tell us a little about your artistic background – What were your first inclinations that you had a strong creative instinct? Can you pinpoint the moment you decided you wanted to become an artist?

Alice Rogers: I loved drawing from the time I was a small child. My family and teachers encouraged me to keep at it, so I painted murals and designed the school t-shirts and all that sort of stuff. I actually went through a period where I rebelled and said, “Maybe I don’t want to be an artist!” and decided I was going to study forensic science instead, but I ended up double-majoring in fine art and English in college, anyway. I was never able to choose between those two things – art and writing – and I still try to organize my life so that I don’t have to.

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You are a writer, photographer, illustrator, and sculptor – within so much of your work you show us liminal worlds and stories within these worlds, and it’s all just brimming with what seems to be intensely personal symbolism. In what medium are you happiest working, when creating these worlds?

I think of all various mediums and forms of expression as tools. Some tools are more appropriate for certain projects or ideas than others. I find that drawing is the most immediate way for me to express something, so even though I’m also a writer, I tend to draw instead of journaling. Occasionally a phrase or sort of poem will come to me before I start a drawing and I work around that. I can’t always communicate everything I want to get across in a drawing, and that’s where the three-dimensional stuff comes in.

I wouldn’t call myself a photographer. I’m certainly not skilled, technically, in that area, but I’m having fun exploring the idea of creating little worlds in three-dimensional space and capturing them in still images or short films. Sometimes I’m just drawn to one medium more than another; for three years I didn’t create anything visual at all and only wrote, and then it sort of flipped. Having all of those tools available keeps me creatively stimulated so I if I get burned out doing one thing, I move on to the next for a while.

Photo-Alice-Rogers

From photos of your studio, it is difficult to tell where the altars end and the workspace begins. This idea/philosophy of “art as magic” – can you speak to that? And along those lines, in your Instagram, I came across the term “Seiðr,” which I found to be an old Norse form of sorcery sometimes associated with the goddess Freyja. Do you consider what you do, the art that you create, a form of Seiðr?

Last December, I was thinking a lot about manifestation. I sort of ride the line between intellectual curiosity and belief when it comes to magic and the occult, and I interpret most of it as a system for refining and manifesting intent. You have to determine what you want and why, then make all sorts of small changes in your life that add up to make it real. Magic isn’t just about manipulating energy; it’s finding power in knowing yourself in a really intimate way.  At the time, I was preoccupied with negative patterns that were repeating themselves in my relationships and I drew out what I wanted to manifest, which was a deep connection with a person possessing certain qualities. That drawing turned into several more, and sort of ushered in a new phase of creative expression for me.

Symbols are just such potent visual shorthand, and joining them together can give them even more power. They can say so much with just a few strokes of a pen or brush. The symbols I prefer to use mostly originate from Western occult traditions and Germanic paganism, and in this way I draw upon my own ancestral heritage and the knowledge and power of so many people who have come before me. So even though I’m incorporating these symbols and ideas into my art in a way that’s intensely personal for me, others can look at what I create with it and find something that resonates for them in a totally different way, or so I’ve been told.

In the end, it’s not about what other people find nice to look at. It’s not even about the final product. It’s the meditative, half-conscious, magical act of translating emotions and abstract concepts into visual form, which is therapeutic for me. It’s a deep analysis of self, relationships with others, and how I interact with the world that’s really for no one’s benefit but my own, but everyone is on their own particular version of the same journey.

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You write of your fascination with the line between the scientific and the supernatural, and that you “reside in the balance between reason and belief.” I find myself marveling at the stark contrasts in your work, the extreme juxtaposition of dark and light, of shadow and exposure… and yet it all speaks to a sort of balance, if I am not mistaken. Tell us about the value and meaning of balance in your work.

When I really started paying attention to the themes that were popping up in my life over and over again, the idea of balance really stood out. I’m not sure why exactly, just that it seems like the universe is constantly reminding me that it’s part of my life’s work, along with a search for truths that a lot of people might find scary or uncomfortable (which is what draws me to the occult). There’s no light without darkness, and without pain, we could never fully appreciate beauty. That might sound clichéd, but it’s true. I don’t necessarily see things in black and white – there’s an awful lot of gray in the world – but for me, the starkness of monochrome is sort of a way of creating order out of chaos, even in my wardrobe or my personal space. It fosters a sense of harmony and continuity.

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The motifs in your art and photography vary wildly from sacred geometry to Twin Peaks to yokai – what would you say is the underlying theme in these inspirations? What can you tell us about your current obsessions and fascinations, and how they may be finding their way into something you are working on right now?

Almost all of my creative inspiration comes to me in half-sleep. I have a sleep disorder that keeps me in the hypnagogic and hypnapompic sleep stages much longer than most people (the “falling asleep” and “waking up” phases where you’re sort of dreaming, but still partially conscious). With that comes sleepwalking and hallucinations, but mostly a trance-like state that enables you to access the deep reaches of your subconscious, or other spiritual planes. So almost every night, I wake up with an idea or three. I write them down if I’m conscious enough. Sometimes I remember them in the morning, and sometimes they slip away.

Like last week, when I woke up with the words “ars moriendi” in my head – I couldn’t recall ever actually hearing that phrase, and I looked it up, and it roughly translates to “the art of dying.” Since I tend to work intuitively, sometimes my symbolism is very purposeful and sometimes it feels like a mystery even to me.

But I do have a preoccupation with atmosphere and mood, especially when it feels really primal, which is why I’m drawn to David Lynch, and “Butoh” Japanese performance art, and music by artists like Pharmakon. I think it’s very powerful when art is disturbing, but not in a cheap way, not in a way that relies on gore or shock value. It’s like strumming an instrument and finding a note that vibrates through your entire being. For me it all goes back to the junction of psychology and mysticism. Is it all brain chemistry; are we nothing more than sentient sacks of meat? Is it a means of accessing universal energies that we can’t fully process in the physical world? That’s the essential mystery and that’s what fascinates me.

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Earlier this year you had a piece in Sticks & Stones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls – can you tell us a bit about the venue and the pieces that you chose (or created) for it? Is your work showing anywhere right now?

I actually haven’t shown my work very much at all. For a long time, I worked in oils, and then everything I created over a period of fifteen years or so was destroyed by mold after a flooding incident. Ultimately, I see that as a positive development because it forced me to detach myself from each piece as a finished product, so the emphasis is on the act of creating.

The Sticks & Stones’ show, which was a benefit for a local nonprofit called Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, was the first time I put up any of my black and white drawings. I’d love to show that work again somewhere, or the drawings I’ve produced since then, but I’m also shifting focus a little bit to larger sculpture, photography, and film.

I’m also planning a collaborative show with my friend, Angela Thornton, who’s a knitwear designer and art director. We’re still in the early stages, but ultimately it will be an experiment in combining visual art and design with performance, so we’re excited about that.

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Another powerful project you are involved in is Ask Me About My Abortion, “a safe space for people to share their stories, and read about the experiences of others, with zero judgment, pressure, or bullshit.” Can I ask how the creation of this safe space came to be and why it is important to you? 

Ask Me About My Abortion came about because my best friend, Laura Slack, wanted to help anyone searching for information about abortion online find actual first-hand experiences, instead of religious propaganda. So many people we know have had abortions – straight, queer, religious people, atheists, people with female reproductive systems who don’t identify as female. It’s far more common than a lot of people realize, and the culture war in our society over this issue relies on a sense of shame and guilt to silence the voices of anyone who believes we should have agency over our own bodies and when or whether we become parents. It’s a passion project for her, and as a feminist it’s an important issue to me, too.

The controversy over attempts to defund Planned Parenthood has ignited similar projects recently, like #ShoutYourAbortion, which we think is great. We’re hoping that we can ultimately provide a searchable database full of a broad range of experiences from all sorts of people, whether they feel great about it or had difficulty. We’re not censoring any of the stories; we’re just not accepting any anti-choice perspectives. We want to reflect reality. So please, everyone, send us your stories!

Find Alice Rogers: Website // Instagram

(This article was originally posted at Dirge; the site is no longer active.)

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