Sunday, January 29, 2017

Women's March Booklet Report

Part of me wishes I had written this post right after the march before the news of this week thundered over me. Another part says no, we need to keep going back to that day, to hold tight all the good in our hearts and continue to reach out and join together.

The little book received more positive response than anything I have ever shared. The link to the pdf to print and share was visited 353 times. I shared it on social media and on the Book Arts List which continues to be an incredible resource to the book arts community.  I heard from people around the US and the world who made books to share. Marches included Sarasota, FL, Walla Walla, WA, Santa Rosa, CA, Lexington, KY, Denver, CO, NYC, Gustavus, AK, and Portugal. Books were brought to DC from Philadelphia, PA, Madison, WI, Middletown, CT, Cincinnati, OH, and Louisville, KY. And I'm sure many more. I shared them with Boston march attendees who rode the buses chartered by the Newburyport YWCA.

The project started when I helped my friend Anne with her sign for the DC March. I felt that I should bring something to Boston. The thought of lugging a sign, no matter how lightweight or simple, to the march left me cold. The obvious solution was a little book which could also be shared. I wore a copy of mine as a necklace.

I started with the quote from Audre Lorde: "When I dare to use my strength in service of my vision, it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." I had wanted to use it for The Power of Words exhibition at the Clare Gallery in Hartford but it was too long. I thought it contained the right words both for the day of the march and the task beyond.

I originally planned on making a hot dog book and dividing up the text among the pages. When I did, I wasn't crazy about how the words looked on the pages and, perhaps after the Clare Gallery experience, felt that their power was diluted when just a few words were read at a time. I decided that the entire quote needed to be read all at once which led to the simple structure I used. A full sheet of paper for each book made the books larger than I wanted so I designed it so that each sheet of paper would print 4 small books. I originally tried using the front as a title page but that seemed too formal and worked against the intimacy of the small size. Instead I wrote "Marching in protest, in peace, in solidarity, with strength and dignity" on the front and the March information on the back.

When I thought about it after, I realized that the design decisions also made it a better book to share. The fact that the printing was 4 up invited printing more copies. The fact that there were only 2 folds to make made the books faster to make, again making it easier to share more copies. And the small size made them easier to bring to distribute and easier for the recipients to tuck in their pockets. Just as the march was about working together rather than alone, the design process works best when we collaborate with the materials and the content.


Velma Bolyard said...

even though our local march was tiny and i didn't take your booklets with me, i did print out and make four. i felt like doing that was being part of the bigger movement, and in fact, i think small is important, too. i participated in shu-ju wang's prayer flag project, too. these opportunities for those of us on the edges are important, and susan, the booklet felt wonderful. thankyou.

Unknown said...

Over 100 given out in Salem, Oregon!

N. Meg said...

I printed out a few for our local march in Binghamton NY (3000!!) and the people traveling on the buses printed and distributed 200. Each one was received as a treasure! Thanks for the creativity!

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord said...

Thank you Velma, Alex, and N
. Meg. Also heard by email that the books went to Providence and Guatemala (a demonstration on local issues there).

Jen said...

Hi Susan,
Your book accompanied a group of students from Illinois State University who traveled to the DC March. Thanks for creating and sharing this inspirational piece!

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord said...

Thanks Jen. Wonderful to add another journey of the book to the list!

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