“Reparations of the Heart: Toward a SWANA Futurity” book launch to be held in New York

The Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice will host a book launch of Reparations of the Heart: Toward a SWANA Futurity by Kristin Anahit Cass on Friday, April 19, 2024 from 6-8 p.m. at 227 E. 24th Street, New York, NY 10010.

Author and artist Cass and Lillian Avedian, assistant editor of the Armenian Weekly, will engage in a conversation about futurism through an Armenian lens. Cass and Avedian will discuss Cass’s new book and her vision of creating a better future for all through compassion, community, healing and hope. The event is free, and books will be available at the event or through Fifth Wheel Press.

What does the world look like from a SWANA futurist perspective? Cass explores this question in her debut book Reparations of the Heart, a vibrant tapestry of essays, stories, poems, quotes and detailed, often surreal images, published by Fifth Wheel Press.

Reparations of the Heart rejects the imperialist narratives and hopelessness that loom around us, instead proposing an alternative future where creativity, culture and community flourish. Moving from past to present and into the future, memories of beloved ancestors inform various artistic iterations of SWANA futurity, as narrated by the vast diversity of their photographic subjects. 

Reparations of the Heart was inspired by the aftermath of the 1915 Armenian Genocide and written in the midst of the recent genocide in Artsakh and the ongoing genocide in Gaza. This profound book imagines the future and envisions creating it, encompassing land back, reparations, ethnic and cultural diversity, ancestral practices and shared SWANA culture.

Image from “Reparations of the Heart: Toward a SWANA Futurity” by Kristin Anahit Cass

Praise for Reparations of the Heart: Toward a SWANA Futurity

Reparations of the Heart makes visible the power of transmuting ancestral memory into rich, euphoric and interconnected life, taking us to the internal realms where our ancestors, current realities and possible futures mingle outside of time.” Detroit-based weaver and storyteller Levon Kafafian

“In the person of the remarkable artist Anahit Cass, we find a new and powerful artistic voice, one that speaks to today’s most pressing issues, including the ongoing war being waged globally against First Peoples by colonizing powers.” Christopher Atamian, writer and curator, Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice

“Her art seeks to fill the voids left by wounds…She is simultaneously in dialogue with SWANA ancestors, hard contemporary realities and dreams for a future aligned with communal hopes and aspirations.” Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic

Kristin Anahit Cass

Kristin Anahit Cass is a writer and artist working in photography, video, sculpture and other media.  Cass’s work imagines the future, touches the past and envisions a better world. As Tamar Boyadjian noted in Hyperallergic, Cass’s work “recognizes the lived experience of trauma and (the collective ability to) reframe that experience in their hearts to make way for reparations.” A trained lawyer, Cass is one of the founders of the LGBTQ platform Entanik (Family) where she’s active in supporting creatives globally. Her Borderlands Under Fire project was a finalist for the 2018 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize. A  graduate of the University of Chicago, you can find her at kristincass.com and on Instagram @kristinanahitcassprojects.

You can purchase Reparations of the Heart: Toward a SWANA Futurity here. Learn more about the book by reading Cass’s interview here.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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