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The “Pur-Suit” Of Better Playing Cards

by Emma Davey

There is a new Kickstarter for Pur-suit, a deck of 54 cards with portraits of queer womxn, trans, and gender-non-conforming people, which seeks to show a more representative and inclusive world. Naima Green, the Brooklyn-based artist and educator who started the Kickstarter, says that she was inspired by Catherine Opie’s Dyke Deck, “a set of poker cards that playfully looks into the lives and performances of 90s lesbians.” Green discovered this project while doing research at the New York Public Library. Her goal is to give Opie’s initial project a 21st century reimagining, “to reflect my queer community, comprised mostly of women of color, and how our experiences are (or most often are not) represented.”

Green writes: 

Pur·suit is a celebration of queer communities. I want to reflect my queer community, comprised mostly of women of color, and how our experiences are (or most often are not) represented. I continue to think about how our communities are named and by whom. In Brooklyn, I’m fortunate to see queer families, partnerships, and friendships of all kinds on a daily basis. I’m also reminded that our community is an oasis. It is my hope that Pur·suit can be that for all who use these cards; that it will serve as a reminder of queer faces and experiences, play, love, and a testimony that we are here.

The first stage of the project is a digital archive featuring “depictions of over 100 people” which “offer[s] a glimpse into complex worlds through photographs, letters, poems, and audio clips the archive will create space for folks to share themselves however they choose.” Funds raised from the Kickstarter “will be used to design and print the card decks as well as expand the archive…” as they “continue to honor, name, and uplift a dynamic, queer community for posterity.”  Pledge as little as $7 for a variety of cool prizes, from a signed deck with a custom acrylic case, to a one-on-one portrait session with Naima in Brooklyn.

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You can find out more about the project here. You can find more about Naima and how the project is going @naimagreen on Instagram.  

Photo credits: Pur-suit by Naima Green 

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