Texts lifted from phone “Notes” and journals, scribbles on scraps of paper, screenshots from TV shows seen on laptops, photos and memes sent back and forth. These are the activities undertaken alone, late nights, grounding an interconnection and a friendship—forming a fabric. These are the cracks, and the pictures of infected slivers, the itchiness of healing, the self-help rocks dropped in your trunk. They say—write your name out here, and fill in the blanks with blue-ink flowers. They say—tell us your fortune teller. Rewind all the tapes.

Experimental book project and collaboration with Hannah Doerksen, published by M:ST Performative Art. Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Somewhere between being and not being and breathing, straddling humour, hopefulness and despair, Solutions to the Problem of Staying Alive is a collaboration and publication by Hannah Doerksen and sophia bartholomew, made up of many small parts. Seen together, these parts offer entry points—ways for to begin talking about trauma, grief, searches for meaning, and struggles with mental health, as well as the ongoing process of finding your way forward, sometimes screaming or crying or laughing and rolling around on the ground, groping around in the dark on your hands and knees.

It might not be a book exactly, but it’s certainly an opening up to others, and a wanting to share in the mess of it all and face these things together.

Photographed by Andres Saez