It’s Black Speculative Fiction Month and I’m excited to share another wonderful project with everyone. Check out “The Runaway princess and Other Stories” Kickstarter sponsored by Helen Nde.
What makes your Kickstarter unique?
Hi and thank you for the opportunity to talk about my Kickstarter campaign. What makes the campaign unique is the story I want to tell and how I want to tell it. The Runaway Princess and Other Stories is based on retold folktales and legends from different African peoples. All the stories are about girls or women, and my storytelling approach focuses on their inner worlds, so what they are thinking and feeling as the events of their lives unfold. This is challenging because interiority, that is, heightened awareness of and reflection on thoughts and feelings, doesn’t really exist in traditional folktales. For example, Kahindo is the Nyanga (DRC) Goddess of Good Fortune and daughter of Muisa, Lord of the Underworld. She saves the hero, Mwindo, by telling him how to avoid the traps set for him by her father. But what is really going through her mind? What are her feelings towards her father, her life in the underworld, Mwindo?
There’s also the art. As of this writing, googling Kahindo does not yield a single image of this goddess. Meanwhile, the Mwindo Epic out of which her story comes is one of the better known and analyzed pieces of folklore from the African continent. Similarly, there are very few depictions of Sogolon, mother of the great Sundiata Keita. If you google Persephone or Olympia of Epirus, you get hundreds, possibly thousands of results showing how people have imagined them in paintings, sculptures and more. With the pledges from the campaign, I plan to commission more high-quality art depicting these girls and women from African history, folklore, myth, and legend.
Why should people support it?
Because it is worth it, and they’ll get stories, art, and really cool merchandise! On a serious note though, I spend a lot of time thinking about the stories we’ve told about ourselves (myths and folklore) and how these stories and beliefs are adapting to current realities. With this project, I want to use art and something fairly modern, inner dialogue, to explore the ways in which the lived realities of women and girls have both changed and remained the same over time. I invite people to support the project because they believe in it.
What’s the deadline?
The campaign ends on Wednesday October 26th. Also, the Kickstarter model is all or nothing. So we have to hit the $10,000 target on or before that date.
Any other things about the Kickstarter you care to share?
I’m really excited about what the funds would facilitate. There is editing and sensitivity reading to make sure the different cultures are properly represented, more art which means more illustrators from the continent are paid for their high-quality work, and most importantly of all, a spotlight on the breathtakingly beautiful multidimensionality of African women. I plan to release the book in January of 2023.
How to find your Kickstarter.
You can find it here.
Who is sponsoring the Kickstarter?
Helen Nde is a Cameroonian-born researcher, writer and artist currently based in Atlanta, GA. She curates Mythological Africans, an online space for exploring mythology, folklore, spirituality, and culture from the African continent. Find her at helennde.com or mythologicalafricans.com
Thanks for sharing Helen! Please support this amazing project!
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