Ali Chavez Leeds
Tasseography is the study of coffee grounds and/or tea leaves for the act of divination. It is a practice that has been passed down through the women on my Armenian side of the family and was taught to me by my mother, she from her mother, and so on. As I would watch my Nana read the coffee grounds from the Armenian coffee prepared for family and friends, I would notice how often times she would see what she would want to say. These prints say some of the things I want to see in the world; I hope you do too.
This print celebrates the resilience, sacrifice and strength of SWANA freedom fighters throughout history and the solidarity that exists. It was originally inspired by an article I read about an exhibition held in Tatvan, a district of Bitlis that was highlighting the Armenian presence in the region. My ancestors are from Bitlis, now within the borders of modern day Turkey.
“Looking at the Cup”
Tasseography (the study of reading coffee grounds) is a cultural practice that Armenian women have used for hundreds of years to speak among and to each other, a coded language to open up conversations, to build inter-relatedness and weave connections.