Archive for February, 2011

The Obama Skirt Project

February 27, 2011

Artist Aisha Cousins needs your help to win $5,000 towards her ongoing textile/performance art project from here i saw what happened and i could not understand (aka the Obama Skirt Project). Heineken is holding a contest in honor of Black History month, and the final day to vote for the winning art project is tomorrow, February 28. The Obama Skirt Project just finished up a president’s day weekend workshop, and the garments will be on view in the windows of Harlem Textile Works until March 6. Click here to cast your vote for Aisha’s Obama Skirt Project.

From Aisha’s webpage: “On July 19th, 2009, while her 1st black president was in office, Aisha Cousins began wearing African president fabrics every day for one year. The fabrics were printed in Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, South Africa, and Tanzania shortly after Obama’s election. Wearing black presidents on fabric has been popular in many African nations since the 1960′s when they gained independence and started electing black leaders. Aisha asked designers in her neighborhood, many of whom were African immigrants, to turn these fabrics into dresses. She then wore the Obama fabrics here in the US, until her friends and neighbors began to see them as normal. She did this as a metaphor for how people in the US would begin to see having a black president as normal over the year as well.”

Hope as a Form of Rebellion

February 27, 2011

Before SR-NYC coordinator Amelia left New York we had a lot of talks about this blog being a place where we collected and documented sewing-oriented rebelliousness of all sorts. Which is why, when I last visited the fam in Peru, I made sure to take pictures of a really radical project called La Chalina de la Esperanza, organized by the Colectivo Desvela. La Chalina is an enormous train of knit squares, each square created by a single person or family in memory of a loved one who was disappeared during Peru’s 20-year long internal conflict. Most of the squares were created by families in Ayacucho, a region of Peru where the highest numbers of killings and disappearances occurred. Each square features some information about the missing person, such as a picture, name, date, or message. The project grew so large that in its current incarnation it wraps an entire building, then continues inside, doubling back and forth to fill the space, and pooling on the floor when there simply is no space left to fill. If you can understand Spanish, check out the embedded videos or this article for more information. If anyone finds English resources or info about the Chalina, please send them my way.

March Mending Circle

February 27, 2011

It feels like we just held February’s Mending Circle at the Textile Arts Center, but it’s already time for the March gathering. I was so happy to have experienced menders among our ranks at the last meeting; it truly became a skill share, with everyone helping everyone else. Come join us again on March 3 for some hopeful spring mending. If you mend it, warmth will come.

On Collaboration

February 4, 2011

Thank goodness for collaboration. Fist, Cindy from the Freegans hosted our January Sewing Rebellion meeting with Cristina and Stella from Spacecraft while I went home to Peru (pics below), and then Isa and Owyn from the Textile Arts Center planned the most bomb Mending Circle event ever, in honor of Fashion Week (hint: we are one of many forms of mending represented, and I’ll be abandoning you all for at least 30 minutes at the SR applique table to go silkscreen over some stains). I’ll be at both Mending Circle (Feb 13, 1-5 pm) and Sewing Rebellion (Feb 20, 4-6:30 pm) this month, and I hope to see you there as well. Here’s to skillshares!