Arms trade wants to empower embroidery as an alternative “weapon” for women involved in the Colombian conflict and encourage them to take up needle and thread as the way to speak about their war experiences to make our history include stories never told. Arms trade will result in a collective embroidery approximately 15 meter long fabric made by women in 5 different territories in Colombia, where war has been or still is present. The work in progress will travel to these different regions. The imagery will be a threaded story, making it in a sober and formal expression. This will be collaboration with Casa de la Mujer (Women’s House) an NGO working with women’s rights in Colombia. The exhibition of the embroidered story will include the documented process (video and photographs).
Emotion Behind the Project
My initial contact with the conception of this project was my embroidered handkerchiefs of painful situations. Doing this was my only response to dealing with the pain I felt when being surrounded by so much violence. One of the reasons for doing this work is to situate myself as the victim on any side and to better understand each persons view point without any judgement; humanizing and understanding the internal conflict of those whose dignity and essence manage to carry them through to tell the story and care for those who are left. The amount of time that embroidery takes allows reliving and reflecting the story by expressing the reality in a poetic form; a healing process, overcoming the denial that set in. That denial; the inability to cry out in turn begins to deface the reality. The reality becomes governed by the empowered media. Recognizing the denial helps us move on in a real world without forgetting.
Principal medium: Embroidery
Location of production: Colombia
Production budget indication: between £3,500-£10,000