The premise of this project comes from the refugee crisis, displacement, identity and storytelling. Stories have the potential to move our attention away from the dangerous single story narrative that is so often blasted in media and feeds illusions around stereotypes and the unfamiliar. The objective of this project was an attempt to move away from the single story narrative to a more collective understanding of each other. To understand the multi-layered identities we each hold.
We asked 50 participants to illustrate a simple question, who are you today? We received a wide range of responses that we then transferred onto fabric using wax to then move forward with natural indigo wax resist.
We chose a range of shades of blue as a representation of diversity. We sewed all these stories together in a quilted tapestry, leaving some blank white cloth to provide room for the collective to grow and to add more stories that are to be told. The coloured embroidered thread represents connecting stories and people through their stories.
This project drew inspiration from a story told by Mohammed Sally about his journey leading to his refugee status.
I AM -
Often people have a perception of self that they feel connected to in some way, a multi-layered, multi-narrative complex human experience. Using clothing we try to project that image without words.
Question: What would you do if your choice was taken away?
YOU ARE -
Unconsciously and sometimes consciously we make judgements and projected labels at a glance to other people. We group and categorize to create patterns for our brain to recognize and understand.
Question: What if they told you their story?
WE ARE -
The collective, the seeing other in yourself and yourself in others.
Question: How do we initiate the conversation that removes the separation to recognize the similarities over the difference?