Collaborative patchwork initiated in Portugal in 2013 by artists, art teachers and activist social groups to raise awareness about violence against women.
The project was initiated by artists and art teachers in October 2013 from the C3 group by launching a call for a visual story in patchwork about a women victim of violence. The group received about 120 responses in two weeks and together with the respondents they started a chain of action using art process to talk about the problem of violence against women in their communities. In 2014 teachers from Namibia joined the project.A huge patchwork was produced with squares of cloth created by many people from different ages, genders, and social ranks about the issue of violence against women. The squares in the patchwork were life stories in visual forms about violence against women. The participants of this action learn from each other in terms of emancipation. As far as they were involved in the project, they became part of a bigger community that is interested in exposing a social justice situation using an/a art/ craft technique. The several exhibitions of the final product in the cities of Portugal and Namibia showed empowered hidden voices through actions of arts learning that had interconnected small communities in a global scale. In Namibia , the coordinator of the Project Christiana Matsius was at the time working for the government doing workshops about Gender-based violence for communities, schools and prisons in the regions of Walvis Bay, Windhoek and Khomas. She integrated the collaborative patchwork idea
in the existing campaign for the awareness of women rights called ‘Orange Day.’
Some of the participants in the project, in both countries, were victims; they told their stories to others using texts, embroideries, and collages. They had learned they were not alone; they had rights. They could talk about their problems to broader communities using arts and crafts. Other participants in the project were art students and art teachers, and they learned that collaborative arts could serve social
justice. During the project they confessed they had acquired a completely new dimension of understanding arts and aesthetics in education, including the issues of politics and ethics. The kilt, by visualizing individual stories in the squares, participants reflected upon a problem and brought their memories or
the memories of others together in the form of an embroidery or a textile collage. The collective kilt unified all the stories and produced alternative narratives in dealing with issues of social justice through
Respect, understanding and sharing had been the values of education through art followers and will be at most as such present a challenge to current cultural and political orthodoxies. Individuals and groups engaged in arts education can work together to create local networks: structures developed from local action oriented towards global impacts. The future strength of arts education will depend on the activities of local structures and on the way they are visible and provoking impacts on different geographical and cultural networks. We may think we need agendas, strategies, commemorative days and road maps, but the roads may sometimes turn into never ending roundabouts if local groups and individuals do not participate in the construction process; sharing local experience on a global scale through connecting gateways.
Patchwork exhibited in the Gupilhares village, january 2014
Patchwork exhibited in march 2014 in Viseu, ESEIPV/
Battered Project works from Nigeria done during 2014 . In Namibia the coordinator of the Project Christiana Matsius was at the time doing workshops about Gender-based violence for communities, schools and prisons. She integrated the collaborative patchwork idea in the existing campaign for the awareness of women rights called ‘Orange Day’
Battered Project: during the public action in the main square of the city, 24 November 2013, Viseu, Portugal). ‘Battered’ was an artivist project: with adult learners’ communities. A huge patchwork was produced with squares of cloth and displayed in several public events The squares in the patchwork were visual life stories about violence against women. Participants involved in the project exposed a social justice situation using art & craft techniques.
Battered Project works from Portugal done during 2013/2014 with women communities in Porto- Campanhã; Gupilhares and Evora; with university students in Viseu; with high school students in Lisboa; and several art teachers from the Portuguese Art Teachers’ association APECV.
Photo took on the 8th April 2017 , the day when the kilt was cut in pieces by Patricia Espiriu from Mexico, to be sent to South America and start new kilts .
Battered Project works from Nigeria done during 2015
Viseu, Portugal, march 2017. Christiane brought the patchwork done in Namibia, was exhibited at Quinta da Cruz in July 2017 and in Korea in August 2017 ( InSEA world congresss, Daegu)
Performance patchwork in the Fstival Mexe/2nd EIRPAC conference ,Porto, September 2017