Quilts have always had a double life, as artifacts created for warmth and as art created for self-expression. Every quilt has a story. The story of making do, the story of celebration or parting, the story of political and historical and social issues, and sometimes they tell a person’s story. Some quilts embraces all of the above, like the quilts in Stitching Stolen Lives. These quilts warm with loving memories and they confront viewers with uncomfortable truths. The volume is gorgeous with pages of large, color photographs. The number of young lives lost due to racial injustice and violence every year is staggering. By confronting us with the individuals behind the numbers, we are faced with the human tragedy in a way that we can’t ignore. The quilts represent young people from across the country, of every color. The Social Justice Sewing Academy Remembrance Project supports quiltmaking as an act of resistance and activism. Remembrance Banners The first part of the book, Stolen Lives They Were Loved, tells the stories of memory quilts given to the grieving families. Some are created with the loved ones’ clothes and photos on fabric. Readers meet the young people and learn their stories. It is emotional, overwhelming. I could only read one story a day. These young people were innocent, in need of mental health treatment, and failed by the justice system. They were also bright, spirited, faithful, and devoted. The quiltmakers are highlighted and they explain their making of the quilt. The second part of the book introduces readers to the Remembrance Project, the individual block quilts memorializing individuals. They are accompanied with brief biographies, stories that represent the thousands whose lives were ended because of racism, crime, and injustice. There is the young female soldier and murdered by the soldier who had been harassing her. Others were victims of hate crimes, including a man from India and a transgender woman. A Chicago woman who was dancing in her own house when a bullet ended her life. A gifted child killed in a robbery. A girl killed in the Parkland shooting. Memory quilt Just typing these few stories is emotional. Our children are dying. OUR children are dying. Our CHILDREN. Activists endeavor to raise awareness to spur change in many ways. The Visual Arts can reach people in ways that are hard to ignore. The forwards are written by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Hillary Clinton. I received a free ebook from the publisher. My review is fair and unbiased.
Stitching Stolen Lives
Amplifying Voices, Empowering Youth & Building Empathy Through Quilts; The Social Justice Sewing Academy Remembrance Project
Remembering those we’ve lost, and empowering those of the future
Stitching Stolen Lives is an in-depth look at the mission and work of the Social Justice Sewing Academy Remembrance Project. Together, we remember the lives lost due to social injustices, with an in-depth sharing of their story. The SJSA compiled extraordinary portrait art quilts that memorialize the individuals and say their names, over and over. SJSA also works with young adults and teens to help find their voice through the art of fabric and quilting, shown through student gallery photography. By working with SJSA, students learn how to cut fabric and make quilt blocks, and along the way, find the strength to express the systemic problems that plague their everyday life through their artwork. This book shares stories and insight into the lives lost and the long-overlooked, heartrending truths shared by teens and young adults.
- Personal stories of individuals and their families whose lives have been cut short due to social injustices
- Includes thought-provoking art quilt blocks representing those whose lives were stolen
- Young adults and teens find their voices through fabric and transform those messages into quilts
- Featuring forewords by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
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