The feedback from final critique for this project has informed me with things that I need to consider before going forward with the stitch workshop with participants from Bawso charity org. In particular is the confidentiality, anonymity and ethics of it. So based upon my tutors advice, I got in contact with Wendy Bright (Leader in Centre for Applied Research in Inclusive Arts & Design) about displaying the work for public. She gave me valuable inputs and which aspects that I need to respect particularly the benefits that participants could gain from the workshop and whether their involvement could cause any harm (emotional, physical & psychological). She also advised me to think how best to involve them. This means that they need to be fully informed and should consent to be part of the project.
My next meeting with the director of Bawso charity org is on 17th of June. Hopefully we can discuss in depth about the above issues. And also another meeting on 11th June to discuss about logistic and technical aspects of the workshop.
This is a great opportunity for me to practice my skills outside university, and I am hoping that once all logistic are met, chances to take this workshop to other Bawso branches are open (Swansea, Wrexham & Newport).
The final work of this project will be divided into two approaches: Personal approach (the book) is to create intimate feeling in communicating the messages sent from general public to the victims. Second approach is Open (the quilt) to display the stitch work for whoever need positive messages to lift up the spirit. The quilt will be made after my meeting with Bawso people, to cater whether they have any special request for the display format (if any).
I also have made a separate blog, dedicated for updates and promote the stitch workshop.
Here’s some post I made of the facebook event:
These posters are made for the EndFGM campaign. The first poster is emphasising on stopping parents taking their daughters abroad to get cut (also known as ‘vacation cutting’). I decided to take a harsh approach because even though some of the parents knew about the prison sentence applied in the UK regarding ‘vacation cutting’ they are still taking this violence act abroad and get away with it. Harsh approach may get through their wrong beliefs and could change their mind.
The second poster is a soft approach in support of the campaign. It’s purpose is to change their attitude towards the ‘value’ of women (virginity myths and gender inequality issue). The words printed on the background is from a wish of one of the victims of FGM: A world where mutilating our genitals does not define our ‘cleanliness’. A world where girls and women are not treated as sexual objects. A world where sex is not only for men to enjoy.
I had a meeting with Bawso reps on 14th April at their office in Cardiff. Their response was great. They like that the workshop will get the victims to express their feelings/experiences as well as getting the communities/public involve in supporting the victims. They’re thankful and impressed by the stitch works from participants on the book project. Bawso also offered an opportunity of expanding the workshop and stitch book project to the other branches in Wales (Swansea, Wrexham, Newport). And hopefully they are willing to give a chance for the book to be displayed at their annual event to commemorate International Day for the elimination of violence against women in November, usually held at Llandaff cathedral. Right now I am waiting for a follow up meeting confirmation to discuss on the technical & logistic aspects of the workshop as they agreed to continue working with me on this project.
While waiting for a confirmation from Bawso – Cardiff for a meeting to pitch my campaign, I started to put the word out about the Leave a Legacy project using social media (Facebook & Twitter). I decided not to go full-on in promoting it on other social media sites (reddit or tumblr) because I worry that I won’t be able to answer all the request for the stitch kit & postage that is under my own budget restriction. Even though I only use two social media sites, the response I got was great. My friends and strangers all around the UK are willing to get involved with the project. One of my friend opened up an opportunity for me to promote the project to Women Institution – Beechwood, Newport branch and the feedback I received is more than I expected. I’m also planning to promote the project to college students, starting with the students at the college that I attended few years back.
Here’s a link of the promotion I set up: Facebook invitation . I had to change the deadline to end of May from April 15th because I’m still waiting for some stitch submissions. I also hope that I get a date confirmation soon from Bawso to present the book to the victims of abuse.
The Letter to Mother is a stitch diary workshop that aims at the victims of FGM in the UK. The purpose is to help the victims to empower themselves through art and craft. Stitching will be by hand because it will provide flexibility in time and space as well as access of tools (fabric, needle, hoop and thread). The stitch work can be as simple as text, image, applique, attaching objects or combination of all techniques.
The workshop will start with creating collage work that intend to build relationship based on trust between me and the participants. The collage will be about their name, their like/dislike, their study/job, their passion and dreams. Workshop will continue with introduction on hand embroidery/stitch. With this workshop I am hoping that they can express their memories and feelings of the terrible experience they had as well as helping them with strength to move forward. The outcome of the workshop can be compiled into a book or to be displayed on the wall (depends on participants’ consent). The work may be anonymous in order to protect the victims’ safety.
Leave a Legacy is a stitch book project that I’ve formulated in order to provide a place for general public and communities in the UK to get involve in eradicating FGM practice by leaving a message dedicated to the victims of FGM. The stitch book will be presented to the victims of FGM in the UK. The message can be in a form of text, image, applique, mix media (paint and stitch) or combination of all techniques.
How it work
The Stitch Kit – it contains embroidery thread, needle, fabric page, hoops, pencil and instruction book. The kit will be send out in an envelope to general public who want to leave their legacy through giving message dedicated to FGM victims (text, image or mix media). The instruction book will provide the participants with how to stitch guide and a link to stitch samples. The participants then is expected to return the messages to me so I can compile them into a stitch book.
After getting in contact with few FGM charities (Bawso & Integrate Bristol), I finally received a feedback from Bawso requested me to formulate an art based workshop aimed at victims of violence. I came out with two responses, 1st project is aim at creating an interaction between communities/general public with victims of abuse and the 2nd project is a workshop directed to victims of abuse in order to expressing feelings/experiences. These projects involve with an art form of stitch. Please see slides bellow that explain the project in brief.