Stringing Together Stories is a project that was born from a series of seedling ideas planted by myself and those around me. The ideas melded together to become what they are now, which I think is best described as a multi-medium, resistance through art, education, activism, and community awareness "thing".
It started as an idea for a play. A series of monologues based on the real stories of people who have experienced violence. A way of creating a theater experience to incite dialogue and community awareness in the Deaf community. Culturally, violence is not talked about in the Deaf community. There are no statistics on domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, or childhood abuse which are specific to the Deaf community. It is a largely hidden experience with little true awareness.
From there I realized the importance of not only creating dialogue in the community but also building bridges and a foundation for the continued dialogue and resistance. It was then decided that this should be a broader project, encompassing minority communities and recognizing that we all hold multiple identities and may experience overlapping oppressions. I also realized the potential and wonderful activism and advocacy skills hidden away in the Deaf community and realized just how strong we, and other minority communities, could be if we all came together to address violence within our individual and overlapping groups.
At the same time I began my own project to tell my story through yarn- my personal medium of choice. I found the experience of crocheting this blanket to be so therapeutic and as I crocheted the squares I found myself putting parts of myself and my experiences into each one. I thought about combining the two projects and creating a simultaneous multi-medium product. We will be collecting squares from people who have experienced violence and creating a series of blankets, which will be displayed in an art show alongside the monologues.
There will be donation boxes in communities across Ontario, and possibly beyond that. People can submit squares to the donation boxes, with the only requirements being that the squares are 4"x4", 4"x8", or 8"x8". They can be knit, crocheted, or even quilted. The yarn or material is up the creator. They can be solid with something embroidered, a "granny square" or simply a solid square. Every donation will be used.
The culminating product will be displayed in roughly a years time. We will display the blankets and have performances of the monologues. From what is created we hope to develop an educational program in coming years to help combat violence. We want to present it in schools and community settings.
Now for the best part - how YOU can help!
- If you would like to create a square for the blankets, you will be able to donate it (or them) to a community based drop box in a series of locations that are still being determined.
- If you have a group which would like to create a blanket on your own and submit it please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you would like to submit your story to be part of the project, there will be an anonymous website to do so that will not identify you in any way.
- If you want to have a donation box for you workplace, agency, school, etc. please email email@example.com
- If you would like to volunteer in putting together the blankets please email firstname.lastname@example.org
-If you have donations of yarn, food for the final events, printing for promotional materials, or if you would like to help establish donation boxes in your community please email email@example.com