Quilting a Map of Domestic Violence - Finished
I am sorry this post is so long after the event, but as soon as the quilt was finished the Dharavi Biennale opened. Also lots of family and friends visited to see the show. Then as soon as all the family left I was off to Myanmar for a workshop developing products to increase work for the Chin minority in the west of the country.
So back to the finishing of the quilt: We finally finished the quilt to get it hung in time for the exhibition. My sisters arrived from Australia a couple of days before we finished and were immediately put to work helping out. They were amazing helping to organise things with me and to keep the women busy. Some of the women always forget their glasses, or really need new ones. And then there is Geeta, a survivor of domestic violence, severely burnt who now only has one eye, so we always seem to be running around threading people's needles.
In the final few days as the quilt was stitched together it became difficult for everyone to work on it, so just a certain number of the women were able to put in the final touches, sewing the roads over the joins, sewing on the zips for the railway lines, adding the final markers of places of violence against women and putting in the place names. We used the waistbands of jeans for the main roads and the seams of the jeans for the smaller roads. Putting the roads on really pulled the quilt together and made it much easier to read as a map.
All the women embroidered their names on to the back pockets of the jeans that we used. My initial idea had been to get visitors to the exhibition to write comments about the quilt or about their own experiences of gender based violence, and to put them in the pockets for the women to read. But everything became too hectic and I never managed to organise that. I hope if the quilt is exhibited in other places we can organise for this to happen.
And the final final thing was to make the key for the map, get it hung and then enjoy the opening.