|All photos ©Anne Carbert|
I usually post on Tuesdays, but today is the Amnesty Day of Action for Berta Caceres & Earth Defenders in Honduras. So I am sharing this today.
As Amnesty notes:
"March 2 marks four years since iconic Lenca Indigenous water defender Berta Cáceres was gunned down in Honduras. Bringing to justice everyone responsible for the killing of Berta is vitally important to end the impunity that fuels more killings of forest and water defenders."You can find out more about this case, and sign an e-action over at the Amnesty Canada site, or find the case on an Amnesty site for your own country if you don't live in Canada.
I got involved in this project thanks to a friend in our local Amnesty group, who wanted to participate in Amnesty's "Art Build", a craftivist project to gently draw attention to this issue through art & craft. We decided to make a banner: this will be displayed at local events and then go on to Amnesty for their use.
We decided to use felt as it is affordable, easy to work with, and lightweight to pack and to carry or display. I took on the lettering and image of Berta, and the other artist took on the job of making stencils and painting the greenery as well as making spirals, a traditional motif in Lenca art.
Then we had two community sew in days in which many people attached the various pieces with stitching or painting, wrote messages on blue ribbons, and stitched them on to form a river. More ribbons will be added at each community event when passersby will be invited to add their own messages as well.
It's very satisfying to use my craft skills to help others. This kind of community art project invites conversation and discussion, and allows people to have time to consider the issue. If you are intrigued, I invite you to check out your own local Amnesty groups and see if they have any art builds planned that you can help with too.