Saturday, August 26, 2006

New groups included, report from groups having embroidered labels

I still get emails several times a week from people wanting to participate in the project, which is wonderful and the essence of this project. This week three new groups are in place, one in Argentina, and two in Oslo, Norway. Another group is waiting for material in Lofoten , North Norway.

The groups having held the event, express feeling being involved and engaged. Also that it matters and can help make a difference. In North of Norway, 24 people got together, including children to embroider labels and discussing the situation in Juárez. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, two particpants had been marching in Juárez two years before to protest and show support for the families. They contributed information and knowledge to the discussion.

News about Juárez states that 2 people in Arizona are taken into custody, maybe having been involved in the murders. A reporter in El Paso times and writer Diana Washington Valdez has just got her book out: Harvest of women, a book about Juárez. In an interview with her on a radio station in Houston she talked about how reportes and activists had been treatened after showing support. She believes in a binational effort in order to solve the cases.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Another day embroidering with students

Thursday I was back at the high school. The 14-year old boys and girls worked just as hard as their older schoolmates, embroidering the names of the missing and dead women of Juráez. One of the students wanted to involve some other friends outside school and her sister. They worked concentrated for a long time. One boy was sitting a bit apart from the others. When I asked if he needed any help, he said no and showed me a beautiful label embroidered with cross stitches he had learned as a boy from his grandmother! They had many questions regarding the situation in Juárez.
After more than 2 hours work and everyone dismissed, one student didn't want to leave before his label was done. He sat in the empty auditorium while I packed down my stuff, and finished his third label.
Thank you 9 and 10 graders, you have done a wonderful job! Lise

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Embroidering for the Women of Juárez with students at Athlete high school

Monday I went to NTG-u, a high school for athletes. Sixty, 15 year old boys and girls spent three hours embroidering and focusing their attention to the women of Juárez.
It was such a good experience. Although embroidering beeing very new to many of them, they all made one label, some made several.

The labels came out beautiful and very individual looking. Some spent 2 hours finishing, having the needle continously fall out, getting knots on the thread and so on. But it got finished! One made a beautiful hearth at the end of his unknown label,...several skipped the break to embroider some extra.They expressed thoughts about the names they were embroidering.

We listened to Mexican music, and lyrics made about Juárez. Thursday I am going back to the school, working with sixty 14-year olds. Looking forward to it!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Norma Ledesma, mother of Paloma Escabar, found dead 29.03.02

Picture from the project

Countries /cities where groups are participating

I am very glad for the response the project has gotten. People have forwarded the invitation and almost every day I get an email from people wanting to participate.
Thanks to all!!
So far there are groups working in:

Alice Springs, Australia
Costa Rica
Bounes Saires, Argentina
Lancaster, Kentucky, USA
Simpsonville, Kentucky, USA
Anchorage, Alaska, USA
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Houston, Texas, USA
Gotenberg, Sweden
Helsinki, Finland
Hampshire, UK
Yorkshire, UK
Madrid, Spain
West Malaysia
Lahore, Pakistan
Oslo, Norway

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Desconocida - Unknown - Ukjent

Desconocida - Unknown - Ukjent

Almost once a week in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, a woman or teen-aged girl simply disappears. Every thirteen days, a woman or girls’s corpse is left, naked, dumped outside. Many bear evident signs of torture and rape. For over a decade this has been the way of life in this border town. Though by some informed estimates
more than a thousand women have been murdered and an additional twelve hundred women and girls are counted missing, the crimes continue unabated.

To focus the world’s attention on these femicides, The Station Museum of Contemporary Art, in Houston, Texas, has dedicated their upcoming exhibition, Frontera 450+,opening Oct 21st, to the Women of Juárez, inviting artists to reflect on the situation.

My contribution is the installation Desconocida Unknown Ukjent, a work made up of hundreds of small labels, hand embroidered with each of the dead and missing young woman ‘s names. To greatly increase the number of counties informed of the atrocities, I have asked citizens, mainly women, in over a dozen countries worldwide to contribute, gathering in small groups to discuss the situation in Juárez while embroidering onto labels the names of the dead and missing women.

My intention with this project have been to set women’s fight on the agenda through a typical female activity, embroidering. Embroidery is an intimate and time consuming activity. Also, historically, to embroider names onto labels was done for the loved ones.

In this project women’s traces are crossing. Visually the embroidered label contains traces of the woman embroidering through her handwriting, her choice of colors, stitches etc. I also believe the dead woman’s name has left a trace with the embroiderer through the time and care she had to use in order to embroider, and by simultaneously hearing these women’s stories.
Through audio tape I am collecting all the voices participating.
The embroidered labels and the audio tape will be sent back to me.

I am engaged in the strength in women’s fight, and specially the strength in the mother’s fight in Juárez. Through their organizing and untiring fight for justice and worthiness, the world got to know and can support them. The women in Juárez have been described as voiceless. They are not. Women are not. Expression for strength and courage can be expressed without words, using precisely the voice.

I hope to include a performance and a sound piece with the installation, based on the voices of the participants in this project.

Participants in following countries as of August 31st:
Australia, Argentina, Costa Rica (2 groups), Denmark, Finland, Iran, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway( 8 groups spread out throughout the country), Philippines (2 groups), Spain, Sweden (2 groups), United Kingdom (2 groups), United States (Alaska, Kentucky, New Mexico, Texas (3 groups))

About the Women of Juárez:

For more than a decade, the cities of Chihuahua and Juárez, near the US-Mexican border, have been killing fields for young women, the site of more than 400 unsolved femicides. Despite the horrific nature of these crimes, authorities at all levels exhibit indifference, and there is strong evidence that some officials may be involved. Impunity and corruption have permitted the criminals
to continue committing these acts, knowing there will be no consequences.

A significant number of victims work in the maquiladora sector —
sweatshops that produce for export with 90% destined for the
United States. The maquiladoras employ mainly young women at
poverty-level wages, amassing tremendous wealth. Yet, despite the crime
wave, they offer almost no protection for their workers.

The women found dead and abused are mostly teenagers
between thirteen and seventeen years of age.
Hundreds other young missing women are thought to have been kidnapped for trafficking. Since most are from rural areas and are living away from home (often without frequent communication with their families), their disappearance may go unnoticed for some time.

Name of the museum:
Station Museum 1502 Alabama Houston, TX 77004