Chi-Raw: An SJSA Community Quilt | Workshop Participants, 2016
Nicknamed 'Chi-raq' because some neighborhoods are so dangers they feel like a war zone, the city of Chicago’s problems with gun violence are undeniable. The lasting trauma of gun violence in Chicago doesn’t just impact adults. In the summer of 2016, the Social Justice Sewing Academy partnered with churches in Chicago to hold a series of quilt workshops for nearly sixty children ages six to thirteen. Some of the most powerful blocks made at these workshops were sewn into this quilt. Students at the workshop were given one prompt: What social justice issues matter most to you? Overwhelmingly, children independently decided to focus their blocks on gun violence in their communities.
The workshop resulted in heartbreaking blocks that demonstrate the severity of gun violence in some Chicago neighborhoods. Students at the workshop told stories of loved ones who were killed, of gang violence, and of police brutality. While making her block, one student told workshop leaders about her fifteen year old brother who was killed in an accidental gang shooting (he was not a member of the gang). She said she wanted gun violence to stop so no one else had to lose a sibling. The stories told by these blocks show that young people have opinions and are affected by gun violence just as much as their parents are, and we should let their voices be heard.
Techniques: Raw-edge appliqué, hand embroidered, machine quilted
Finished Size: 72W x 85L