On Thursday the 17th, Central Neighbourhood House hosted its second in a series of art workshops in preparation for One Billion Rising, the worldwide celebration of women’s rights upcoming in Toronto at Yonge & Dundas Square on April 28th, beginning at 5:30 pm.
In our first week together the women of CNH created and mounted a multitude of paper figurines on coloured tiles around the building to represent their shared strength and togetherness. Building on the iconic image of the paper doll, this week the women worked to create smaller versions inscribed with personal messages on the theme of women’s social justice. The idea is that these will be given away as gifts at the event to other participating women. Worn with back-mounted pins, they will represent the connections made with others in the crowd and that part of the artists made visible and shared through creative expression.
To provide an easy medium to carry and exchange the pins, we provided the women blank cards and envelopes. The cards were decorated to look like houses: in each house, the women depicted whatever would be needed to keep their woman/pin feeling safe and strong. As with our first round of pictures, the range of solutions to this creative challenge reflects so much specific experience, both personally and culturally. No card escapes being emotionally charged or thought provoking.
The project was developed too last minute to co-ordinate this other idea, but next year I hope to extend the activity by linking with other participating organizations, holding similar workshops and distributing cards made by women at one place to another before the event itself. This way, participants could find someone wearing the button they made wandering around in the crowd, leading to a surprise connection. And creating opportunity for real connections between women is what One Billion Rising is all about! A big word of thanks to Dilhani and Monique for helping share our work with the larger OBR Toronto community, and for getting excited with us about the paper dolls initiative.
Next stop: OBR!
Picture Gallery from this workshop: https://theyxchange.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/pix-paper-doll-workshop/
(Onto the final event: https://theyxchange.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/cnh-at-one-billion-rising/)