"Art can impact the social context of family dislocations and can serve as a powerful tool in encouraging an open national dialogue about Zero Tolerance in our country"
So (sew) America Cares is a participatory social art project with a commitment to raise awareness about the lives of the children separated from their parents at the border. All the faces stitched together strengthen the very fabric of our own society.
In 2018 a Zero Tolerance immigration policy was announced, requiring that all families who cross the border shall not only be separated but also charged in federal court with the misdemeanor crime of illegal entry.
This Project’s mission is to advocate for these children and to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to participate. Thread by thread, fiber by fiber, a participating community will increase its understanding of the circumstances of these children who never asked to be illegal aliens. The project consists of 10 different faces that will be repeated 100 times each to add 1000 faces. The faces had been laser etched on raw canvas to allow the participant to use any kind of thread, yarn, wool, fabric, paint etc. So (sew) America Cares has a plan: to "sew" them back, to never allow these children to be lost again, to create a quilt of 1000 faces representing a portion of these children.
We cannot allow these traumatized children to disappear and in time, be forgotten.People are encouraged to stitch, sew, knit, knot, crochet, embroider, or braid these drawings so as to symbolically recover these children’s faces and lives again.
So (sew) America Cares is an international call for people to participate and raise awareness as to the consequences of this immigration policy and its devastating effect on children. As citizen, artist, mother and a child that suffered being separated from my family for eight years, I am concerned about the hundreds of separated children across our country.
Miami artist Aurora Molina’s interdisciplinary fiber art practice is dedicated to social change and raising awareness of far-reaching issues such as ageism, the objectification of beauty, the failings of government and political apathy, anti-immigration and the border separation of families, and the mistreatment of indigenous communities, to name just a few.
Using the tools of embroidery, sculpture-making, drawing, photography, and video, she uses the radical potential of fiber art to communicate ideas about social and political issues. Her multifaceted platform provides a sustained and powerful critique of a society that “dismisses” the elderly as they become invisible and hidden from everyday life.
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So (Sew) America Cares
A Participatory Art Project Spearheaded by Aurora Molina
Community Meeting Room, Coral Gables Museum
October 31st – November 13th, 2020
Opening: October 31st, 2020 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
This exhibition brings to the public eye another stage of completion of the participatory art project So (Sew) America Cares, initiated by fiber artist Aurora Molina in June 2019. Molina has joined efforts with the organization Americans for Immigrant Justice to create awareness and to promote the conversation on the Zero Tolerance Immigration policies that have caused a prolonged and indefinite separation between children and their parents at the US border. She created individual sewing kits where the single portrait of one of the children (ten different faces, altogether) was laser etched on a piece of raw canvas, and encouraged participants to employ an array of materials to stitch, sew, knit, knot, crochet, embroider, or braid their images on the fabric. As the pieces returned to her, Molina pieced them together in the fashion of remembrance quilts.
Starting in Miami, the project has quickly grown internationally and will be continued until 1000 faces have been created to integrate a giant piece that will remind us not only of how many people care, but also that art and community can be strong tools for change.