Children Are Not Criminals by Susan Wei
Our impact is enhanced by the hard work of interns every semester. As a thank you, the summer interns visited the Textile Museum in DC. Everyone was quite moved by the experience of seeing this wonderful exhibit which runs through September 4. The theme of the exhibit is Diaspora and included : slave trade, Japanese internment, Trail of Tears, Holocaust, Rwandan genocide, unaccompanied children from Central America, civil war in Somalia, Syria, IDPs, and other populations of concern, many of them served by our programs.
Here are a few thoughts from an intern about her visit:
“The Textile Museum experience was really meaningful to me because refugees and immigrants are already a somewhat forgotten part of our global society, so to see artists reflecting their worth through art was really inspirational. It gave light to the cause through art, and the beauty of art is something all people can appreciate. I like that the exhibit included powerful messages about migration all over the globe, focusing on not only today’s issues but had a historical perspective as well. One piece that really caught my eye was a piece honoring the central American migrants in detention centers in the U.S. This piece stood out for me because of the work I’ve done with central American minors, but also because the artist took one detail of their plight—the shiny aluminum looking, space-like blankets they are given in the detention centers, and made that a huge focal piece in her work. I think the piece represents how giving these blankets to families lined up in rows on the ground is not equal to giving them a home. This might seem like a small piece of their experience, but it is an alienating one at that. I also liked the overall theme of quilt work and stitching to represent patterns of movement and how pieces from many different places eventually combine forming a person’s migration story. Specifically, there was a piece that was a mandala made from found bandaids. All the bandaids were put together to form a big, beautiful design. To me it represents wounded people coming together to form something greater than just themselves. All in all it was a great experience. It was really nice to see not only the social and legal and policy side of migration issues, but views from artist’s perspectives as well. I hope you will continue to do events like this one with future intern groups!”