I wrote yesterday about how my 3-D "art quilt" is now traveling with the SAQA show about refugees, "Forced to Flee." I will be one of five artists participating in a zoom webinar roundtable this evening at 7 pm eastern, discussing our work in the show.
The webinar is free and open to the public, but you do have to register first, at tinyurl.com/MUQuilts
Because of the time difference, it will be difficult for non-North American viewers to tune in, and only US artists were invited to participate in the roundtable discussion. I thought this was too bad, especially since SAQA bills this as a "global exhibition" and many of the artists live outside the US. So I asked my dear friend Uta Lenk, who lives in Germany and has a piece in the exhibit, if I could feature her in my own little non-zoom roundtable.
Here's what she has to say about her quilt:
Over the years I have met and become friends with a number of refugees, many of them from Africa, who had come to Germany via different routes, but for many of them a rubber boat trip across the Mediterranean Sea had been part of their journey. Germany’s reaction towards the ‘refugee crisis’ has taken a decisive turn, the brief period of ‘welcome refugees’ in 2015 has turned into a Fortress European Union, trying to keep refugees out, violently (and illegally) pushing them back from Greek shores to Turkish shores.
I have always deeply felt the gap between the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – to which the European Union likes to refer when it is reproaching other countries for not abiding by these rights – and the way the EU is treating people seeking a better life by leaving a home whose difficulties were often caused by interferences of European countries, be it long ago or today. I get the impression that European countries do not grant the same degree of Human Rights to people from any country. I used a newspaper photo of a refugee rubber boat on the Mediterranean as inspiration for this quilt. An abstracted boat with its passengers is enclosed by excerpts from the Declaration of Human Rights written in the background, on the sky.