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Stitching Solidarity:
Lamentation of Modern Crucifixions Inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt

Crucifixion in first century Rome was not only a means of execution but of public humiliation and control by terror. The bigotry and systemic injustice that allowed the AIDS outbreak to become an epidemic was a modern-day crucifixion. The medium of the Quilt is humanizing in its softness and communal in the way it invites many hands and stories to create the whole. The Quilt also does more than memorialize—it also protests, advocates, and educates.

Inspired by the witness of the AIDS quilt, members of the WPPC community (most of whom had no previous experience with quilting) were invited to create quilt blocks that honor and lament other modern day examples of how bigotry and systemic injustice have caused what we might call modern-day crucifixions. We asked all the artists to include a cross in some way in their design.

During our Lenten Small Groups, we discussed James Cone's book The Cross and the Lynching Tree, which explores the connection between crucifixion and lynching in the United States. During the discussions, the entire WPPC community was invited to stitch on the boarders of the assembled quilt--adding the actual stitches that show the intersectionality of these injustices and the importance of telling these stories and working in solidarity.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we were only able to complete one Quilting Bee discussion before we began quarantine. Currently, the quilt remains unfinished.

(Click on each image to see artist statement)

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