Embroidering Solidarity: Women Artists Supporting the Women of India
This exhibit, organized by Foundation Faculty, Cathrine Winsnes, features texts written by female artists embroidered by the women of India.
India is known for its brilliant cultural past, its intense spiritual traditions, its demographic dynamism and its efficient economy. But behind this fabulous facade hides a mostly rural and poor country, with 40% illiterate people, where millions of women are submitted to strict social conventions: girls seldom go to school and don't stay very long; they are forced into arranged marriages and early pregnancies, which are dangerous for sanitary reasons; they live subjugated by their husbands and families-in-law and are often victims of couple violence and crimes of honor; the dowry that can absorb all the savings of a whole family is responsible for a lot of suicides and violence.
This violence to women reaches its extreme with the elimination of girls. Over 40 million women are missing in India: little girls were never born because of selective abortion, and baby girls killed at birth or who were left to death when they were newborn.
Sruti, a French association whose mission is to help disadvantaged people living in India, especially women and children in northern part of the country. Their key aims are to allow women to have access to equality, to social autonomy and economic independence through:
projects promoting literacy and awareness of their rights;
projects enabling them to earn a living;
better information about hygiene and health;
schooling for all children and in particular girls.
In the village of Banrouli, Sruti has been providing a sewing training program. Every six months, twenty women gain the skills that prepare them to be recruited by local companies or to sell their own products via the Sruti association. As a result, women gain a lucrative activity, have access to a literacy program, as well as
health and civic education programs.
Included in this exhibition will be texts by Anne Attali, Chloé Briggs, Veronique Devoldère, Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo, Marie Jo Pillet, Martine Schildge, Dominique Torrente, and Inger Cathrine Winsnes embroidered by the women of Banrouli.