Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Quilting; an act of sedition. Post 3


My contribution to the quilt for care and justice began via a twitter call from Frances Bell on FemEdTech#

Hutia te rito o te harakeke
Kei whea to kōmako e kō?
Ki mai ki ahau
He aha te mea nui o te Ao?
Maku e kī atu,
he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata!

If the heart of the flax was removed,
where would the bellbird sing?
If I was asked what was the most important thing in the world
I would be compelled to reply,
it is people, it is people, it is people!

My distance from others was bridged by twitter. I have passion for learning networks, uses of technology that might enhance a learning endeavour. Coming from the other ends of the earth and a relatively small country, My quilt square is an acknowledgement of the twitter bird, but with artistic licence has the wattle of one of our native birds, the tui. The songs of tui and bellbird are exceptionally beautiful and the tui  will also learn and carry the bellbird's song.

These are protected birds in our country and it was my joy crafting them, with trips to fabric shops for fabrics such as our kowhai and ferns. A trip to a public library was a first for me this century, as i learned applique and quilting techniques.

The white wattle scrap of lace is from my daughter's lehenga. She had recently taught herself to sew on my machine using the internet with youtube clips providing the wisdom needed.

Similarly, i used the internet also. My te reo  (Māori language) is very limited, but i knew of this whakataukī (Māori proverb) as an invocation to care and nurture, for we are all interconnected.
One obvious meaning is that the flax bush provides haven for the bellbird, but if the heart of the plant is ripped out, such life is prone to predators. The flax is also a plant that spreads from the centre to the outer edges, the heart of the flax is where it grows from. The harvesting of flax, were it to take from the heart, is not sustainable. The proverb is a reminder of interconnectedness and of obligation, of human fragility, and the need for nurturing relationships, for looking after people, and taking care with how others are treated.

In its making, i also drew on the internet for instruction in how to use some of the potentials of my sewing machine. (Look! No hands!)

How to make more than one letter occur at a time, but also discovering its limitations of no more than 69 characters. And then of the limitations of the technology; of scripts none of which had capacity for the macron common within Māori words. A reminder of how our processes often serve dominant cultural groups.

The imagery is evocative of what prompts the need for open education and our collective actions, for if education is for anything it is for freedom, and it is people who make it so.

This quilt square is a reminder of a need to protect, support and nurture open access. 
While a quilt might be warm and fluffy, the message is not. 
Drawing on the power of a meme, the medium provides a message that is far from comfortable. 

link to the FemEdTech site along with all the quilt squares here 

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