"We have fought for the establishment of daycare center in our slum to enhance the quality of life of people there. We had no such preschool facilities before. If the parents had to work outside, they had to leave their children under the care of their grandparents or their neighbors. Such arrangement hampered child development and led to rampant malnutrition among them. With our collective help, we have been able to set up a daycare center in our community. We have also garnered more bargaining power to pressure the authorities to help develop our infrastructure." explains Nutchanart.
These images are part of a project called Art for Resistance: Quilts of Women Human Rights Defenders Exhibition will be exhibited from 4-7 February at Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre (https://en.bacc.or.th).
The project involved Women Human Rights Defenders from across Thailand coming together to use quilt making to express the stories of their struggle for justice and human rights. Protection International, with the support of the Canadian embassy in Thailand, visited communities of Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) across the country and found that they have little space to express and communicate their stories and issues through art.
The WHRDs included work on issues from land rights defenders, refugee women, women with disability, resistance against mining projects, indigenous women, the rights of sex workers to women affected by violence in the southernmost provinces of Thailand. And they were invited to share their lives, stories and struggles through quilt making.
The quilt making project is inspired by an arpillera, which is a brightly coloured patchwork picture made predominantly by groups of women called arpilleristas in South America. Arpillera’s were a significant tool of resistance, capturing the lives of the poor and oppressed in Chile in the 1970s and 1980s during the totalitarian military regime of General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte.
If you are in Bangkok please join us on February 4th, 10.30-12.30pm at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, meet many of the women involved in the project and see the quilts and portraits exhibited. The exhibition will be open until Feb. 7th.