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The Other Side of the Border

Las Hormigas Bordadoras

Come view a story cloth exhibition by Las Hormigas Bordadoras at Goodman South Madison Library from now through September.

Hormigas Bordadoras is a group of women in Tanivet, Oaxaca Mexico, who use quilting and embroidery to create unique, one-of-a-kind art pieces that narrate moments from their lives. Each woman draws, designs and sews her own pieces. Their themes range from playful moments in everyday life to powerful messages about the impact of immigration on individuals, families, and communities. The making and selling of their compelling artwork have given the women a voice, and a way to share their experiences. 

This group of story cloths addresses the theme of immigration which has deeply affected their community.  Work in Tanivet is scarce and pays little when they can find it. Many members of the community leave to the U.S. to earn money to support their families.  Because crossing the border is so dangerous, once they cross, they often do not return for many many years.  A large portion of the population of Tanivet has left. It is heartbreaking for those who have stayed behind. Most families in the village have husbands, children, and fathers who are absent from their lives.

“Sometimes it is painful to reflect on the story that we have lived, the story that happened with my son when he left for Los Angeles.  For me, it was overwhelming because I thought I would never see him.  Eight years passed without seeing him. I often thought that he would just stay there and he wouldn’t return.”

Works by Las Hormigas Bordadoras can be enjoyed at Goodman South Madison Library until the end of September.

Las Hormigas Bordadoras Story Cloth  Las Hormigas Bordadoras Story Cloth 2  

More Information

This work for this exhibition was brought to Madison by the Global Artisans Initiative. The Global Artisans Initiative strives to empower artisans and their families through the promotion of their handicrafts, which support community well-being and strengthens cultural heritage.

GAI is part of the 4W Initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’ School of Human Ecology.

For more information about this exhibition contact: 
Carolyn Kallenborn, Associate Professor of Design Studies

July 18, 2018