Triangle Fire and Bangladesh Garment Workers Memorial Quilts

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Opening in Charlottesville on Friday, November 14, 2014 , from 5:30-8PM at the VABC, concurrent with the Raucous Auction, will be a special exhibition of the Triangle Fire and Bangladesh Garment Workers Memorial Quilts.

The two seven-foot by ten-foot quilts honor the victims of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City (146 deaths) and the victims of the 2012 Tazreen Factory  fire and 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh (1,300 killed in both events). The quilts are a collaborative effort; they represent contributions from a variety of artisans – quilters, teachers, graduate students, and artists.

The quilts were designed and sewn by Robin Berson, a quilter, historian, and labor rights activist in New York. She also made most of the quilt blocks, with additional blocks by Sandra Cain, Pauline Hazard, Maureen Hyslop, Rena Rappaport, Lea Rose, Deanna Gates, Donna Choi, Jennifer Merz, Genevieve Hitchings, Taffy Everts, and Elizabeth Russell. Images for the Bangladesh Quilt were supplied by Taslima Akhter, a photojournalist and member of the 24 April Movement, which is an activist reform movement in Bangladesh.

Created with the support of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, a national alliance of organizations and individuals formed to commemorate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, these evocative quilts honor the lives of garment workers, and provide an entry into discussions of current and historic labor rights issues, encouraging activism by and for workers around the world.

The Triangle Quilt is one of 100 quilts world-wide to be featured in a forthcoming book, Quilts and Human Rights, compiled by the staff at the University of Michigan Museum and published by University of Nebraska Press. Both quilts will be up at Iona College earlier in November for a campus-wide “Week of the Peacemaker,” and they will be a major feature in March at an international conference of NGOs on global women’s rights, held at Fordham Law School.

The VABC is proud to host them for this one-night show, November 14, 2014, featuring Robin Berson as our special guest. The 2014 VABC collaborative member project, Notions, reveals a story bookended by these events.

Triangle quilt--LaborArtsBangladesh quilt, high res, 4-30-14









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