when were you first radicalized? this question or variations of it have come up in conversations i've had with activists, and it's an important turning point for many folks who do the work. it's the beginning of when they essentially realized that shit is not only bigger than them, that the status quo sucks, and that something can be done about it. i set out to ask people for their stories and to design and sew a cloth square that represents each story. i am making a quilt from the squares—the entire piece will be fairly large—and should be able to keep a few people warm.
Ellie Kitsch is a four-minded, four-eyed person, quietly taking over Boston using the power of food, art, community and heart -- not necessarily in that order. But probably in that order. Her favorite Ivy League is none of them, and she'd like to get better at speaking Spanish conversationally. Ellie can be encountered in the wild on her bike, cooking for others and hosting events at EMW Bookstore.
email excerpts to participants:
I'm looking to find some things out about you that will be fundamental in creating a piece I'm planning for this show: https://www.facebook.com/events/765312430282127/, and I need to finish collecting information by October 23rd.
I've never shown any serious work anywhere, ever, so I hope you'll be part of this project!
WHY AM I GETTING THIS MESSAGE?
The short of it is that I reached out to you because I recognize you as someone who is part of my Boston life (i.e. I met you in 2010 or after) and whose politics signal you as someone who has definitely or potentially risked their relationships/jobs/lives knowingly to publicly express the need for and to effect radical political, economic and/or social change.*
I know that the roads that brought you to this place are all different and that there are likely many events that led you to the thought/feeling that your own personal safety and comfort are not as important as changing how fucked up everything is. I know that radicalization is most often a process, but can you recall a moment when you had a choice to act or not, and you chose to act?
WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM ME?
I want to know all about that moment. What it did or didn't do to/for/with you. If you continued to do the hard work after that, or not. If the reasons to act were grey, or not. And if there's anything else important to share about it. I don't want to hear the myth of it -- what you tell yourself or others.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH THE INFORMATION I SHARE?
What I plan to do with your story is to create a quilt block that represents it; and to sew it with all the other stories I collect. In the end, I will have a quilt large and warm enough to wrap 2-3 people. Accompanying the quilt will be a collection of short write-ups about your stories (all write-ups will be anonymous. If you choose not to have your story included, that's fine).
HOW CAN I SHARE THIS INFORMATION?
I hope to do this all over coffee or tea, so please write/text me to let me know when a good time to buy you coffee or tea is. If you can't meet but want to share, please write me. If you want to share, but want to do so anonymously, please share here: [link excluded].
*If you have not done anything that you would consider as an endangerment of your personal safety and comfort, this call is not for you!