SHAHRZAD ARSHADI // Verdun, Quebec, Canada
The first two months of the pandemic and continuous injustice happening to humanity near and far, realization or maybe confirmation that our governments (capitalist systems) are never ready to protect us grow stronger! The healthcare system even in the most “developed” or “progressive” countries are only baedon capital and money, not the actual welfare of their citizens.
Death, death and death was all over. Even a virus as bad as COVID-19 can’t make humanity to be kind and understanding toward each other. Still Turkish fighter jets are bombarding Kurdish villages. Still Iran is imprisoning and executing dissidents, still young Black men and women are getting killed on the streets of the United States because fo the colour of their skin. Syria is still at war!
I was feeling my HOPE fading away! Light of struggle is leaving my heart! Strangest feesling that I have ever experienced.
It was hope that always allowed me to survive hardship of brutal fundamentalist revolution, war, displacement and exile. Nothing could take away my hope and my wish for a better world. What is happening now?! I had no answer. All I knew is that I couldn’t even bring myself to think about my art work.
On one cold spring night of isolation that I was deeply restless I went to the basement to bring up the big plastic container that I have with many pieces of cloth and colourful fabrics. I dug into that container and emptied the kitchen table to have a place to work. I bring out the pieces that catch my eye and put them beside each other. I brought my needle and thread box and started sewing the first two pieces of cloth that had my attention the most.
Next thing I noticed, time was 2:30 a.m. and I was sticking one piece after the other in the past four-and-a-half hours.
Since that cold spring night, I repeated my quilt ritual very often and in every opportunity that I could find. I stitch pieces of fabrics one by one with great passion and understanding that it is only our unity that can make us strong against any odds regardless of our differences, regardless of our gender or colour.
What is art for? To find different ways of expressing our thoughts and to share memories and stories that otherwise are difficult to share.