I was devastated by the elections, as many were. I needed a platform to shout. So immediately after the elections, I started to make protest banners in my apartment. I then started to invite friends over to make banners with me because I needed to feel a sense of community. Then I quickly started to do workshops for the public.
Banners are a way for me to resist what is happening in the United States and in the world. It is a way to put my voice out there and not stay silent. I cannot be silent. However, as a non citizen and a new mother, I cannot always go to protests. And in these workshops I realized that there were many people who came because they needed to find a way to participate, resist, and speak up but also couldn’t always go to protests because they too were mothers, non citizens, undocumented- those who would be at great risk if caught up and arrested. My protest banner making workshops has become a place where people come together in solidarity through making. And making is, in and of itself, a form of resistance.
The Protest Banner Lending Library is a space for people to gain skills to learn to make their own banners, a communal sewing space where we support each other’s voices, and a place where people can check out handmade banners to use in protests.
The words and these banners have a growing history. They are made by someone, used in a protest, returned to the library, and then taken by someone else to a different protest. The banners carry the histories of the hands that made and hold them, and the places they have and will travel.
Aram's Studio in Chicago, Illinois
University Galleries of Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois
Tufts University Library, Boston, Massachusetts
Ithaca College Library, Ithaca, New York (from banners made at Handwerker Gallery at Ithaca College)
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, New York
Yeyo Arts Collective, St. Louis, Missouri (from banners created for a temporary site at Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis)
Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, Toronto, Canada
Leather Archives and Museum, Chicago, Illinois
PrintRoom in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Tarble Art Center, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Ilinois
Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cardinal Space, Baltimore, Maryland
Skirball Cultural Center and Museum, Los Angeles, California