Collective Liberation and Solidarity, honors urgent resistance movements

We’re living in dire times, and it’s easy to feel like there’s little we can do to make a difference. Something that we can do from afar, though, is to uplift artists who are sending important messages that deserve our attention, and a gallery exhibit opening in the East Village next week is doing just that.

The exhibit “Tapestry: Collective Liberation and Solidarity,” opening on Tuesday, May 21, will highlight women of color and gender expansive artists who use embroidery to tell stories about the most urgent resistance movements of today in places like Palestine, Sudan, and Kashmir.

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The gallery was curated by Syeda Tabassum, who was moved by the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza and put out a call for artists on social media before receiving more than 200 submissions from around the world. From there, she narrowed down the list to 15 art pieces that will be on display at the gallery starting next week.

Tabassum was specifically curious about exploring resistance movements through fabrics. Growing up, her mom created elaborate works of embroidery, a medium that is seldom taken seriously in the art world because of its often devalued for being “women’s work,” per Tabassum. (One of the pieces on display at the gallery was made by Tabassum’s mother.)

The work at the gallery, which was created under the Sadie Nash Fellowship Project, will span several mediums. The exhibition includes work by a Sudanese-Palestinian artists who focuses on joy in Palestine and Sudan, an Indigenous artist works with beads to explore the role of women in her tribe, and a Bangladeshi artist who examines garment workers’ relationship to gender.

painting of a person in a red dress at a table
Paiting: By Tasneem ElnayalFreedom Will Come, 2023, Tasneem Elnayal

The artists featured in the exhibit include Amal Azzam, Ayesha Raees, Bethany Bash, Julia Justo, Kelly Carde, Marifel Bermudez, Mohuya Khan, Paige Austin, Sheryl Wadhera, Tasneem Elnayal, Tiana Japp, Unsa Munir, Urbashee Paul, and Zobaida Maria.

“Everyone in this show has a different perspective of collective liberation and what that means,” Tabassum tells Time Out. “We’re all affected by colonization and the land we’re on.”  

Everyone in this show has a different perspective of collective liberation and what that means.

The gallery will also feature a guestbook where people can add their own input and experience of the exhibit.

Proceeds from the exhibit will go to mutual aid efforts in Gaza and Sudan, and there’s a $5 suggested donation. You can check out the All Street Gallery at 77 East Third Street from May 21-25, 1-7pm. RSVP for tickets here.

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