The Seventh South Asian Regional Ministerial Conference Commemorating Beijing issued the Dhaka Declaration on October 5, 2010.  In the declaration, South Asian nations noted that “violence against women continues to remain a priority concern” and agreed to “expedite work on implementing the … Convention on Preventing and Combating the Crime of Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution.”  The declaration said that “legislative and policy initiatives to attain women’s equality need to continue” so that women in the region can be empowered financially and gender inequality removed.

Dear friends,

I am passing along this invitation to a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Textile Museum of Canada.    Len and I will unfortunately not be able to attend as, at that time,  we will be leaving for Bangladesh to continue work on the documentary film Threads.  Please feel free to pass this along to others you think may find it of interest.

As I think back on the Museum’s 35 years, it was there in the gift shop that I first heard of Surayia Rahman before Len and I moved to live in Bangladesh, and we are now producing a film about Surayia’s remarkable art and life.  Who would have predicted?  The 35th also brings back memories of my former roommate (also named Cathy) who involved me in fundraising for construction of the new Textile Museum, and who opened my eyes to textiles.

Thanks so much to all of you for your support in my textile journeys and now with the documentary.

Fondest wishes,

South Asian Seams Web Banner

Kantha quilts, along with the artisans who created them, are featured in a “dazzling” display at the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.   “South Asian Seams,” now on through November 7th, is curated by guest curator Patricia Stoddard and IQSC curator Marin Hanson.  How refreshing to see an exhibit that not only displays beautiful works but also tells of the lives of the women who created them!

"Women of the World Fight to Live."

The 10th Anniversary of the Gig Harbor Quilt Festival did the heart good.  Not only were there stunning quilts all around us, there was loads of energy toward breast cancer cure and care.

Sandra Gicomini’s quilt “Women of the World Fight to Live” (pictured above) reminds us that breast cancer kills around the world.   As I listened to brave women tell of their journeys with cancer, my thoughts went to Bangladesh and to Rahima.  Rahima has cancer.  She is one of the most talented embroiderers who worked with Surayia since the early 1980s, who created so many incredible tapestries for over 20 years.   Len and I will see Rahima in mid-November in Bangladesh, and I will pass along messages from each and every one of you who wants to send her a message of hope.    Hope is part of the cure, and would it not be great for Rahima to know that there is a world of women (and men) behind her!    Pass the hope along…..

The photo is by Susan Burnett,  copyright by Memories Forever.  Used with permission.

Gig Harbor Film Festival

Len and I enjoyed volunteering at the Gig Harbor Film Festival recently.  It was a great opportunity to support a community event, interact with people with similar interests and see some very interesting films.  We met a woman who was jailed in Nigeria over a documentary she was making about the impact of oil on the Niger Delta, a dynamic group of high school students who say they have made 125 films posted to YouTube and got to see another side of the lawyer who is working with us on our film — he had a very funny short film, The Day My Parents Became Cool, entered in the festival.  The results of the 72-hour film contest were amazing.  We enjoyed working with all of the other volunteers and look forward to next year!

Gig Harbor Film Festival