The Fabric of My Life (FABRIC) project
Related priority: Promoting our European way of life
You are what you wear
Clothes can speak volumes about us – where we are from and even who we aspire to be. For refugees, clothing may be a unique connection with a lost past. The Creative Europe Fabric of My Life (FABRIC) project brings refugee women together with design students and cultural workers to explore new methods of recording, sharing and valuing collective and personal migration stories.
This inclusive project underscores various dimensions of the European Commission’s priority of promoting our European way of life. It reinforces our moral duty to help those fleeing conflict or persecution, while providing tangible opportunities to encourage their integration by recognising their unique contribution to our shared heritage.
In FABRIC workshops design students from partner institutions learn how to record podcasts. In these recordings, refugee women talk about specific kinds of fabric from their tradition, like Ajrak, a special kind of cotton weave from Sindh in Pakistan, or clothes with a personal story – ‘my grandmother’s scarf’, or ‘my ancestor’s apron’. Others tell of ancient textile techniques, like Palestinian embroidery.
The project also hosts public lectures, as well as holding pop-up, digital and conventional exhibitions.
There are opportunities to make new textiles, too. Two female textile artists, Solveig Berg Søndergård (Denmark) and Rezvan Farsijani (Iran/France), are collaborating with refugee women on joint projects. For ‘Transparent Textile House’ Rezvan works with Afghan, Iranian and African women, while for ‘Stitching Stories’, Solveig is collaborating with ten immigrant and refugee women living in Denmark.
We use clothing as tokens of memory to narrate people’s life stories – in podcasts, in art, or in embroidery.
Marie-Louise NoschKobenhavns Universitet (Denmark).