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SWANA Stitch

Stitching is connection. Working with our hands creates connections between our bodies and our minds. It literally lights up neural networks and somatic memories. It calms nervous systems. It connects us to each other. It connects us to our ancestors and lineages. SWANA Stitch is a monthly cultural space hosted at The SWANA Rose Center, for SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) textile artists to practice their traditional craft in community. Those of us in the diaspora have grown up with these beautiful historic images of SWANA folx stitching together. They’re getting water at the well, stitching. They’re forming collectives, stitching. They’re supporting their families in forced exile, stitching. They’re laughing, talking, learning, plotting, stitching. Always, stitching. Our mission is to be together in radical spaces, to make art as revolution, to keep our traditions alive, not as they were, but as we are now. Rediscovering and reframing our art and craft is our way to stay connected to ourselves, our community and our ancestors. Being together outside of colonial time, productivity and pressure, is one way to build radical community. Our cultures are resistance. SWANA Stitch artists Amirra Malak (Egyptian/European ancestry), Ali Cat Leeds (Armenian/Basque/Argentinian), and Milla Prince (Palestinian/Finnish) are organizing the 2023 event.