During a lightning storm on June 23, 2018 Arpillera Americanx *Cunt Quilt (Bridges) was born on protesters backs in a Performance of Citizenship during the March to Keep Families Together in front of the Homestead, FL detention center where hundreds of children are incarcerated after being separated from their parents by ICE at the Mexico/US border.
Anticipating a dangerous hurricane season where the tent jails could claim the lives of children wrongfully separated and detained by the US government, protesters (including the 7 months pregnant artist Coralina Rodriguez Meyer) braved the tropical storm to protest, then sought refuge under a nearby tent shelter to support a rally lead by Micosukkee tribal elders, Florida Immigrant Coalition & Dream Defenders.
Arpillera Americanx Cunt Quilt is a protest art collaboration between intersectional feminist activists, progressive organizations
and the artist Coralina Rodriguez Meyer. After the 2016 US election, the artist issued a National Underwear Audit
collecting worn-out women’s underwear to sew into arpilleras called Cunt Quilts at quarterly Stitch n Bitch
workshops. Panties were donated through the US Postal Service and sewn by feminist quilters, onto
stained Queen-sized bed sheets. The quilts are born on protester’s backs to demonstrate an
intersectional feminist movement. Abolitionist Stitch n Bitches feature activist leaders in conversation with
feminist craftspeople to create protest flags with critical, democratically sourced images to represent a diverse
movement. The project is a performance of citizenship in three acts: the Underwear Audit accounts for
our bodies, Stitch n Bitch builds solidarity, and the protests hold our governing bodies accountable.
Responding to social justice and public health issues, such as LGBTQIA+ visibility, climate impact, the
wage gap$, racial justice and more; the Cunt Quilt will continue until there is a WOMAN IN THE
WHITEHOUSE. Anticipating the end of the project or perhaps a turning point, the exhibition will serve as
an archive and GPS for feminine Latinx sovereignty and solidarity building.
After the 2016 US presidential election artist Coralina Rodriguez Meyer issued a National Underwear Audit to request worn out women's underwear to be mailed through the US Postal Service: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled drawers, yearning to breathe free! No matter the condition- they’ll be a revelation of the shameful, the sanitized, the washed-up, the worn, the probed, the holy, the scarlet, the loosened, the exonerated, the secret, and the secreted."
ARPILLERA STITCH N BITCH SALON
Inaugural Stitch n Bitch at City of Today for Feminine Urbanism studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn January 2017
The Old Glory Underwear Audit lead to an Inaugural Stitch n Bitch at the City of Today for Feminine Urbanism studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A gathering of ladies from different intersectional feminist backgrounds began pinning discarded drawers onto a used bedsheet the evening of January 18, 2017. Late Friday night I finished stitching the sullied skivvies and shoved the Inaugural Cunt Quilt into a carry-on suitcase, headed for the nation’s capital to protest the inauguration of president #45. The Cunt Quilt is the official flag for the City of Today for Feminine Urbanism and will be flown at the inaugural Women’s March in January 2017. The Cunt Quilt project, consisting of the Old Glory Underwear Audit, Stitch n Bitch and Cunt Congress will continue quarterly until there is a woman in the WhiteHouse.
CUNT CONGRESS PROTEST
Arpillera Americanx * Cunt Quilt (Inaugural) was carried by 4 feminists during a Performance of Citizenship at the Women’s March on Washington (Cunt Congress) to protest the US presidential inauguration on January 21, 2017. Bearing the arpillera on their backs for 8 hours without food, water or bathroom, the protesters were joined by over a million feminists marching along Independence Avenue across the Washington Mall. Over 100 pairs of worn out women’s underwear dangled from the stained Queen size bedsheets as onlookers in pretty pink "Pussy hats" laughed, cried or were disgusted by the abject underwear composed in a halo pattern around a carnal interpretation of Betsy Ross' problematic American History. Groups of nearby women shouted “Hands Off Our Cuntry” and “We want a leader, not a dirty Tweeter!”, as the Cunt Quilt Arpillera group shouted “Mujeres, Unidas, Jamas Seran Vencidas!”. After performances by musicians, comedians and civic leaders were beheld, the protesters issued the National Underwear Audit Call: “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled drawers, yearning to breathe free! The Underwear Audit, Stitch n Bitch, Cunt Quilt and Cunt Congresses will continue until there is a Woman in the Whitehouse!"
Arpilleras Desaparecidos The Arpilleras Desaparecidos quilts emerged during Pinochet’s regime thousands of indigenous Chileans “disappeared”- including press and photographers who attempted to call out the military dictatorship. Mourning mothers, daughters and abuelas who survived the genocide, collaborated in arpillera therapy workshops to create 3D quilts made from their missing loved one’s clothing. Depicting colorful pastures and harmonious urban scenes, the figures upon closer inspection-
are being tortured and murdered. The subversive arpilleras which were sold at artesania markets and in public squares to fund the resistance, disseminated information as proof of political violence. The powerful Arpillera tradition spread through the Andes to other cultures including the artist’s Colombian & Peruvian indigenous, urban art practices. Overlooked by activist craft, modern art, the Latin American canon and feminist art; this marginalized protest practice continues an arc of creative justice bent in the US by more widely celebrated femme quilt movements such as Gee's Bend, the underground railroad quilts and the AIDS quilt. Drawing from this social justice craft tradition, Cunt Quilt Arpilleras Americanxs mends our indigenous, intersectional history with abject devotion.