April 29 marked the 100th day of our current Presidential administration, and the 100th day of my Daily Resistance project.
In response to a political situation which I find extremely disturbing and potentially dangerous, I committed to practicing a small act of personal resistance by stitching a small piece with the phrase “THIS IS NOT NORMAL” every day for the first 100 days of our new Administration. The first 100 days of any new administration is a generally accepted first benchmark for evaluating that new President, and this President and his administration have given us much to evaluate, from refugee and immigration policies to attacks on women’s rights, equality, justice, the LGBTQ community, the environment, education, budget priorities, Syria, Russia, conflicts of interest, nepotism… The list goes on and on, and grows seemingly every day and with every news cycle
The individual pieces address all of the issues I mentioned above, and more. The edges are raw and raveling, the stitching sometimes a little ragged, mirroring my own raw, ragged, and raveling emotions of anger, fear, concern, and resistance. It should be noted that “THIS IS NOT NORMAL” does not imply or suggest that there is some magical “normal” that existed once and to which we should return. Rather, I stitch this phrase every day to remind myself that we must not become accustomed to the current state of affairs, that we must not normalize this President’s behavior and beliefs, nor the damage that he and his actions and policies might do to our nation, our world, and our planet.
I have divided the stitched pieces into two groups of 50 days each, and will assemble each group into a Cloth of Resistance; the first Cloth has been completed, and I will soon begin assembly of the second cloth.
I began this project as a way to deal with my own anger, anxiety, and frustration about the direction our country has taken. But quickly, I realized that the work resonates with many many people. The response from friends and strangers alike has been amazing and, at times, almost overwhelming. People tell me that my daily reminders to resist have inspired them and given them courage when they most needed it. Some of you have regularly shared my posts on Facebook and Instagram. You have asked me to publish the images in a book; to offer them as posters or T-shirts or mugs... I'm not sure yet exactly how I'll do this, but I will try to make at least some of the images available for sale, with partial proceeds to be donated to organizations dedicated to resisting the current administration and furthering the causes of peace, justice, equality, the environment, and human rights.
Now that we have passed the 100-day mark, my Daily Resistance project shifts to a new phase. I intend to stitch "THIS IS NOT NORMAL" every day, for as long as the current administration is in office, be that 100, 1000, 2000, or more days. However, while I will continue from time to time to stitch single, themed pieces, as in the Cloths of Resistance, in the new phase I will stitch Flags of Resistance:
Once a week, I'll post a current photo of the flag. And when this one is complete, I'll begin another one.
I urge each of you, in your own way, to practice your own daily resistance, in whatever shape or form; through art, or phone calls to your representatives, or local action and involvement, donations to good causes, running for office, volunteering...
And never forget: THIS IS NOT NORMAL.