and Human Rights
Quilts of Memorial
Quilts are made as
memorials to those who died as a result of human rights violations.
Sometimes they are made in remembrance of one individual; other
times they are made in remembrance of scores of individuals who
died. Quilts may contain visual symbols or portraits or simply list
names of those who died. Quilts have been made, for example, to
depict victims of lynchings in America, ethnic genocide in Rwanda,
the war in Iraq, and ethnic wars in Srebrenica.
|Iraq War Memorial Quilt
Cotton linen curtain; red, white and blue striped fabric; yellow silk
ribbons and red fabric roses
Photo transfer with HP inkjet printer
88" x 99"
Collection of the artist
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong,
all rights reserved
“This quilt was made to recognize the faces of 3600 men
and women of the military who have died in line of service in Iraq
and Afghanistan since GW Bush ordered troops into Iraq in March
2003. It is the first pictorial memorial in U.S. history to honor
the fallen heroes of a military conflict. These are the faces of
those who have served this country, those who have died for this
country and the loved ones they left behind. IT CAN NO LONGER BE
ENOUGH TO SAY SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! TODAY WE MUST SAVE OUR TROOPS!”
Srebrenica Memorial Quilt
Women of BOSFAM
79” x 79”
Collection of the Advocacy Project
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved
Each year, on July 11, Bosnians gather at Potocari, in Eastern
Bosnia, to commemorate the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, which claimed
the lives of more than 8,000 men and boys. They also attend the
reburial of victims whose bodies were identified in the previous
year. In 2007, the women of BOSFAM, a Bosnian women's group, began
this Srebrenica Memorial Quilt, in commemoration of those who
were killed. The quilt was unveiled at a memorial event on July
8, 2007 in St. Louis, home of the largest Bosnian population in
the United States. The quilt currently contains 20 panels, each
commemorating a victim and all hand woven by BOSFAM women who
lost relatives in the massacre.
BOSFAM hopes to quadruple the size of the quilt by July 11, 2008.
They hope that others who lost relatives in the massacre will
commission panels, and that the quilt will help them to connect
to others who also suffered. The weavers hope that as the quilt
grows in size it will keep the memory of the massacre alive, in
community after community, and encourage local debate and media
coverage about the destructiveness of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war,
and the resilience of survivors.
For information about how to commission a panel: http://advocacynet.org/page/bosniagiving
. All money raised will cover the cost of weaving.
BOSFAM supports women from all ethnic groups who were affected
by the war in Eastern Bosnia.
NAMES Panel for Bob I.
Lynne Swanson and Chris Carmichael
East Lansing, Michigan
44 ¾” x 79 ½”
Collection of the Michigan State University Museum
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved
The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt began in June of 1987,
when a small group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront
to document the lives they feared history would neglect. Their
goal was to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS and
to thereby help people understand the devastating impact of the
disease. Today the Quilt is a powerful visual reminder of the
AIDS pandemic. More than 46,000 individual 3 by 6 foot memorial
panels-commemorating the lives of over 91,000 people who have
died of AIDS- have been sewn together by friends, lovers, and
family members. Laid end to end, the panels would stretch for
52.25 miles. The NAMES Project Quilt is too large to be exhibited
in one spot any more. Portions of it tour the country and are
placed on view in community displays. To date, the Quilt has been
visited by over 15,000,000 people.
This panel was made at a NAMES Project Quilting Bee hosted by
MSU Museum and the Lansing Area AIDS Network. Members of the community
came together to create panels for loved ones lost to AIDS. In
some cases, panels were made to honor people who had no family,
or who had been estranged from their family due to their circumstances.
This was the case with Bob I. Two 6’ x 3’ panels were
made for him. One was sent to the NSMES Project to become part
of the massive AIDS Memorial Quilt. The other panel was accessioned
into the Michigan State University Museum Great Lakes Quilt Center
collections in order to document and preserve an example of quilting
uksed in public memorials and social action. For more information
on the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial quilt, go to http://www.aidsquilt.org.