We will feature here some of the panels that have been sent in so far. They come with painful and powerful stories as well as hopeful examples of solidarity against gender-based violence. The waterfall tapestry will include the stories of panels.
Trust, Dignity, Courage, Hope
"My square of cloth shows a girl who is hiding her eyes. She does not see or perceive anything and at the same time she shows an anxious, defensive posture by doing that. In other words: She is hiding from life.
"This picture reminds me of the darkest phase of my trauma, in which I was "stuck" for a long time. The world had become scary to me. Despite various support from my parents and friends, it was not possible for me living my life. The hands stretched out in solidarity towards the girl show and symbolize the things that this girl was missing at that time: Trust, Dignity, Courage Hope.
"Thursdays in Black is a campaign that unites solidarity in this field of vulnerability.
"It gives not only victims like me but all people a platform of solidarity in the fight against rape and gender-based violence - not only for exchanging experiences, which is the focus in many other places, but in a multi-layered, intelligent and cautious activist way. At the same time, one feels - especially as a victim - a hopeful orientation, which goes hand in hand with joint, solidarity-based actions and statements."
The Light Shines in the Darkness
Waldensian Church of Luserna San Giovanni, Italy
We are a minority church that had endured persecution for many centuries. The Huguenot cross on the panel remembers our difficult history, which as made us particularly sensitive about human rights and dignity. We are convinced that we have to denounce any violence and injustice that happens within our families, communities and countries until every person is free to express him- or herself in respect of the others.
In our church, women had a very special role, especially in the beginning, when we were still a medieval heretical movement. The women of our church wear a traditional costume the day we celebrate the gaining of civil rights, on Feb. 17th every year. For this reason, we added a woman in our traditional costume, but instead of black shoes, sh is wearing red ones. The red shoes express our desire for women’s rights and for a world without violence against them.
The symbol of our church is a candle lit in the darkness underlined by the words “Lux lucet in tenebris” (“the light shines in the darkness”). Violence against women, rape and injustice, is nothing else but evil and darkness, and we ask Christ to bring light to those that suffer and to drive out the darkness.
Our panel represents our pledge to speak up against violence and rape, to follow the light of Christ and stand with the women that have been raped and mistreated.
The panel was made by the women of our sewing group and presented to the whole community during worship on November 24th, 2019.
Sign of solidarity
As part of this international campaign, we would like to see an end to violence and the sexual exploitation of children and women and a free, self-determined, non-violent life for everyone… Women and girls affected by violence need clear signs of solidarity so that they know that they are not alone but part of a worldwide network.
We chose a soft violet colour for the background because the women who have been hurt often long to be able to drop the protective concepts they have been trained in, and to be in touch with other people with their softer sides again.
The three women working on the patch chose a colour to work with on the fabric, and they worked in dialogue, also expressing their thoughts in a poetic text:
zwischen tod und
wachstum macht und
ein riss durch
seele zieht sich
ist es das wissen
teil ganz tief
drinnen ein riss
durch den licht
die sehnsucht nach ROSA
Andrea Czichy, Birga Alheid, Silke Meyer©
No One Deserves It
This stark and powerful panel was prepared by the Klipspruit West Methodist Church Women Association of South Africa. “It depicts a lady that’s constantly abused, and we are calling out for the abuse to stop.”
Stop the Violence
The Klerksdorp Methodist Church Women Association of South Africa used models of different wounds caused by physical abuse to women. Their message is: "Stop the violence. You are not only scarring us physically but emotionally. We are tired of making stories up on how we look. Speak up and be helped."