In 2019, there were mass protests against femicide (the intentional killing of females because they are females) in Mexico City. This was in response to reports that 10 women were murdered every day in Mexico in 2019. Protestors used many creative approaches to raise awareness to femicide, including scattering pink glitter and writing the names of femicide victims on the streets. Curator Marietta Bernstorff started her own initiative, called "La Manta de Curacíon" which means “Patchwork Healing Blanket.” Bernstorff worked with women artists from Oaxaca and Mexico City to invite women from all over Mexico and the world to make “a patchwork cloth piece that speaks out against the violent crimes we are all witnessing.”
Bernstorff and her colleagues received 600 patchworks from people from around the world, including from Guatemala, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Tijuana, Greece, Spain, Canada, and the United States. The hundreds of patchworks were made using a variety of materials and methods like paint, embroidery, and digitally printing and one patchwork incorporated portraits of children and colorful words along with the words “Speak,” “Forgive,” “Heal”. Some are memorials, others are adamant calls for action (“Stop Violence”). They are, above all, celebrations and affirmations of women’s lives. “Making these pieces was a form of healing for most of the women as they thought about their personal life, or their mothers or grandmothers life who had no voice,” Bernstorff wrote in an email.
The patchworks will be available for view through a virtual gallery at the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in Venice, California. More information about the project is available on the SPARC website.