Workers of the World Unite
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My quilt square depicts exploitation of workers in cities. Having been born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, I felt it was appropriate to portray the city I love. The city skyline in my square is composed of various cool or neutral-colored fabrics. I did this to portray how the city is becoming increasingly unkind and mechanical. The large strips of black fabric patterned with leaves, which support the city, symbolize the immutable truth that cities and their inhabitants affect the natural environment and are a part of nature. I fastened the skyline to my square using several running stitches and occasional whip stitches.
The Statue of Liberty, the central figure of my square, is composed of a collage of various fabrics fastened to the statue using a running stitch and whip stitches in some areas for added security. I collaged Lady Liberty to mirror the grandeur and diversity that she symbolizes to New York City. That she stands on Liberty Island, torch aloft, represents an invitation for all to come to New York and experience all that the city offers. She is a symbol of inclusivity and welcomes all in search of prosperity to a diverse cityscape. However, the modern city has become increasingly hostile to this racial and economic diversity, seeking at times to eradicate it. The words I chose to include in my square from Emma Lazarus’s The New Colossus, and the popular political slogan, “Workers of the world Unite,” together, I hope, inspire those who see my square to act to create a better future.
Art and Design | Urban Studies and Planning
Tapia, Irvin, "Workers of the World Unite" (2022). LIU Brooklyn Campus-Community Urban Sustainability Program (CUSP) - Urban Sustainability Quilt, 2022. 3.