Every Artwork in the Massive Quilt for Palestine Unveiled at The Met

Last month, artists unfurled a monumental quilt in support of Gaza on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Informed by the legacy of quilting as a form of collective resistance, as in the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, the fabric squares that make up “From Occupation to Liberation” were created by individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life mobilized by a common obligation: making visible to the world the insurmountable loss of Palestine civilians under Israel’s ongoing attacks and occupation.

Today we are sharing each of these 69 individual artworks along with statements from 26 artists who provided them. Many of them engage a diverse iconography of Palestinian hope — olive branches, vibrant poppies, the ever-present watermelon, traditional taṭrīz patterning — while others address the suffering of Gaza through direct and moving visual messaging. Across their texts, there are also recurring threads: the shared struggles of oppressed cultures, the burden of societal responsibility, the specific pain of witnessing loss as a parent. 

Prints of each artwork are being sold online here, with all proceeds benefiting a fundraiser to help a family trapped in Gaza. Mo’min Zahar, a pediatric dentist whose practice and home were bombed, is living in a camp in central Gaza with six of his relatives. Moved by the quilt action, Zahar connected with the organizers and shared his hopes to safely relocate his family to a secure place, restore his clinic, and “return to his ancestral home, committed to the arduous yet hopeful journey of rebuilding a sanctuary steeped in heritage and cherished memories.”

Note: We respected these artists’ decision to remain anonymous and have identified each artwork by title. 


My cultural background is mixed Armenian-American. My great-grandmother survived the Armenian Genocide, while my more distant Dutch and English ancestors were some of the settler squatters that colonized and stole land from the original inhabitants of Long Island and Manhattan. I grew up hearing about my great-grandmother’s experiences and living with the ripples of her trauma, alongside government policies of genocide denial from the United States to Turkey to Israel. It’s an obligation, I believe, to at the very least talk about and confront the genocide Israel is committing in Palestine. I can’t imagine not doing that — in any circumstance —but especially not when Israel has a close trade relationship with Azerbaijan, whose dictatorial regime is committing genocide in Artsakh, a mostly ethnically Armenian, autonomous region in the Caucasus. The Palestinian and Armenian struggles are inextricably linked.

My square is an arevakhach, a symbol for eternity common in Armenian art and architecture. It’s made of watermelon slices, a symbol of Palestinian liberation as well as a crop beloved in Armenia. It represents the shared experiences and necessary solidarity of Palestinians, Armenians, and all people experiencing genocide and diaspora. These communities, cultures, and identities can survive and be eternal, even in the worst possible circumstances.


I’m from an Evangelical (Christian) Zionist community in the Midwest. I was taught that America has been “blessed” as a country because of its support for Israel, and for those blessings to continue, so must that support. I’ve been grateful to the many people who helped create an environment in college and beyond where I could uncover the many holes in what I’d been taught, and the depth of violent consequences for Palestinians.

I was also thinking, as we stitched really beautiful canvases together, that using art as a tool for social change can humanize a cause. I’ve resented the malicious, farfetched claims about what supporters of a free Palestine really want, what people are alleged to be shouting at marches, etc. All I’ve seen so far is fierce love. And I think art conveys that more effectively than words can. ❤️


Initially, I wanted to make an art piece flag of humanity with these pieces of bed sheet dripped with red and pink paints I had used for a previous project about perfectionistic standards in motherhood or womanhood — a form of tablecloth resembling the famous gingham style pattern of tidiness, which represents, to me at least currently, the restrictions we face to fit into the standard “cookie cutter” society. When I cut it up and drew the targets and sewed them together, I realized just how terrible are the themes of conformity to this bloody pattern that we as a humanity have sewn ourselves very deep into. Everyone is a target today, especially the people of Palestine, who are trapped, held hostage, and walked on in the most horrific ways. They say on the internet that Palestine will free us all, but first Palestine must be free. Art can create a dialogue. I honestly have trouble speaking, and art opens up a space of discussion, observation, and thought without words. I want to say it, like this, now, because it is the only way I know how. Lastly, living in Germany isn’t that easy when it comes to nuances and room to move and say what’s between the lines; everyone is walking on egg shells, holding their breath. I was raised in Florida and moved to Germany to study art because having dual citizenship, I am able to afford for myself this particular luxury. My activism is but a baby who is seeking emancipation in all of its forms.


I have always known something was wrong about the narrative surrounding Israel and Palestine presented to me growing up in America, but it wasn’t until I moved in with my best friend in London that I learned the reality of it all. They are from Israel, and have been against the occupation for 10 years, and told me everything about the abuse and humiliation Palestinians are subjected to every day — the murders and the silencing of any dissent, Rachel Corrie and her sacrifice, and how racist and brainwashed the entire Israeli society is. When Gaza was bombed in 2021, that was the first time I took action and protested, shared information online, and that passion has only grown since then. With the advent of October 7 and the current genocide, I felt personally responsible to speak up as an American and as someone who loves someone involved, knowing the only way to end their pain is to liberate Palestinians and end the apartheid. As an artist, I felt that I wanted community and a place to freely express myself as the backlash against pro-Palestinian voices has been alarming and horrific, and this online group has been a wonderful outlet. After some conversation of how we could contribute to the struggle for Palestine using our art, I suggested that we reference the AIDS Memorial Quilt and the Monument Quilt, and it has been incredibly cathartic making pieces and sending them to live among the lovingly created squares of artists who feel the same way I do.


I was thinking of Mahmoud Darwish’s poem “where should the birds fly after the last sky?” when I was painting this square. The sky for me is a space for gazing and imagining, an expanse of possibility. I can walk freely along the shore in Wales and watch the sun set on a beautiful sparkling sea. But in Gaza, everything is upturned, even the sky is taken; in Michael Rosen’s words, “Children … learn that the sky kills and houses hurt.” The drones and the bombs that are stealing the sky in Gaza are being developed and built in the United Kingdom. This painting witnesses my need for action and looks out for hope in the darkness.

“All Children Are Ours”

I don’t know how it is possible that I became aware of the oppression of Palestinian people later in my life, but even from the very beginning when I didn’t know much, it was a matter of humanity and common sense to recognize the Palestinian struggle. For me it was motherhood that fully amplified all the sorrows, injustices, pains, and horrors that we are witnessing now and that deepened my empathy to an almost unbearable extent … because it’s true that all children are ours. I feel like there is so much power yet to be activated in all of us, witnessing Palestinian resilience, togetherness, and kindness to each other. Now that I have my eyes fully open, I never want to close them again. I want to be a part of the healing process and uniting our art minds and pieces together feels like the best way to do it. Our quilt is representing this intention so beautifully and is open-ended, meaning we are not going to stop until Palestine is free.

I am from Slovakia and I moved to the USA when I was 24, to live with my husband who is Texan. My relationship and exploration of Texas culture and thought processes about people growing up in Texas showed me how important it is to challenge each other in uncomfortable conversations, and while keeping our hearts open, always stand up for humanity. I want to believe in the power of love, compassion, and collective perseverance, knowing that no one is free until all of us are free.

“Compassion for Falastin”

I’ve been active in social justice since I was a child growing up in Managua and I saw how the CIA murdered and disappeared friends and family by way of the Contra. We marched in solidarity with Palestine and all oppressed countries. The amount of people who believe the corrupted media narrative that everything started on October 7 still haunts me … We must be vigilant and know our history. We must stand against empires and their propaganda arm. We must be a voice for the voiceless. My piece is about changing minds and narratives in favor of Palestine and the Middle East in general. For too long they have been dehumanized and humiliated.

“Ceasefire Now!”

While I am new to learning more about the geopolitical history of colonialism and resistance in Palestine, or as Professor Rashid Khalidi so accurately describes it, the Hundred Years War on Palestine, my convictions in speaking out against all forms of blatant disregard for humanity are deeply rooted in my existence on this Earth as a grown woman, an artist, a stranger, a friend, and an American citizen who holds both privileges and struggles that are irrevocably intertwined with the people of Palestine in many ways. My tax dollars are funding unconscionable crimes and for that I hold an immense amount of shame, anger, and despair which I can either allow to numb and desensitize me to this genocide or awake and radicalize me into taking actions, however small or seemingly futile towards calling for a ceasefire and an end to all occupations on stolen land so we can begin to love and liberate each other rather than kill and dehumanize innocent children and families out of fear and ignorance. While I do not bear the responsibility as a mother, I bear the responsibility as an artist, a sister, a lover, and friend to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. It is no easy task alone, but in solidarity with this community of artists whom I am immensely grateful for, with the steadfast people of Palestine who I hope will continue to humble us all, and the collective voices of all those who have experienced one form of oppression or the other internationally and over the course of history, I believe that justice will be served and it does NOT need to be at the cost of this much murder and mass destruction. That is why I painted the image of Lady Liberty holding a swaddled child with tears of blood and the words “Ceasefire Now” emanating from her flame, which have sadly fallen upon deaf ears.

When I was first introduced to the singer Fairuz (the center portrait in the painting) by one of my dearest and closest artist friends, who is both Lebanese and Syrian and whom I shared a studio with, I couldn’t describe how enchanted I was by her music, which I interpret as a reflection of her profound love for life. “Eela Mata Ya Rabbou” (“Until When God”) is the title of a song she dedicated to Gaza. It was like a transcendent hymn or a prayer that I was moved to reference in my quilt square. Although I am not very religious, I find myself crying a lot in desperation for some higher being to intervene and calm this storm of hatred and never-ending madness. Until then, the fight continues, children become martyrs. Babies starve to death and churches and mosques are no longer places of prayer but piles of dust and debris. The portrait below Fairuz is an image of a sister who holds the hand of her brother who was murdered by the IOF [Israel Occupation Forces]. Just one of far too many painful portraits of a loss and grief both unbearable and unbelievable which we must nonetheless bare witness to and honor and love and cherish while we continue to fight for the living. 

I painted some poppies surrounding that bottom portrait after attending protests lead by JVP [Jewish Voice for Peace] and participating in creating the tissue paper flowers and setting them on the ground altar space. Just one representing 50 lives lost while nearly 30,000 people have been murdered. How many more the next day and the day after? The doves carry olive branches. I hope one day soon life will thrive again and nature will nurture the souls of the dead and breath life and love into a free land and a free people. Let Gaza Live. Ceasefire now. Palestine is freeing us. End the Occupation now. Home is where the heart is. Let families return to their home.

“I Want to See Only Stars Fall in Gaza”

I saw the coming together of people from all walks of life, fervently, with their whole chests, yelling “Free Palestine!” Growing up in America, the imperial core, it was always taboo to even think that, much less believe it — so when I saw so many fellow artists and community members join together and put so much tears, sweat, and energy into this project, I felt deeply inspired to join. My practice always emphasized healing instead of trauma, and I wished to document and set in stone not the pain, hurt, and deaths of Palestine, but the reality of the will of a new future; hence, “I wish to see only stars fall in Gaza.” I do not ever want to see bombs fall there again, only stars to wish upon. The cross-stitch was a contribution from a friend who wanted to collaborate but could not provide a bigger square.

I am a born and bred first-generation Asian-American New Yorker who grew up in the shadow of 9/11, the rise of blatant fascism, and finally COVID-19. When I matured into an artist and an adult, the only way I could make sense of the world was to understand that the world we currently live in is built upon exploitation, slavery, death, money, and nothing else. It is a world devoid of love, of futures to gift children, of justice. I see my family, poor farmers from China, flee to America to find this “dream,” and assimilate and adjust to the cruelty of the American identity. While I love them, I reject this as an inevitable path for myself. I want to build a future I want to live in so that one day the children and the grandchildren can live in peace and not burn up with the earth. To do that, I feel we absolutely must start with freeing Palestine from one of the most inhumane and openly genocidal events in the 21st century.

“Gauze Came From Gaza”

As a Palestinian who grew up under Israeli occupation in a small town near the city of Nabulus, watching the heartrending news from Gaza is devastating. No matter what you write, say, or even scream, you cannot do justice to people experiencing genocide.

I was moved when a colleague told me about a group of artists making squares to be stitched together for Gaza. Immediately I agreed to participate.

I pulled out a piece of canvas to make my square. I painted the letters of the word Gaza in Arabic and in sharp red. I opted to break up the word Gaza by disconnecting the letters from each other. I then sewed patches of fabric over the canvas and attached it to a large dark green fabric. On that piece of fabric, I used embroidery threads that are used on traditional Palestinian dresses, mixing traditional techniques Palestinian women have used for hundreds of years and my own style of not conforming to traditional straight lines and squares. I stitched curving lines all over the green fabric and the canvas. I also added stars and shapes used by Palestinian women to decorate tablecloths and bedspreads. Being part of this collective has been rewarding and healing.


I was inspired to make this piece and collaborate on this action for no other reason than how could I not? As an artist, the fact that our cultural institutions choose to either be complacent or quiet around the genocide in Gaza is disgusting. I want them to know they do not have my support until they cut ties with the settler colonial state of Israel. I took inspiration from the Jenin horse, a statue created in the Jenin refugee camp during the first Intifada that was recently destroyed by the IOF in an attempt to erase symbols of resistance.

“Our Children Have the Answer”

I am motivated to help whenever I am able. One of my heroes is Mister Rogers, who said that when you’re hurting or in need, you should always look for the helpers. When I heard this I knew who to look for and mostly I knew I wanted to be a helper, too.

When I became a mother this feeling exemplified massively. I saw and felt a true and all-encompassing love for the first time. It broke me in half and left my newly sprouted little heart wide open. I understood that this new, giant love was not only for my own child, but more of an understanding and deep guttural belief in all that is pure and beautiful and filled with hope in this world. This is the pressing force through all of my activism. It is always for the children. They are beauty and hope and true love personified and I believe with every cell in my body that it is our duty to love and protect every child in any way that we can. I draw and paint pictures to sell and donate the money to Doctors Without Borders whenever I can, because it feels like I am helping in the tiny way I can. I refuse to just watch and cry. I have to do something, to try to be a helper.

Being invited to join this project has shown me the power of the group, how so many different voices can scream the same thing. This giant quilt screams for us all, I think — our pain, our hope, our love, and of course our deep solidarity with Palestine. They are we and we are they, and none of us are alone. I wish our quilt could wrap around every hurting person in Gaza. Fuck this war and every war that ever was and ever will be.

“Let Us Live”

I’m a West Coast artist whose whole career and life has been devoted to freedom for all people through exposing in myself, others, and our institutions whatever lies, delusions, conditioned ways of seeing, and thinking restrict our freedom — from using my art and platform to free a man from prison to making paintings that tell stories of human relationships outside of constricting societal norms, to sharing my own internal struggle to free myself from my own limitations. When I became aware of the decades-long propaganda campaign against the Palestinian liberation efforts, it was clear to me that this was yet another example of ways in which power has remained hidden while carrying out its agenda to dominate. So of course, I was all in to contribute to this quilt project. Our narratives can be constricting or freeing. A narrative changes when enough people tell an alternate story. That is what is happening with the public conversation about Israel and Palestine. It’s a true tragedy that so many beings are suffering and have been suffering under the lies of empire, but I have hope that by speaking our truths from our hearts we can at least make people question the lies they’ve believed.

“We Palestine”

I was motivated by the idea of integrating activism and art-making. I’ve been distressed by activism that is embedded in the US political and capitalist systems, so joining a group of visual artists felt powerful and disruptive. I think that making art is the best way to live through the transformations we want to see in society. I’m from Brazil, and I’ve always seen activism as a way to distract us from actual change — in other words, I link activism to the propaganda mindset we experience in the US. Yet, I haven’t found many ways to navigate this time without engaging in the means already available in activism (such as calling politicians, protesting, and sharing on social media). I also do appreciate tremendously the activists’ resilience and intellectual clarity. In the square that I painted with my daughter, I thought of the place where the quilt would be — New York City — and of Milton Glaser’s “I ❤️NY” logo. I transformed that logo with the idea of how the change in Palestine asks for our collective action, so starting with “We.” And instead of just one heart, I used the white kite as the symbol for freedom and peace, borrowing from Refaat Alareer’s historic poem “If I Must Die.” Finally, the quilt carries a circle that is cut out from another artwork, my “Motherhood Flag,” which is a flag for a land where every human being has absolute dignity. My choices for this project, more than speaking about where I come from, speak about where I am right now: living in the US, the country enabling genocide, and trying to find hope through connection with other artists.

“Tatreez as Safe Landscape”

In October 2023 I was wrapping up construction on a preschool, installing flooring, working with the children to paint murals, and building cubbies for their shoes and coats. I was watching this 75-year genocide heighten and tried to alert the people around me to care — to see it. I was aching. I was channeling all of my grief and rage into the joyful creation of a school. I felt so confused — why do I know peace so deeply while others are deprived of it? How did anyone not see Palestinian people as full people? How did one family’s grief outweigh another? How did every person who “allied” themselves to Black American scholars and artists not see that the Palestinian resistance has been in all of their literature, their hearts? In every shape I cut out for the children at my school to paint, I imagined handing it to a child in Gaza. What if I could fill their days with painting? With running through the olive orchards looking for sunbirds? I researched every bit of Palestinian joy — painting, poetry, animals, herbal medicine, recipes, embroidery … I poured into it, letting the eternal power, humanity, and hopefulness of Palestine keep my eyes open, my heart open. Palestinian scholar Edward Said stated that “humanism is the only — I would go so far as saying the final — resistance we have against the inhuman practices and injustices that disfigure human history.” My paintings aim to take even the smallest moments, small human acts, picking oranges, fingers stitching fabric, and pause them and open them up into spaces vivid and wide enough for anyone to take safe refuge and find connection to a greater human love inside of them. This painting shows traditional Palestinian taṭrīz embroidery, with the tree shape signifying “Gaza” at the center.

“El Derecho de Nacer en Paz” (“The Right to Be Born in Peace”)

I deeply believe in the responsibility in each of us and in the immense consequences that come from choosing to look away or stay silent. Inaction is what can cost us everything while courage and integrity hold the power of saving this world. For me personally, as someone who is rather not so good with words, art embodies a great way to be tremendously loud. What I look for when creating and crafting is transmitting an emotion that can manifest in many ways depending on the individual viewer. Ever since I was I little child I was politicized about Palestine, coming from a leftist Latin American household. I was never unaware and followed the history of the Palestinian people closely.

I’m a 32-year-old Cuban Peruvian surgeon, mother, and self-taught artist who was raised between Berlin and Cuba. As an immigrant child raised in an Arab part of Berlin and growing up inside a strongly politicized Latin community, I’ve listened to my Palestinian friends’ stories my entire life. Every attack on their people was very close to me, always. There was never a question about how this ongoing war on the Palestinian people could not affect me as it did and as it does. Through my work I try to wake up that exact emotion of responsibility inside others. Germany itself holds its history and position toward this Genocide and it’s clear for everyone to see how important the activist work and resistance from within this country is. I’ve been involved with humanitarian work for Cuba and have always insisted on listening to the people from inside (THEIR testimonies) to challenge your own integrity when political ideology starts to play in. As a mother of two I will forever work towards having a spine as strong as wishing for every parent on this earth to be able to give their babies what I wish for mine. Anything less than that is unacceptable. With that being said: Palestina Libre!

“Flesh Between Seeds”

I have always believed in art as a powerful medium for storytelling. Art has been a space for women in my family to share their stories and lived experiences, their deepest desires, and their most secret hopes and wishes. Witnessing my mother push paint on paper or punch thread through fabric, I heard stories that she never had the language or permission to say out loud. When I pick up a needle and thread, I think of my mother and I think of the women of Palestine. I think of stories they weave with intricate patterns. I think of tender hands reaching for ripe fruit in olive trees. I hear the air ring with the sound of strong voices, voices that sing of history and revolutionary hope. 

I hope the art that I make can be a part of a rich tradition of storytelling, a kind of storytelling that shakes society to its core. With this piece, I was hoping to demonstrate that Palestine is permanent, a fact of nature. You can see Palestine in the shape of the clouds, the knots in a tree, the flesh between seeds in a pomegranate.


My piece is a reflection on the work of trying to hold our eyes open to violence in Gaza. 

We have been called to witness, to keep looking. Consumed through the little squares in our hands, we take in images so much more horrific than one should ever have to see. And watch people experience things no one should ever have to endure. 

There is this sense of helplessness — in all this scrolling, all this watching, how can that be enough? I often feel that if I see all of this and do nothing with that witnessing, then I am culpable. 

I see you. And if you fall, so I fall. 

But as a Jewish American with Holocaust survivors in my family, I understand my voice matters. That I must do more than see. I have felt called to refuse the false claim that my safety can only be assured by enacting such violence on the people of Palestine. 

I want the Palestinian people to know we see them, and we aren’t giving up, even if our collective struggle is a steep one. And so we turn our witness into whatever acts we can take so that our brothers and sisters in Gaza can be free. 

I will keep reaching.

“Cracks in the Wall”

I was educated as an industrial designer, graduating from Pratt Institute in 1964. After that I spent three years in Ecuador as part of the Peace Corps. I am now retired, but spent most of my career as a designer of technical and consumer products. At the same time I did political graphics, mostly for the War Resisters League and the Cuba Resource Center. My anti-war posters have been collected by the Smithsonian, MoMA, and the Imperial War Museum in London. After a trip to Palestine in 2012, I became active with Jewish Voice for Peace. I have worked on designing and assembling props for various actions, including The People’s Menorah and The People’s Sukkah, and most recently for our Dump AIPAC actions. It has been a real pleasure working on my square for the quilt project.

“As A Bird, Free Palestine / Bird Cries for Palestine, May the Tears Exhaust the Flames”

I grew up in a Zionist family, and coming to understand how Israel is perpetuating an ongoing Nakba against the Palestinian people was not an easy realization. It took a lot of patience from peers who generously led me to information that made this reality undeniable. One of the resources that I credit for this understanding is the organization Visualizing Palestine. It always resonated with me. Through their work, I was able to conceptualize Israeli apartheid and occupation, and to demystify rhetoric that was given to me through Zionist propaganda.

I participated with Jewish Voice for Peace previously, but since October 7, it’s been so helpful to be in community and build protest art that communicates a message to the world about Jewish resistance to Zionism. I feel so held being a part of a community that calls for an immediate end to the genocide in Palestine and most directly Gaza. When I learned about this artist quilt, I felt excited and challenged to create my own piece that would express hope in spite of grief. It was the first painting I made since high school, and touching the paint, the canvas, tapping into the global rage over Israeli genocide and US complicity, connected me to something larger than myself.


My father is Jordanian and my mother, RIP, was from Gaza. I lost my mother at a young age and never got the chance to visit Palestine. I feel what is happening now and has been happening in Palestine is beyond heartbreaking! It’s a test not only for the people of Gaza but for humanity as a whole. We must stand for justice and our truth! No one is immune and this could be us! Our family, our kids, our friends, we all hold a unique light inside us and it’s time to get in touch with our essence and activate our truth and light collectively to achieve a better world filled with peace, love, and unity.


I am originally from Pakistan. I was born in the beautiful port city called Karachi. As a human and a Muslim I wanted to be a part of this project because I felt like the least I could do is show my solidarity towards Palestinians. As a mother of two, the strength and resilience that Palestinian parents have shown is unimaginable. Every time I saw a mother crying over her babies passing away, I would wonder how I’d feel if I was in her place. Not a single day passed that I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep … it was too much and still is. We go on with our everyday lives, but the sadness stays. 

So expressing my feelings through this project was so close to my heart. I really appreciate every one of [the artists] being a part of it. It shows I am not alone in my feelings. Through all of this art I am hoping the norm will change for Palestinians. They have been dehumanized for more than 70 years now at this point!

“A Cry For Help”

As a human being, and particularly as a Jewish artist, I strongly believe it’s my responsibility to speak out against injustice, particularly when horrific violence is weaponized falsely in the name of Jewish safety. Art, for me, serves as a powerful tool of protest, capable of reaching a wide audience and raising awareness about critical issues. We continue to see over and over again mothers and fathers with their children, crying, starving, and pleading for help, while world leaders coldly turn away from their suffering, denying their humanity. My work focuses on themes of displacement, survival, and liberation, so this image was an instinctive response to shed light on the genocide in Gaza. In this artwork, two figures are depicted — one holding the other, with their hands raised in desperation and tears streaming down their faces. The larger figure wears a shirt adorned with green olive branches and the smaller figure wears one decorated with red poppies, both symbols of the Palestinian people, representing resistance, resilience, and remembrance. Through this artwork, I aim to amplify the voices of those silenced by oppression and advocate for a world where every life is valued and protected.

“Say The Children’s Names”

In coming together to mourn and pray for peace, we are modeling the behavior we wish to see in our leaders. With open hearts and a solid commitment toward peace, we build a healthy world for everyone. This quilt square is composed of 12 satin ribbons affixed to linen, each inscribed with the name and age of a child killed in Gaza in October 2023. These ribbons were inscribed on the occasion of a vigil that took place in Montreal, attended by friends and strangers of different backgrounds, Christian and Muslim Palestinians, Jews, and people of various other beliefs. The vigil event honored thousands of Palestinian children as well as the dozens of Israeli children killed on October 7. This quilt shows only Palestinian children’s names due to the staggering, disproportionately high, loss in Gaza. To this date, we count over 13,000 innocent children lost in Gaza. 

“Mothers and Martyrs”

In the tradition of quilting bees, I hosted quilt square painting and sewing sessions for this project. Through this process I got to hear about how Zionism has affected my peers in the arts and activist realms, as well as personal shifts that people have made since we are all watching live footage of this genocide on social media and, in my case, learning more each day about the over 75 years of occupation. Many of us are undoing false narratives of a misrepresented history. We see the world together differently, confronting the effects of imperialism in our daily lives and expressing our urgent need to shift culture and demand a sovereign Palestine. A permanent ceasefire will only be the beginning for a free Palestine within our lifetime!

My quilt square, “Mothers and Martyrs,” was inspired by the visceral sadness I have felt bearing witness to families being torn apart, whole blood lines destroyed, the direct targeting of children. We hear the children crying for their mothers, parents weeping while they hold their dead babies. For me, this quilt relies on the technology of care that is intrinsic to the history of quilting. It is a call for love to prevail.

“Слава Палестине! / Glory to Palestine!”

As a Russian Jewish designer, my journey into anti-Zionism was facilitated by studying the architectural landscape of Palestine. In every facet except by name, this architectural history mirrors the destructive settler colonialism taught in our renowned institutions. “Слава Палестине!” translates to “Glory to Palestine!” This phrase echoes the frequently spoken “слава Украине” (“Glory to Ukraine”), but solidarity with Palestine in our communities is rarely expressed loudly, due in part to propaganda and fear of their own oppressive governments. Although Russian speaking people make up a high percentage of Israeli citizens, there is no organized community of anti-Zionist Russian, Ukrainian, and other Eastern European Jews. This painting aims to call in our communities to show solidarity with the Palestinian liberation movement.

See the other artworks in the “Occupation to Liberation” quilt below.

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