– Needles and activism

The knitters at Stitch for Senate are making helmet liners for every member of the U.S. senate in order to engage “with public officials about the war in Iraq.”

Helmets, stacked, by Stitch for Senate

"Helmets, stacked," by Stitch for Senate

This puts me in mind of Eyes Wide Open, an exhibit of boots and shoes, representing military men and women killed in the Iraq War, that we stumbled across once when we were visiting my in-laws in New Jersey.  We drove past a library and on its front lawn were rows of boots.  Plain, magnetic.

When artists and activists use the everyday, intimate, and individual to make a statement about the enormous — war, power, death — that brings the enormous in close.  I can imagine my head in the knit helmet, and my feet in the boots.  And perhaps by imagining myself inside, I can start to imagine the other.

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