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Sassafras Tech Collective

The Monument Quilt

Published June 18, 2020

June 2020 marks 1 year since The Monument Quilt covered the National Mall. In 2019, we partnered with FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture to create an event app and living digital archive of the quilt.

FORCE is “a creative activist collaboration to upset the culture of rape and promote a culture of consent” (“About“, FORCE). They actively use art to facilitate conversations about sexual violence and consent and promote healing for survivors.

The Monument Quilt is a community-contributed art collection. The squares that make up the Monument Quilt are created by survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and by those who support survivors. These squares have been displayed across Mexico and the United States from 2013 to 2019. FORCE describes the Monument Quilt in this way:

“The Monument Quilt is [a] collection of 3,000 stories from survivors of rape and abuse. Written, stitched, and painted onto red fabric, our stories are displayed in city and town centers to create and demand public space to heal. The quilt builds a new culture where survivors are publicly supported, rather than publicly shamed.

FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture

Last year in late May and early June, the quilt squares were displayed all together for a huge art installation in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This is the last time the quilt squares were publicly displayed. The quilt squares spelled out the words “No Est├ís Solx” and “You Are Not Alone.”

The Monument Quilt App served as an event app, helping individuals locate specific art squares and find specific events during the 2019 event in the National Mall. For those that were not able to attend the event, they could still take part digitally.

Today the application serves as a living digital record of the quilt squares. Each time a user visits the site, they see a randomly generated list of squares. You can filter the squares by specific tags, such as race and LGBTQ. If you find a quilt square that resonates with you, you can find other squares that have the same tag by clicking or selecting a tag.

Most of our team contributed to the Monument Quilt App in some way. Two people on our team scoped out the project, figuring out a path forward that would meet the client’s budget and give them the features they were looking for. Two others built the website, communicating with FORCE staff as new features were being developed, ensuring the project was delivered on schedule. Another added accessibility improvements.

We are grateful to be able to help make important projects exist in the world. The Monument Quilt App was a joy to create. We are honored to have partnered with FORCE.

Feature image: Screen capture of some of the squares from The Monument Quilt. Visible squares include squares 954, 165, and 1213.