Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Democracy in Action

 With Congresswoman Nydia Valzquez. Vote Sashes, 2016
Democracy is more than a concept: it is an action. I made a version of this sash in 2008. I redesigned it this year. Here my friend Elizabeth and I wear them. Congresswoman Nydia Valazquez is between us and on my right is a new pal. 

Throughout the world and in the country where I live, the right to vote has been hard won. Less than 100 years ago women in the United States achieved suffrage. Saudi Arabian women voted in their first election in 2015. (A monarchy, voting in that nation occurs in municipal elections.) In nations where public voting takes place, citizenship and voting rights have been denied variously to the children of immigrants, to those who do not own land, to specific ethnic or religious groups, to native inhabitants by settlers/colonists who built structures of ownership and power which excluded them. All this you know.

It is a duty and a honorable responsibility to vote. It isn't about one election. Each choice [a vote is nothing more or less than a formalized choice] we make by casting a vote in an election sets the trajectory of history in motion. It connects us to the thread of humanity's desire to realize its greatest potential.

It's a sash. Letters appliqu├ęd onto denim. You'd never know it stands for so much conviction.

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