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A powerful hand-made tapestry highlighting corporate and human rights abuses around the world has been unveiled by Trócaire in the Ulster University in Belfast.
Created by 12 Trócaire volunteers from all over Ireland, the powerful piece of solidarity art will support the overseas aid agency’s Business and Human Rights campaign which calls for stronger regulation for companies responsible for human rights violations and environmental harms.
The “Threads for Corporate Justice” tapestry was developed by Trócaire under the guidance of textile artists Deborah Stockdale and Roberta Bacic from Conflict Textiles, which holds a large collection of international textiles reflecting conflict and human rights abuses.
Conflict Textiles facilitated four online workshops to guide the volunteers as they created their individual tapestry panels with themes including fast fashion, violent evictions, the impact of tobacco farming, pollution of rivers, and brave activists who struggle for justice despite facing grave danger. The panels, created from scrap and sustainable materials, were then brought together into one large textile.
Teresa Hill from Belfast, who has been a Trócaire volunteer for ten years, used the theme of fast fashion in her tapestry panel.
“Fast fashion is impacting on the world and the environment in so many negative ways. It isn’t just about the terrible conditions and low wages for people working in fast fashion factories, it goes beyond that. There is the pollution caused by the factories, the impact of shipping fast fashion around the world, and then the dumping of clothing in landfill.”
“This is an issue I feel passionately about and I really enjoyed the challenge of being creative and putting together my panel using scrap material and ribbons I had at home.”
Jeannie McCann, Trócaire’s Advocacy and Campaigns Officer in Northern Ireland, said: “Art can be a powerful tool to help create positive social change. It can shine a light on injustice or help us imagine a better world. This exciting project aims to do just that. Through their handy work the volunteers are standing in solidarity with impacted communities around the world.”
Trócaire is part of a global campaign which calls for stronger corporate regulation. This includes urging Ireland and the UK to introduce a new law to hold Irish/UK companies to account for harming people and the planet, a vital step in ending corporate abuse.
The textile is on exhibition until Monday the 17th of October 2022 in the Birley Building in Ulster University as part of the ‘One World Festival’ organised by the Coalition of Aid and Development Agencies (CADA) NI.
It will be brought to various locations around Ireland to encourage action to help ensure people and the planet are prioritised over profit.
The themes of the 12 panels that make up the Tapestry