Friday, July 17, 2009

Common Threads - Boston

The month of June was an exciting one for Project FOCUS in Boston. Thanks to the fabulousness of Annie Newbold and David Craft at Gallery 263 ( we were able to open a show featuring our beautiful HIV/AIDS quilts from Lyantonde, Uganda. These quilts represent a culmination of our “Common Threads” project, which focused on AIDS education and dialoguing through group art-making. The opening of Common Threads on Thursday June 11th was attended by about 30-40 people. The intimacy of the gallery space provided opportunity for informal conversations/discussions about our work and I was able to form many positive relationships. The night ended with an audiovisual slideshow of images from Uganda and a brief explanation of why we chose to focus on one region (Lyantonde District).

A week later, on Saturday June 20th, I was joined by my cohorts Danny Yang and Gloria Bernard to host a “Meet Project Focus” event. Danny presented an articulate and professional powerpoint about the origins of Project Focus and the details of our upcoming project to create a solar-powered internet cafĂ© in Lyantonde. Danny’s words prompted a really thoughtful question and answer session afterwards and I was so grateful to have the support of my fellow PF friends!

During the process of planning, organizing and implementing the various events for this show, my mind was drawn again and again to the memories of my time spent in Uganda. Missing the smiles of familiar faces, the sights and sounds and cultural eccentricities I had come to love and even adopt as my own. I thought of my personal friendships from my time in Lyantonde and I hope I was able to somehow portray the reality and beauty of these people’s lives through this show.
- Madelene

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