We are rarely taught our history. Liberation struggles are white-washed. Direct action is overlooked. Women and gender non-conforming people are erased from our stories. When we don’t learn from the generations before us, we are forced to start over from zero. That’s partially the point. We can’t organize effectively when we don’t learn from past movements.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion activists and politicians are counting on the fact that we won’t be able to organize against their gerrymandering and court-packing. It is up to us to learn from past activists and build community to fight for our rights.
I embroider portraits of people we should be learning about and from. I use single-color line work and neutral backgrounds to focus the viewer’s gaze directly into their faces.
In this piece, you’ll see Ida B. Wells, Lucy Parsons, Mary Ware Dennett, Margaret Sanger, Pat Maginnis, Yuri Kochiyama, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, Sylvia Rivera, and bell hooks.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Mercedes Bernard is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Chicago. She enjoys using mediums that have typically been reserved for domestic settings. In her art, she plays with textures you can feel and forms you can hold. She is currently working as a software engineer.
© Mercedes Bernard