The UN Peace Rug 55736 Full view

The UN Peace Rug

Our fabulous volunteer Zelda – who does ESL teaching within a special group of our current community project (a Wood street area secret, hee hee hee!) – spotted this amazing creation and highlighted it to us this week.

This is called the UN Peace Rug. It features the national emblems of all the nations in the UN and used to hang at the UN in New York City. Apparently since a number of the countries represented no longer exist, it was determined it should be taken down….

I think its an amazing creation- but honestly, I also think its a bit un-human. I mean, nation-states get into conflicts so much bigger than everyday people, even if inspired by the needs and emotions of the people. This rug/quilt puts all the nations under a common umbrella (the UN), but it doesn’t connect the people of the nations, nor does it represent the common humanity of them…. it represents statehood. Maybe that’s why it had to come down?

Positively, tt reminded me of a number of inspiring conversations I had a number of years ago that contributed to the shaping of Significant Seams. In particular, Baroness Helena Kennedy, aka Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, aka the only ever female Chair of the British Council, told me one of the most moving gifts she ever received was a patchwork quilt she received as she stepped down from the British Council. A patch had been made by someone from every country they work with and then pieced together. At least that is how I remember it. To me, this is somehow more meaningful. Peace between nations  only seems possible if we can achieve peace between people.

So, I suppose you could say that Significant Seams aspires to inspire people to piece for peace. Sew hokey? Sew True!


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