"When an Amuzgo woman ties her loom to her waist she not only creates a fascinating textile of quality and beauty, but symbolically she recreates the world; writes the history of her ancestors and expresses the cosmology of her culture."
Within the textile community we are familiar with the ideas around collectives, workshops, and cooperatives. In a time of much divisiveness in our world, textiles often act as an important catalyst for bringing people together—for story-telling, educating, communicating, preserving, convening, innovating, nurturing.
While in Oaxaca this February, I had the pleasure of meeting Maddalena Forcella and Ana Paula Fuentes - two incredible textile artists and advocates that have spent the past few years aiding one of the main textile cooperatives in neighboring Guerrero - La Flor de Xochistlahuaca.
The 40 year old cooperative is made up of 28 female members, who educate boys and girls in the area on traditional textile practices, and who sell their woven goods - both of which promote the art of back-strap loom weaving, with special attention to its quality, tradition, cultural value, and design.
La Flor de Xochistlahuaca is currently in the last week of a crowd-funding campaign to transform the deteriorating building that houses such an important educational and economic program for the community. They aim to rid the space of toxic asbestos, improve both the dye and weaving facilities, and recreate the storefront.
Though there are many ways we can each explore taking action these days, how we spend our dollars is an important means for showing support for programs that foster community, educational opportunities, and creative outlets.
To learn more about the cooperative and their fundraising goals, including some rendering provided by ELISAVA, visit their Indiegogo.