I made this quilt patch using an old curtain and my mom’s leftover embroidery thread. The messenger bag was cut from a larger backpack that used to carry homework in a time before laptops.
I chose a pigeon and a messenger bag for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost because I admire the critical educational technology work of Audrey Watters and I wanted to pay homage to her. As many know, the pigeon is an emblem on her website Hack Education and is a nod to BF Skinner. Aesthetically, I’m completely in love with the beautifully drawn pigeon visual thinkery by Bryan Mathers.
In Audrey’s talk, the ReConFigures: Pigeons of Ed Tech she mentions Donna Haraway’s first chapter that dedicates itself to the trash dove/ rat with wings/ Columbidae: the pigeon.
I gave my embroidered pigeon a messenger bag because later in the same book, in chapter 6, Haraway reminds us:
“It matters what stories we tell in order to tell stories with. It matters what concepts we think to think other concepts with.” – Donna J. Haraway, Staying With the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (p. 118)
Haraway is talking about Ursula K. Le Guin’s essay, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction
“A leaf a gourd a shell a net a bag a sling a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.” – Ursula K. Le Guin (p.150)
Le Guin suggests humanity’s first tools were probably containers for carrying grains and babies even though our archaeological records point to less biodegradable and more violent objects like arrow heads or spears. Similar ideas were discussed on the #FemEdTech open space by Lorna Campbell and Martin Weller, for its connection to the invisibility of labour.
So I made a little zine as a container to hold these ideas to put into the messenger bag of the pigeon.
#FemEdTech is about reclaiming history and reframing dominant narratives to lift up the voices that have been silenced and tell the stories that can reshape our world.
This little 6″x6″ swatch of fabric is my small attempt to contribute to that.
Before I showed my mom the patch, she asked what kind of stitch I used and I said I didn’t know and that I just sewed how I felt. I went on to describe the symbolism of the pigeon and the bag, to which she said, “You probably used a slipstitch.”
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