“It has been this administration’s rhetoric, attitudes and policy goals around immigration that have become one of my lines in the sand.” – Cindy Weil, Founder of Enactivist
'The Lovers & Fighters of America' features behind-the-scenes stories of inspirational people taking a stance against hate.
From pussy hat yarn to activist-art, meet the person who's uniting Americans one knitting stitch at a time. Like many, Cindy Weil from San Francisco was deeply concerned by Donald Trump’s 2016 election win. Since his inauguration, Weil, former founder of The Wallpaper Collective, has turned her concern into creative inspiration.
This led Weil to launch Enactivist, an organization that produces activism-driven art exhibits using knitted and crocheted pieces.
Weil says “Enactivist cultivates groups of creative people to join forces, talents, energy and, resources to originate and/or sponsor events and exhibitions that shine a light on vulnerable people, institutions and causes in an effort to foster dialogue or reshape the conversation.”
The organization is based on the philosophy of enactivism which Weil explains as “… the belief that we can design our own experience through our actions, that we are not passive receivers of input from the environment, but we are actors in our world. What we experience is shaped by how we act, and it is in this spirit that Enactivist the organization was born.”
Over the past year, Weil has hosted a salon-style lecture series including speakers such as: Clara Jeffrey, Editor in Chief of Mother Jones; Amy Pyle, Editor in Chief of CIR / Reveal News; Ben Cohen, Co-Founder of Ben and Jerry’s and advocate for the repeal of Citizens United; and Ben Tulchin, Chief National Pollster for Bernie Sanders.
Currently, the knitting enthusiast is working on a massive art initiative called The Immigrant Yarn Project, which is due to launch spring of 2019.
The Immigrant Yarn Project uses yarn work (knitted or crocheted) as their mode of expression and they rely on the contributions of people from across the U.S. According to Weil, there are many willing participants from across the country.
“I am gob-smacked by the enthusiasm, support and incredible creativity of our yarn makers,” she said. “Almost daily we receive beautiful creations from California to Maine, Nebraska to Florida and everywhere in between. Without them, this project would be nothing, and because of them, we are building the largest yarn-based work of art in the country.”
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Weil’s current art initiative, The Immigrant Yarn Project, is inspired by, and represents, the beauty and power of America’s immigrants. Weil was inspired by her own mother’s story. Weil told Ravishly: “My mother is an immigrant, and when she left rural Ireland (poor and uneducated) in 1957, it was a sh*thole. Under the current proposals, she would most certainly not be allowed in. Of course, like today’s dreamers, she worked incredibly hard and has led an amazing life full of love for her children and grandchildren.”
Weil, a mom to two teenage sons, wanted to honor her mom and others like her. She said: “So, in honor of my mom, I founded The Immigrant Yarn Project — a massive-scale work of public and democratic (made by the people) art honoring our immigrant past and diverse future.”
The Immigrant Yarn Project exhibit will be displayed at Fort Point National Historic Site in San Francisco in the spring of 2019 and will then go on tour. Weil described their collective artwork: “It is made of thousands of small squares and pieces knitted or crocheted by immigrants and their descendants representing their personal stories from across the country — compiled and sewn together in a single colossal display of yarn-based activist art — in service to our rich and magnificent immigrant tradition.”
The Immigrant Art Project goes beyond heartwarming. It brings together people from across the nation as they collectively unite to honor the rich history and diverse future of American immigrants.
This incredible art initiative reminds us all what it means to truly be American.
We are honored to feature Cindy Weil of Enactivist as a Lover & Fighter here at Ravishly, and we look forward to following along with her, and her artwork’s, story.
Lovers & Fighters say "hell no" to racism, sexism, bigotry, and xenophobia. These men, women, and children are saying "heck yes" to equality, human decency, and love. From bold acts of advocacy to simple moments of goodness, these everyday people remind us of what it truly means to be American.
These lovers and fighters are resistant in the face of intolerance. They are bold in the presence of judgment. They are determined to join forces (or to stand proudly alone) to ensure their message is heard: #LoveTrumpsHate