Inspired by Carol’s insight into the need for empathy and connection during Covid-19, we partnered with the women from Mapula Embroideries in the Winterveld to exchange rural womens’ lived experiences as text, photos and film via Whatsapp. These digital exchanges from different geographies led to 8 beautiful pairs of tapestries, each an interpretation of another woman’s experience. Our first exchange between Rosina Maepa and Veronica Betani was turned into a film for an online exhibition, Lessons from Lockdown, for Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck University of London, under the directorship of Professor Annie E. Coombes.

Link to film: ‘I see you Vero, I see you Rosina: finding our common threads’ by Veronica Betani and Rosina Maepa:

The exchanges led to a tour a year later, of eight women from Mapula and their respective Keiskamma partners in Gqeberha, where we were hosted for workshops and an exhibition by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, before all travelling to Hamburg. 16 new panels have emerged through this complex and lasting engagement that has first and foremostly cemented solidarity and friendships. The panels await integration into a new major work that will be a visual archive of rural womens’ experiences, told through 16 unique life journeys and two embroidery projects’ very different creative approaches and collective memories.