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Quilts tell stories of migrants’ deaths along US-Mexico border in traveling exhibit

An Arizona quiltmaker is exploring one of the most contentious issues in the U.S. today: immigration.

Her traveling exhibition, “Beyond the Border Wall: The Migrant Quilt Project,” will open next week in Grand Haven’s Loutit District Library. 

Credit Courtesy of Migrant Quilt Project
Courtesy of Migrant Quilt Project
The 2004-2005 quilt marks the highest number of recorded migrant deaths in the Tucson Sector.

Jody Ipsen, founder of the Migrant Quilt Project, joined Stateside to discuss how the art of quiltmaking can bring awareness to the Mexican and Central American migrants who have died in the Tucson Sector (the border region between New Mexico and Yuma) as they tried to cross into the United States. 

Ipsen said quilts have been used to address issues of social justice many times over the years — from the women’s suffrage movement to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Ipsen hopes that this new exhibit will inspire a new kind of dialogue — one that is based on compassion for those at the center of the immigration debate. 

Listen above for the full conversation.

“Beyond the Border Wall: The Migrant Quilt Project,” will  run from August 6 - September 4 at the Loutit District Library in Grand Haven, MI. A public event with Ipsen and quiltmaker Mary Vaneecke will take place on August 15th. 

This post was written by Stateside production assistant Gabrielle Horton.

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