Protest Banner Lending Library

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$5,319 raised of $5,000 goal
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Funded on April 03, 2017
    • 106% contributed

This is an urgent moment of crisis in our country. Protests are erupting every day across the United States against hatred, bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, and in favor of human rights. Last year, as an act of creative resistance and solidarity, I began making protest banners and conducting workshops to teach others how to make their own. As the urgency has become greater and the impact on our emerging activist community has grown stronger, I am now working to develop The Protest Banner Lending Library.  With this project, I will be able to expand the production and distribution of protest banners bearing slogans relevant to this moment, while also helping to build collective agency around this time in our history. With funds toward this campaign, I will be able to offer more protest banner making workshops for the public and for non-citizens, and create a physical Protest Banner Lending Library where the public is welcome to check out and borrow protest banners for use. 

About This Project

I was devastated by the 2016 election, as many were. I needed a platform to shout. So I started to make protest banners in my apartment. I then started to invite friends over to make banners with me because I needed to feel a sense of community. Then I quickly started to do workshops for the public at the Comfort Station in Logan Square, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and the Smart Museum. In just a few weeks, we had produced more than 30 banners that were being worn, flown, or raised high in marches and protests locally and nationally.

Making these banners has become a way for me to resist what is happening in the United States and in the world. It is a way to put my voice out there and not stay silent. I cannot be silent. However, as an immigrant and a new mother, I cannot always go to protests. And in these workshops I realized that there were many people who came because they needed to find a way to participate, resist, and speak up but also had a similar predicament because they too were mothers, or non citizens, or undocumented - people who would be at great risk if caught and arrested. My protest banner making workshops have become a place where people come together in solidarity through making. And making is, in and of itself, a form of resistance.

The Protest Banner Lending Library is a space for people to gain skills to learn to make their own banners. It’s a communal sewing space where we support each other’s voices, and a place where people can check out handmade banners to use in protests.

The words and these banners have a growing history. They are made by someone, used in a protest, returned to the library, and then taken by someone else to a different protest. The banners carry the histories of the hands that hold them and the places where they have  travelled.

By supporting this project, you are contributing to creating collective visual resistance.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Personal thank you on social media ($25.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Above, plus a hand-signed thank you on a "Protest Banner Lending Library" postcard ($50.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    All of the above, plus an 8" x 10" screenprint of “They Tried To Bury Us. They Didn’t Know We Were Seeds” banner made by WALLS DIVIDE PRESS ($80.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    All of the above, plus a “Protest Pack” with buttons and stickers by WALLS DIVIDE PRESS, and a hand embroidered “NO” bandana ($190.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    A “Protest Pack’ plus a banner that will be made for the library with a slogan/text of your choice ($300.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000
    A “Protest Pack” plus a banner made especially for you with a slogan/text of your choice ($500.00 is tax deductible.)

Aram Han Sifuentes

Stan Lipkin & Evelyn Appell Lipkin Awardee

Aram Han Sifuentes (she/they) is a fiber and social practice artist, writer, and educator who works to claim spaces for immigrant and disenfranchised communities. Her work often revolves around skill sharing, specifically sewing techniques, to create multiethnic and intergenerational sewing …

View Aram Han Sifuentes's profile
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3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council