The Monument Quilt, a project of Baltimore-based survivor collective FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, is a collection of over 3,000 stories created by survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence and our allies, written, painted, and stitched onto red fabric. In the project’s 6 active years, our stories literally blanketed highly public, outdoor places to create and demand space to heal, and resist a singular narrative about sexual violence. A photograph of each quilt is archived at app.themonumentquilt.org.
The Monument Quilt is the first memorial to survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence. It began in 2013, and over 6 years, the Quilt was displayed 50 times in 33 cities across the US and in Mexico, including at the US-Mexico border. FORCE partnered with over 100 organizations around the world over the course of the project. Members of the staff collective shaped the vision of the Quilt, guided by our Leadership Team. At the time of the culminating display, the staff collective included Charnell Covert, E Cadoux, Mora Fernández, Hannah Brancato, and Shanti Flagg. Former staff collective members include Saida Agostini, Robin Marquis and Rebecca Nagle. FORCE was co-founded by Hannah Brancato and Rebecca Nagle in 2010. After 6 years of organizing, in the 50th and final display in 2019, the Monument Quilt stretched across the National Mall to spell out You Are Not Alone and No Estás Solx in a 3-day, 24-hour healing festival. Over 50,000 people saw the Monument Quilt in person, and hundreds of thousands engaged online. This was the only time that the quilt was displayed in its entirety. Images from the final display are available here.
The culminating display was covered by Ms Magazine, Voice of America, the Marshall Project, the Washington Post, WUSA, Huffington Post, and more. The project previously received national coverage through MSNBC and Refinery 29, including of our art actions at Standing Rock and in solidarity with Marissa Alexander. We continue to receive local coverage during Monument Quilt workshops and events organized by our partners, such as this article in the Alton Telegraph. Video from our 2014 tour can be seen here, and footage from our hometown, Baltimore, is here.
The Monument Quilt had an international impact. In 2014, FORCE made a partnership with La Casa Mandarina AC (LCM), an itinerant and independent non-profit organization, based in Mexico City, devoted to ending sexual violence through ARTivism. The Monument Quilt became international thanks to LCM who partnered with local organizations in Mexico and around the world. LCM organized 3 displays in Mexico City and co-organized the Mexico-US border display in Ciudad Juárez and El Paso. LCM facilitated more than 20 lectures and 50 workshops in 8 countries and collected quilts from Mexico, Palestine, Bangladesh, India, Honduras, Japan, South Africa, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Thailand, Germany, Argentina, Paraguay, Serbia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, Philippines, Canada + Zimbabwe. In 2016, the Mexico City Human Rights Commission awarded LCM for their work on prevention of sexual violence through the Monument Quilt.
Following the 50 and final display, FORCE is now archiving the Monument Quilt, placing each of the 750 blocks in permanent collections around the world, so that these urgent stories from survivors and our allies can continue to be heard and so that the history and legacy of our efforts can be preserved. FORCE seeks to find a home for every single piece of the Monument Quilt, spreading its expressive power. The thousands of survivors who told their stories in the more than 3000 quilts, did so between 2013-2019 — during the MeToo era — illustrating the role of art in creating this dramatic shift in consciousness.
From 2013-2019, the Monument Quilt was displayed 50 times in 33 different cities across the US and in Mexico. Here are images of some of those displays. We partnered with over 100 organizations across the US and in Mexico, to organize 50 Quilt displays in 33 different cities. Cities include, in order from most recent: Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Madison, NJ; Houston, TX; Athens, OH; Fort Belvoir, VA; Towson, MD; Mexico City, Mexico; San Francisco, CA; El Paso, TX; Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; Santa Barbara, CA; Valley Center, CA; Tempe, AZ; Tulsa, OK; Fort Hood, TX; Annapolis, MD; Fort Meade, MD; Washington, DC; Nashville, TN; Jacksonville, FL; Oklahoma City, OK; Middleton, CT; Queens, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Durham, NC; Oshkosh, WI; Chicago, IL; White River, SD; Quapaw, OK; Des Moines, IA; Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; Arden, NC.
Partner organizations who organized these displays include:
- Drew University Title IX Office
- JHU Center for Health and Wellness, SARU, LGBTQ Life at JHU, and Women and Gender Resources
- University of Maryland Baltimore County Women’s Center
- Rothko Chapel
- Ohio University Women’s Center, Ohio University Multicultural Center, Ohio University LGBT Center and many more departments
- Rita Church Community Center
- Fort Belvoir SHARP Resource Center and AFSC SHARP
- Case Western University
- Towson University Center for Student Diversity
- San Francisco City College Women’s Studies/Project SURVIVE, Physical Education Department and Student Health Services
- La Casa Mandarina AC
- Bordamos Por la Paz, UTEP – Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Center Against Sexual and Family Violence; Violence Intervention Program, Inc., Mujeres en Movimiento, Make the Road NY, Feminismo Consciente and Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ)
- Queens Museum, Immigrant Movement International
- La Jolla Band, San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians
- Southwest Indigenous Women’s Coalition, American Indian Graduate Student Association, Cocopah Tribe, and Arizona State University
- Muscogee (Creek) Nation Family Violence Prevention
- Take Back the Night University of California Santa Barbara
- Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia (ENAH) National School of Anthropology and History
- Hospital Psiquiátrico Infantil Juan N. Navarro (Children’s Psychiatric Hospital Dr. Juan N. Navarro)
- The Armed Forces’ Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program
- Colgate University
- NMAI – National Museum of the American Indian
- Fort Meade SHARPP Program
- Station North Arts and Entertainment, Inc, Motor House, Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation, Strong CityBaltimore, TurnAround, Inc, Maryland Institute College of Art, University of Baltimore, AAUW Younger Women’s Task Force, Hollaback! Baltimore, Free State Legal, the Family Arts Museum, and Baltimore Collegetown Network, SART Baltimore Community Partners, Baltimore City Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice, American Visionary Art Museum, Phynyx Ministries, Salem Lutheran, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB)
- National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Indian Law Resource Center
- TN Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence and Nashville Sexual Assault Center
- Escuela Primaria Instituto Siglo XXI (Elementary School Institue Century XXI)
- Oklahoma Native Alliance Against Violence
- Free Marissa Now
- Students at Wesleyan University and Wesleyan Feminist Underground
- Carnegie Mellon University Student Life Office, Hollaback! Pittsburg, New Voices Pittsburg, National Sexual Assault Conference, National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Stop Sexual Assault in the Military, United Steelworkers Women of Steel, Wheeling Vet Center and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Pittsburgh Center of Race & Gender Equity
- Rape Victims Advocates, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Project NIA, Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Young Girls & Young Women, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Project&, Jane M. Saks, Chicago Women’s Health Center, Affinity Community Health Services, R.A.C.E.S
- North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Orange County Rape Crisis Center (OCRCC), Shaw University Counseling Center, Kiran Inc., REACH of Macon County, Durham Crisis Response Center, North Carolina Central University Women’s Center and Johnson C. Smith University
- University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Women’s Center and REACH Counseling
- White Buffalo Calf Women Society, Tokala Inajinyo Suicide Prevention Mentoring Program, Defending Childhood Initiative (DCI), Domestic Violence Program Initiative, Rosebud Sioux Tribe
- LEAD Agency and Quapaw’s Tribe Domestic Violence Program
- Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa, Latinas Unidas por un Nuevo Amanecer (LUNA), Deaf Iowans Against Abuse (DIAA), Meskwaki, WOCAN (Women of Color Advisory Network) is part of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, People of Color Queer Allies Trans, Nisaa African Women’s Project
- Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR) and LSU Women’s Center
- Crisis Center, INC Birmingham
- Alternate Roots
- Spiritual Empowerment Center, Baltimore