Veiled Voices 2020 is an inclusive community embroidery project, which invites women across the UK to come together and explore perceptions of Hijab wearing in Britain, with the aim of creating understanding and friendship. Together we are creating a collaborative embroidery which will become a visual representation of the thoughts, beliefs and questions of the growing community of women who take part, despite their differences, or maybe because of them, to educate, learn, support and be a force for good. Once it is completed it will go on a tour to various locations and be used to generate yet more conversations and visually convey the potential of community, despite difference.
Over recent months, due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK, this notion of community has been challenged and physically meeting with women to embroider together has become impossible. Our response has been to move the developing conversation and embroidery away from workshops and bring it directly to women. Through the Remote Stitching Collective women can join the conversation from the safety and comfort of their own home, stitching their personal response and sending it to Veiled Voices headquarters for application to the collaborative work. Although a world away from the envisaged collaborative construction, the project has and continues to affect, change and broaden participants views offering opportunity for deeper reflection and transformation. Although we stich alone, we work towards a collaborative effort together, continuing the conversation and creating a visual record in solidarity, celebrating difference.