Positive Resistance Community Quilt
In 2016 my son Joseph was killed by fentanyl poisoning. He was 25, father of 2 boys. It is a devastating loss for our family, multiplied by every other preventable death before and since, for every other family affected. The Positive Resistance Community Quilt is a project infused with positive energy to counter the negative rhetoric about drug users and build community resilience in the face of this epidemic.
Inspired by the Aids Memorial Quilt, this multi-generational, multi-cultural work is a way for people to take positive action, commemorate individuals, learn about harm reduction and express hope for the future through the painting of quilt squares.
Since spring of 2017, I have been inviting people of all ages to paint a square for the Positive Resistance Community Quilt. Workshop sessions have taken place in elementary, high schools and universities, at festivals, and public markets.
The Opioid crisis closely parallels the Aids epidemic in the 1980’s. Part of the quilt painting workshops entails a short presentation on art and social change and how the Aids memorial quilt was able to generate public awareness and support – becoming the largest piece of folk art in the world, nominated for a Nobel Peace prize.
The Positive Resistance Community Quilt was exhibited in Maple Ridge, BC at Council Chambers during Homelessness Action Week 2017 at the event Home is Where the HeArt Is. The work was also exhibited at the BC Housing Conference in November 2017, where it will be exhibited again in October 2018.