Tekah Tekah, 2022
Size: 45” x 35”
Fabric & cyanotype
Led by Afghan American artist Gazelle Samizay and Iranian artist Katayoun Bahrami, the Tekah Tekah Project (Dari: “Piece by Piece”) was a community textile art project designed to connect Afghan and Mensa artists with women from the Afghan refugee community to explore creative art forms such as embroidery, textile painting, cyanotypes, quilt-making, and visual storytelling.
Tekah Tekah was designed as a new way to ease some of the difficulties and obstacles felt throughout the pandemic such as isolation, loss of community, depression, and anxiety, through engagement in art making. Engagement in art activities has been shown to have a number of stabilizing effects on an individual: reducing feelings of distress; increasing self-reflection and self-awareness; and altering behavioral and thought patterns.
Quilt close ups
Back side of the quilt
During the program, 10 Afghan women came together for 2 hours on a monthly basis for 4 months to create art, learn new skills and forget about their worries. As a result of the monthly series the women have created a collaborative quilt. Each square of the quilt showcases what each woman values in her life.
Both individual and collaborative artwork were explored with the artists guiding individual art projects alongside a group quilt-making project created throughout the workshop series.
The events provided a safe and welcoming space for Afghan participants to connect with their new communities, and have their stories heard and connected with.
This program was made possible with the support from
California Arts Council