Free Your Mind is a public textile art project aiming to collect, exhibit, embed and release personal narratives about Microaggressions in a multi-sensory installation facilitated by artist Theda Sandiford.
Microaggressions are subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — everyday interactions or behaviors that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages or assumptions toward historically marginalized groups.
The weight of these daily interactions have very real consequences… stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt and ultimately feelings of powerlessness and invisibility.
This project intends to expose these interactions and provide a release for the participating individuals.
Viewers are invited to write a story about a microaggression they have experienced onto a ribbon and tie this ribbon onto a net to release this story from their personal narrative. This is a story ribbon.
The installation evolves with each new story ribbon, keeping a public record of disempowering interactions, that can be exposed and talked about. Participants have the feeling of being seen and acknowledged while interacting with the work. In the installation space, a monotone computer voice recites messages previously recorded on story ribbons.
In 2021 Free Your Mind toured, collecting story ribbons in Bayonne NJ, Jersey City NJ, Sunsets @ The Standard, Miami Art Week. The installation is currently at Governors Island May through October 2022 and made stops in Indianapolis for Butter2. Free Your Mind is scheduled to travel to Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Newark and Michigan next year in 2023.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
My goal is to tour Free Your Mind collecting story ribbons in every state in the United States and ultimately build an interactive website documenting the project.
Interested individuals, institutions and businesses can can support the project by identifying locations to engage their local community to collect story ribbons.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to host Free Your Mind.
SHARE YOUR STORY VIRTUALLY
Share a story about a microaggression you have experienced. How did it make you feel? HERE
Anonymous story ribbons and the textile artwork containing them will be shared on Instagram and www.thedasandiford.com.
Follow @misstheda and @skygardengallery on Instagram to get updates on this project and see your story in the installation.
Follow @misstheda on Instagram to get updates on the project and see your story in the installation.