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This sunshine beautiful crochet mandala comes to us from Anne Crochette @yarnbombingbruxelles who says it is “from Brussels with Love”. Anne shares on her Instagram that she’s an “urban dreamer/ planner … Decorating the city one yarnbomb at a time.” And with that in mind, I want to share a current collaborative crochet art project called Gender Tipi that you may wish to join in support of gender equality.

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From the Facebook page:

“The “Gender Tipi” is a symbolic representation highlighting the contributions and specific needs of women in relation to their habitat and urban development.

The created space along with its production, the type of material and the colours used, represents hospitality, mobility, tolerance and peace. This project is based on the tipis developed previously by the artist Ute Lennartz-Lembeck.”

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“This tipi will be made of 1200 knitted or crocheted squares measuring 15x15cm. The finished tipi will weigh 20 kilos; the structure will be composed of bamboo sticks.”

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The work will be exhibited:

“- Presentation of the tipi at the “Festival Expressions Urbaines” place du Luxembourg in front of the European Parliament in Ixelles (Brussels, Belgium), the 24th of September 2016, from 1PM to 8 PM.

– The Gender tipi, the tipi for the integration of the gender perspective at the Third Conference for the Habitat (Habitat III). We proposed to present this tipi at the Conference in Madrid, as their objective is the integration of the gender perspective and the equality between women and men. This conference will take place from the 5th to the 7th of October 2016.”

Additional exhibitions will follow.

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“Everyone is invited to participate in creating this collaborative work. The first step is knitting or crocheting the squares which can be done individually or in groups. They can be any colour you choose, but must be sent before the 31st of August 2016. The address to post is on the Facebook group page.”

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The posts for Mandalas for Marinke are for depression awareness and suicide prevention. Since Gender Tipi is about gender equality, I thought I’d highlight today some information about the impact of gender equality on suicide rates. In 2014, “Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that gender equality in developed countries leads to higher suicide rates,” a position which understandably received a lot of backlash; he was essentially saying that women can’t handle being equal and that it increases their suicidality. On the other side, a 2015 article posited that gender equality can decrease suicide rates in men, which is important since men have higher suicide rates than women. Societal pressures may aggravate men’s suicide rates; and therefore a case can be argued that men should be concerned about gender inequality. It’s a complex issue and we don’t have a lot of information to correlate suicide rates and gender equality … but I would personally argue that gender equality leads to healthier relationships and the possibility for more open communication among all people, which has the potential to increase important conversations to de-stigmatize depression and reduce suicide rates.

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This post is part of the Mandalas for Marinke remembrance project


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

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