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Valientes Guerreras “Life Is Not Disposable!” / “¡La Vida No Es Desechable!”

As part of the Bring Your Own Project initiative, Fleisher partnered with Women Organized Against Rape and connected with Latina community members who had shared cultural and social roots as migrant women. Together as sisters, they took on the challenge of confronting the adversities in their lives that provoked fear and blocked them from freely expressing their emotions. Through hands-on art-making, a strong and supportive social fabric formed, built on inclusion, trust, and safety. Inspired, they formed their own artist collective Valientes Guerreras (Brave Warriors). Guided by artist facilitator Laura Deutch, the group learned to tell their story through collage, photography, printmaking sewing, cooking, and more. Leaving a legacy emerged as a key theme, and the idea to create a large curtain from recycled materials, including 60,000 soda tabs, was born. The piece weaves symbols and pieces from compañeras (partners) no longer physically here, but spiritually present. Each woman’s individual story is embedded in the piece, bound by strength, determination, and creative will.

The result is an alternative vision to the idea of a wall that keeps people out. Instead, Valientes Guerreras offers a porous curtain that transforms cosas tiradas (things thrown away) into something beautiful, demanding that we see things differently and shining light on the potential of what’s possible when we all work together in our community. The curtain will be on view at Cherry Street Pier, 121 N. Columbus Blvd., beginning May 3. Join us for a reception and to meet members of the collective from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Bring Your Own Project (BYOP) is a creative place-keeping endeavor that puts Fleisher Art Memorial’s spaces, resources, and experience into the hands of community members as a means to tell and preserve their story, identity, and traditions during a time of rapid transformation in South Philadelphia. BYOP explores cultural equity and shared power, as Fleisher seeks new strategies to collaborate with community partners through art and creativity. Together, the goal is to honor, preserve, and promote cultural life in South Philadelphia by dismantling the barriers that prevent many children and adults from engaging with arts institutions. Bring Your Own Project has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Additional support provided by the Samuel S. Fels Fund and Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania. Learn more about the initiative …