About Quilting Differences
Quilting Differences part of, The VI Colombian Student & Professional Conference: Construyendo País, Perspectives of Colombia's Leadership in Latin America will take place at Cornell University on April 13-15, 2012
Quilting Differences is a project that blends technology with art to create a forum for thoughtful discussion. This art ensemble empowers immigrant communities by giving them an opportunity to express their understanding of their cultural duality (about race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, economy, etc.) and interpreting how they may reshape their homeland from abroad through painting, shapes and color. In addition, this art display hopes to illustrate their dynamic integration and contributions as active members of the American society.
Selected participants are exposed to the same prompts to then express their understanding using an online portal. These impressions are combined in one large quilt of artwork and displayed publicly for the purpose of opening new discussions about diversity and building Social Capital.
This art exhibit promotes unity among cultures while also providing an inside look at how people's childhood memories can make a lasting impression on how they view the world. Through art we can build Social Capital, bridge cultural gaps and empower societies.
This project is a multicultural art initiative by Colombian-born artist Edwin Gil; the first project, which was developed for the city of Charlotte, NC, illustrates the different races, colors and creeds and connecting them through social media platforms like Skype, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Quilting Differences was originally submitted to the Crossroads Charlotte Foundation to be considered as an Achieving Community Today project. Gil's art venture got funded after hundreds of fans voted on the foundation's Facebook page. Furthermore, the installation will be exhibited at the 2012 Charlotte Film Festival.
The outcome was his visual interpretation of interviews conducted via Skype with people from China, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, France, Jordan, Kuwait, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain and the United States. Participants were asked to share one childhood memory specific to their culture, a brief bio and a favorite color in order to create the "quilt" pieces represented in this artwork.
Gil says that Quilting Differences is "an indicative of how cultures around the world can instantly be connected through the power of social media and demonstrates how we are all intertwined with each other." He also explains how interesting it is to see the similarities and importance that people place on a strong family support network, friends and community.
LATISM joined our conference to support the wide use of social media as a vehicle for change and connections. Moreover, they were thrilled by Gil's revolutionary use of social media as an instrument to create interactive art displays. After confirming Gil's participation on the conference, he expressed his joy via Twitter: "@Edwingil: What an amazing day and a great news today @LATISM @PorColombia." In kind, LATISM founder Ana Roca-Castro replied to his tweet: "@AnaRC: You deserve it. I love your idea and creative combination of art and social media."
LATISM, the largest organization for Latino and Latina engaged in social media, is a 501(c) 4 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the social, civic and economic status of the Latino community. LATISM also serves corporate brands, NGOs and government entities, with a broad range of services including research, event sponsorships, and leadership training. One of the most popular hashtags on Twitter, the #LATISM hashtag captures over 10 million impressions on a daily basis and enjoys the largest Latino network on Facebook.
The VI Colombian Student & Professional Conference: Construyendo País, Perspectives of Colombia's Leadership in Latin America will take place at Cornell University on April 13-15, 2012. The event is organized by PorColombia (PC), a nonprofit organization that connects students and professionals with Hispanic and Colombian backgrounds globally. The organization promotes networking and leadership initiatives aimed to develop professional and entrepreneurial advancement.
As this year's host, the PC @ Cornell chapter wishes to continue the tradition of bringing experts that will significantly contribute to the ongoing debate of our country's future and the state of the diaspora in North America. Topics range from economics, urban planning, architecture, engineering and professional development. The objective of this conference is to stimulate discussion on making our country a leader in Latin America while contributing to the progress of the American dream. Previous installments have been hosted by Yale University, The George Washington University, NYU and Baruch College.