Anjana Raza, Simorgh 1995
The idea of the Trinjan Quilt Project, for Pakistan, was drawn from a folktale from Punjab. According to the story a group of village women together had created a space for support, where they had shared ideas as well as work – weaving cloth, quilts and other items of household use. Threatened by the power in such a communion, the village men, one night, had set fire and razed to the ground the house as well as the women who had gathered in it to work. In December 1993, the Trinjan project was started with Anjana Raza as the coordinator to create a visual testimony to violence in the lives of Pakistani women. It was also conceived as an exercise in women’s creative expression.Over the span of a year, twenty-five panels were created by various groups of women, of whom the youngest child was five years old and the eldest woman was in her seventies. The quilt has traveled to schools, villages, poor urban settlements, affluent homes and a number of women’s conferences. The project is complete, in view of its design.But as Anjana Raza writes, ‘the weave is loose today…’ and the silence that shelters violations, makes them acceptable, invisible, is complex and enduring. An offshoot of the project, Anjana’s book raises important questions about violation. It is also her poetic tribute to the women who got together to sew up the scattered bits of their beings.