Traveling Postcards

Traveling Postcards

Museum Pick: February 23 - March 9, 2009

"Traveling Postcards" enables faraway women to share their stories and empower each other across borders and in spite of distance and difference. I organize postcard-making events where women create small works of art that represent a moment in their life that they wish to share with another woman. Each card is the size of a postcard and can include bits of memories, objects and hand-written stories.

All cards are given away. They travel from one country to another, crossing borders unobstructed and uncensored. I imagine cards from mothers whose children are at war reaching mothers of the soldiers they are fighting. I imagine women who have been living in shelters reaching out and sharing their stories with women who want to know what they can do to stop domestic violence. I believe that these postcards can be our opportunity to creatively voice and record our collective insights as women.

A postcard made by Janis

Communication is a road often paved with misinterpretations, assumptions and conflicts of interest. Women have traditionally been marginalized in their communities and their lessons have often been misrepresented or even ignored. In our patriarchal societies, women are taught that their voices must be controlled and their lives dedicated to serving the needs of others. Often, fear has been used as a means of control, and as a result, open communication among women has been made difficult. But “Traveling Postcards” is a way for women to be heard and their wisdom, buried in their hearts, made available to others.



A postcard made by Karin

Communication across cultures is even more difficult. In addition to language, cultural and geographic barriers, many women find it difficult to believe that women living on the other corner of the world are interested in communicating with them. Making and sharing art can transcend those barriers.

“Traveling Postcards” will teach us that there are women out there who are struggling with some of the same issues that we are, but who are, at the same time, willing to care and support us. It will teach us that our personal stories matter and that sharing them can change lives. It will encourage women around the world to tell their stories and to preserve their family legacies. .


A postcard made by Linda

To help women express themselves feely, we must first help them heal their old wounds. Working within a group setting that is supportive and non-competitive towards a mutual goal can be emotionally restorative. 

Family photographs are also a way to incorporate the past into the present. Many women will bring a picture of an ancestor who is no longer living but who has meant a lot to them. By merging an old photograph with a new photograph of themselves, women are given an opportunity to heal.


A postcard made by Megan

Women like to pay tribute to the relationships in their lives. By using their pictures in a creative way, they adorn and nurture themselves. They place objects such as feathers, beads, paint, buttons, glue and paper on and around their pictures with the knowledge that their images will be sent to another woman who will be inspired by what she sees. Paying creative attention to themselves and those they cherish creates a mindfulness that opens the door for more intimate conversation. Wisdom flows more freely as memories become unlocked.

I’ve held several events already and have seen that women are very proud of their creations. Often there is a reluctance to leave their postcards behind. By photographing or scanning each card that is made and giving women a memory of their experience, initial attachment is replaced by self-affirmation and pride. Within the “Traveling Postcards” experience, everyone is given an opportunity to express themselves and is surprised to see that they actually can.

For more information visit my blog or the project's Web site

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