Subversive Stitches Across Time: the Suffragette Movement, Labor Activism and Contemporary Social Change in the Work of Carole Frances Lung
Conference paper
This paper explores seminal moments in the history of what Roszika Parker and Jennifer Harris term the “subversive stitch”, understood here as the mobilization of traditional, domestic needlework skills as part of collective, political organizing by women. It connects these landmark developments in textile history to contemporary textile actions by Los Angeles based artist Carole Frances Lung. Drawing on histories of collective sewing and organizing in the Suffragette and labor movements, Lung provides viewers with the skills required to mend and make garments rather than consuming and discarding mass-produced clothing. In so doing, Lung’s projects connect back to these key moments in history, when sewing was mobilized to produce democratic, economic, and social improvements in women’s lives.

Presented at the Textile Society of America’s 14th Biennial Symposium, New Directions: Examining the Past, Creating the Future, Los Angeles, 2014.
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