When LAMALVE started it was clear for us that the cooperation with Mexico was our main objective. However, things became complicated although female artwork cooperatives were in the Net and women initiatives were going on.
Unfortunately September 2017 became the month of the earthquakes in Mexico, the 1st on the 7th, another one on the 19th and 17 more until the 24th all of them above grade 4 on Richter Scale: 3 at Guerrero, 5 at Chiapas, 7 at Oaxaca, 1 at Morelos. Around 5,000 aftershocks took place during the next few weeks, followed by storms and tsunamis on the coast. Aftershocks were especially destructive at rural zones such as Chiapas and Oaxaca, sweeping away almost every house and building. The majority of the female artisans belong to these provinces.
Such terrible moments were lived through phone calls and WhatsApp’s without clear news. The chaos was installed and the Mexican Government was overcome by the situation… Mexican people took a few time to recover from the shock and start to remove rubble, organizing community kitchens and centres, collecting the most necessary articles and organizing teams, formed by people who literally stopped their type of life, in order to take help to the affected areas. And Areli joined on of these teams which took her to Istmo de Oaxaca!
We live in Germany and Areli, one of us, lives in Oaxaca, one of the most important provinces as far as female artwork is concerned, where she already had enough in living the day-by-day as a Mexican woman and mother. Mexico is not an easy country due to the climate of insecurity especially addressed to women.
Through Areli and her news on the chaotic situation we have had no doubt that the only reasonable thing to do was to buy whatever would be on sale. And that’s what Areli and ourselves did with the objective of helping and do something with those articles, later on. LAMALVE was already based on a clear philosophic concept and a project addressed to generate a change without fighting to overflow the system.
And that “later on” moment arrived… We were literally “saved” by Itzel, a woman who felt very touched by the project and decided to dedicate her time to the difficult task of transforming something into the full and different opposite.
And the “Terremotas” is the result in the form of unique cushions weaved and embroidered manually. Each one was made of “huipiles” (traditional dresses) done by the female artisans of the area. Such cushions may be considered as survivors of those catastrophic days and are the first production of “Hijas del Mar” (sea daughters), as strong as the earthquakes shaking the lands sheltering them.
This is the way we planted our first seed, the first Mauve. Still convinced that the union amongst these women will mean a difference, a new project taking place this year is on the way. We decided that… yes, we can!