When creating the Palm Leaf Manuscript tablet, (last Friday's post) I had to hunt for (relatively scarce) images. For memes, I sorted through a glut of available images. This is one of many working pages, where I see how various images fit into the composition. Here's the finished tablet:
The bright, colorful memes are packed in the center, surrounded by hate symbols stitched into the background cloth. Before we look at all the detail pictures, here's some of the many hate symbols in this piece. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has a website, The Hate Symbols Database, where you can investigate many more. https://www.adl.org/education/references/hate-symbols
1-11 is a numeric symbol used by the Aryan Knights, an Idaho-based prison gang, to identify themselves. Substituting letters for numbers, 1 and 11 mean A and K, i.e., Aryan Knights.
100% is shorthand for "100% white" among white supremacists.
The number 12 is a numeric symbol for Aryan Brotherhood groups (as are the numbers 1 and 2 separately)
13, 14, 18, 14 Words, 14/23, 1488, 21-2-12, 23/16, 9%........
There are a horrifyingly large number of ways to symbolize hate ....>sigh<...........OK, on to the details:
This whole series of tablets is about communication: how we communicate now, and in the past, how information is lost and shared. I think it's very important that the series include current mis-information (the Fox News Tablet) and the frequent underlying hateful messages in this Memes Tablet. I'm also nearly finished stitching one on disappearing climate data, and just printed one on the hate in social media. These elements are part of our communication just as much as medieval beastiaries and stained glass.
But I don't enjoy working on these negative tablets. Researching the different hate symbols and sewing racial stereotypes is depressing. And there's always the danger that someone will take a quick look and just see the hate symbols, the stereotypes, and not the disapproving context.
Which is why I'm really looking forward to going down to my basement studio and slowly painting dyes onto my Materia Medica Tablet (based on the earliest medical text). To drink tea, listen to classical music and happily color in the past. Here's a sneak peek at that tablet-to-be: