Ancestral Cloth: Textiles and Racism Reading Group

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Date(s) - 25/10/2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Part of the Past Threads to Present Place research project

Facilitators: Jen Hiebert and Sharon Kallis

Tuesdays 7:00 – 8:30 pm PST

7 Sessions: October 25, November 8, 29, December 13, January 10, 31, February 7

Virtual (Zoom)

Working from the book Worn: a People’s History of Clothing by Sofi Thanhauser, Jen Hiebert and Sharon Kallis will co-facilitate a small cohort in a virtual conversation circle. Mending, hand work, mugs of tea and note taking are encouraged.

How do we talk about racism inherent in textiles?

Through an honest and non-academic approach to discussion, we will be examining how and where racism shows up in contemporary textiles and clothing and do some unpacking of the history of textiles as a driver for colonization. 

Participants can expect to learn about the global history of textiles and cloth while having a conversation space with fellow cohort members interested in better understanding textiles, racism, and how we got to now.

A supportive time for personal reflection and growth, acknowledging that we are each at a different place of understanding our own relationship to racism, and how we think about clothing ourselves. 

We will begin with setting intentions as a group and how to support ourselves/each other through this journey together. Then for each session we’ll discuss a section of the book moving through linen, cotton, silk, synthetics, wool and finally personal reflections and setting intentions to go forward. 

Two weeks between sessions allows space for reading, and we will pre-select pages of importance for each section to focus on for those unable to commit to reading the full book, though that is highly recommended! Expect 30-60 pages of reading for every two weeks with a minimum 10-20 page highlight.

Leading from a place of learning:

We acknowledge that this work is ongoing, and as leaders in our community we are open to being vulnerable, trying new things, knowing we won’t get it perfect – but not letting that stop us from trying to get to ‘good’. 

As each step of learning begins to feel solid and comfortable, new places open up where we are invited to go deeper. Here we can more meaningfully understand where we each stand: who we are, our place in the global community now, and as settler-descendant individuals, how we can practice and grow to be good ancestors.

Accessing the book Worn:

For those who live in Vancouver, EartHand is gathering orders for a group discount – please see this blog post for details.

If you live outside of Vancouver consider accessing the book from your library or local bookstore.

This program is made possible at reduced-cost, sliding-scale rates thanks to support from BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver Cultural Services and Vancouver Park Board as a part of the research project: Braiding Past Threads to Present Place.

Sliding scale ticket costs*:

$195 – Community Patron (CP)

$165 – Volunteer Supported (VS)

$135 – Sponsored Placement (SP)

*not including book

Subsidized spaces in this program are available thanks to the generous donations of EartHand community members. For more information about our pricing scale please see our EartHand Fee Structure page.



Bookings are closed for this event.