In spring 2023, Artten Gallery launched an international Open Call titled “Suzani For Peace.” Women from various countries, including Turkey, Belarus, Brazil, Germany, and the USA, responded by submitting handmade granny squares. Ludmila Christeseva, the creative director of the initiative, administrated daily submissions, and her vision to amplify women’s voices for peace was on the verge of realization, culminating in a distinctive piece of art. The initiative was supported by a board of international colleagues, including Konca Yumlu from Turkey, Irina Shalimova from Ukraine, and Emma Bernhard from France.

Crocheted Granny Squares.
Crocheted Granny Squares submitted by international participants.

The Human Rights Foundation in New York accepted Ludmila Christeseva’s exhibition proposal, “Women Weave for Peace,” incorporating a potent blend of handmade granny squares and recycled textiles sourced from Norwegian homes as materials for the workshop. On June 15th, during the XVth Oslo Freedom Conference 2023, Christeseva actively involved thousands of participants in a collective weaving effort, resulting in the creation of a collaborative textile artwork named “Solidarity.” This piece served as a powerful medium to convey civilians’ hopes and resilience.

Joined by a team of Ukrainian refugee mothers and their teenage sons, Christeseva illuminated the profound trauma experienced by forcibly displaced civilians, emphasizing the importance of hearing their stories.

On September 16th, Ludmila Christeseva received an invitation from UN curator Lisa Russel to participate in the “We, the Artists! March.” Collaborating with New York-based artists, Ludmila Christeseva showcased the “Solidarity” artwork in the USA, preceding the UN General Assembly in 2023 and the globally celebrated International Day of Peace on September 21st.

Ludmila Christeseva and Lisa Russel, NYC, 2023-09-16
Ludmila Christeseva and Lisa Russell, NYC, 2023-09-16

Ludmila Christeseva deeply values the creative support she received from a global community of women dedicated to fostering crafts for the promotion of peace, democracy, and justice. In the fall of 2023, she initiated a series of craft workshops aimed at bringing together individuals without families to celebrate Christmas and its advent. Both Swedish and Ukrainian women enthusiastically joined the initiative, contributing to the creation of unique decorations crafted from granny squares. Ludmila Christeseva has actively engaged with Stockholms Stad and other cultural entities, collaborating on the final presentation “Hantverk i Julens Anda” for the public, featuring lights and music in central Stockholm. This event offers a wonderful opportunity for everyone to relish the moments of creativity and community.

Fashion collection for peace

Crafts that unite, heal and last

“Suzani for Peace” is designed by women, for women, and for the rest of the world. The aim is to amplify women’s voices in a powerful chorus, signifying the journey women can accomplish together. The unifying power of crafts dismantles the barriers to talent, creativity, and femininity that women face in different cultural contexts. Artten Gallery facilitates collaborations across borders and restrictions, serving as a meeting point for genuine support and change in the “modern” world.

Project idea: L.Christeseva ART