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Having Seen Through the Eyes of Another: Reflecting on "Mirrors of a Common Destiny" Art Exhibit



Patchwork Indy recently had the honor of hosting "Mirrors of a Common Destiny," an art exhibit that brought together the stories, cultures, and aspirations of the Congolese and Burmese people. This captivating exhibition was showcased at the Indianapolis Public Library from November 13 to December 29, 2023, and continued its journey at the Indianapolis Art Center from January 22 to March 10, 2024. 


The exhibit featured works by over thirty talented artists from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). "Mirrors of a Common Destiny" was a testament to the shared experiences of these communities, despite being continents apart.


Through art, the exhibition aimed to foster a deeper understanding and empathy towards the experiences of refugees, many of whom now call Indiana their home.


Two Continents Apart, One Shared History 


Both nations suffer from the legacies of colonial rule, with the Congo under Belgian control and Myanmar under the British. The colonial era was characterized by exploitation and the establishment of racial hierarchies that have had lasting impacts on both countries. 


Post-independence, both the DRC and Myanmar faced political turmoil and military regimes that led to prolonged periods of civil war. These conflicts have resulted in massive displacement, with millions of people forced to flee their homes. The art in "Mirrors of a Common Destiny" not only highlighted the beauty and diversity of Congolese and Burmese cultures but also served as a poignant reminder of the struggles faced by these communities. 


Building Bridges through Intercultural Awareness


"Mirrors of a Common Destiny" was more than just an art exhibit; it was a celebration of the human spirit and a call to action for empathy, understanding, and support for refugee communities. Through the power of art, we bridged the gap between different cultures and fostered a sense of community and hope for a better future.


The exhibition also provided a platform for artists who had to remain anonymous to avoid government persecution. Their works were a testament to the resilience and creativity of the human spirit in the face of adversity. 


We at Patchwork Indy are proud to have been a part of this incredible exhibition. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the artists, volunteers, and attendees who made "Mirrors of a Common Destiny" a success. Together, we celebrated the richness of Congolese and Burmese cultures and stood in solidarity with those seeking refuge from conflict. Let us continue to support and uplift each other, united in our common destiny. 

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