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Project type

Fiber Art Installation



I started work on this project after attending a youth march and rally in Glasgow, Scotland during the COP26 Global Climate Summit. I was among tens of thousands of protesters at George Square watching a string of climate activists take the stage before headliner Greta Thunberg. At one point, the stage was filled with people representing various indigenous communities in the Global South. They held a banner across the stage that read, “Join Indigenous Resistances.” That invitation stuck with me and is the motivation behind Baggage.

Why Coffee Bags?
I thought about my personal link to the people offering that invitation. Unfortunately, the strongest link is my own consumerism. Like many other North Americans, my strongest connection to places like Brazil and Columbia is their exports, including fossil fuels, coffee beans and bananas.
As a Vermonter I feel a connection to those communities through the coffee industry. I am a coffee consumer, yes. But also, the place where I live is rich in coffee roasters, who import green coffee beans and roast them here in the Green Mountain State. In some towns near my home, coffee is literally in the air, as the smell of roasting beans is both delightful and unavoidable.

Yet the coffee industry, like the oil industry, is rife with environmental problems. It is a common refrain that every cup of coffee leads to the destruction of a square inch of Earth’s rainforests. Not only are those rainforests home to most of the species on the planet, the rainforests are also our best natural defense against climate change.

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