THE QUILTED CONSCIENCE is a 60-minute film showing the beautiful and important story of a group of sixteen Sudanese-American girls – refugees from the genocide in their troubled homeland – who are thrust into a new life in the town of Grand Island, Nebraska; of a quilter’s guild of local white women, some of whom have had little previous contact with ethnic or racial minorities; and of a famed African-American quilt-maker who travels a thousand miles to help “stitch” the two groups together by means of a “culture-blend” fabric-art project: the making of a beautiful wall-size mural, composed of dozens of dramatic story-panels created by the Sudanese girls with the help of the local women.
The subjects of the students’ quilt panels are Dreams & Memories – showing the girls’ memories of Africa and their dreams of America. The Memories are cultural memories, answering the question “What is unique in who I am and in where I come from?” These images honor the traditions and heritage of the students’ families and communities back in Sudan, showing what is best and most special to them in their African pasts. The Dreams are personal dreams of each student – some of them answering the question “Who and what do I want to be in life?” These images show the wonderful things that the girls will do in their American futures, with some students also creating “dream images” that offer a glimpse into their inner worlds and night-dreams, with subject matter ranging from hopes of being nurses and doctors to careers as lawyers or judges – and, in one impressive case, even of becoming a professional female football player.
A project of Grand Island, Nebraska native John Sorensen, The Abbott Sisters Living Legacy and The Grace Abbott School of Social Work at the University of Nebraska.