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Secrets Are Reparations For Microaggressions is a quilt of secrets shared between friends, Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet and Sanaa Humayun. Each patch contains a story swapped with gentle trust, sewn into the fabric of the quilt as a way of protecting, comforting, and making room for the unapologetic gossip that keeps us safe.

We met in the summer of 2020, and nurtured our closeness by exchanging stories of microaggressions we experienced in our time in predominantly white art spaces. We built a friendship in swapping secrets. By trading secrets and sharing stories, we found ways to support each other. We learned who to trust and who to be wary around. We gave each other a gentle place to rest.

Since January 2021, we have been making patches for each other. They were a way for us to acknowledge the anger in our bellies, the laughter shared over outrageous stories, and the soft sweet support and playfulness that comes from holding things for each other so we don’t spread ourselves too thin. Each patch holds a secret we’ve shared with each other. They’ve been sewn into our quilt, where they can stay secret.

This work was shown at the Khyber Centre for the Arts in 2021. Photos by Veronica Gutierrez.

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