「編織顏色 」少數族裔婦女手作品 - 針織斜孭袋
「編織顏色 」少數族裔婦女手作品 - 針織斜孭袋
手作品生產者 Hand-Made Product Producer: Clarisse
我們常說要到一個新地方重新開始，Clarisse 就是活生生的例子。2011 年，她從剛果逃難到香港，只懂法語完全未能與人溝通。在家鄉，她是護士，但在香港的難民就只有等待，每月只有 1500 元津貼，沒有工作權利，更沒有資格重操故業。面對生活和精神壓力令她頭痛，只可不停食止痛藥止勉強過活。
Clarisse 開始編織是為了治療頭痛。在慈善機構她遇上Sara ，當 Sara 聽到Clarisse 受頭痛所困擾需要依賴止痛藥， Sara 馬上就知道那身體的痛楚是源自是生活困擾和憂慮。 Sara 教她用鉤織分散注意 力，不要杞人憂天。Clarisse 花了兩日時間學習，用一星期時間就完成了兩張嬰兒氈被。她很快認識到鉤織具有神奇的療癒效果，一旦察覺到自己在胡思亂想就開始鉤織，兔子、長頸鹿、聖誕裝飾⋯⋯
Clarisse 除了治好了頭痛，更透過時裝宣揚種族共融的理念。學會了鉤織以後， Clarisse 上youtube 學習造衫，初時她製作嬰兒裙到現在已經可以製作外套。見到香港那麼多非洲人但從來沒有人會穿自己的民族服飾， Clarisse 就見到自己要走的路是多麼獨特。作為來自剛果、身處香港的婦女，Clarisse 從剛果、中國大陸及深水埗採購布料。利用來自不同地方不同風格的材料製作雙面外套，外面是中國，而裡面則是非洲，希望帶出一個簡單的訊息：文化共融。
找到自己的定位後， Clarisse 也一直未有忘記當難民的痛苦和壓力，感恩自己一直以來得到的支持和幫助。她更進一步成立藝術婦女聯盟 (Art Women Collective) 以協助其他有共同經歷的在港難民及剛果婦女。Clarisse 對大家的諴言是：「必須相信自己的才能，並堅持信念，終有一天會達到理想。」
Clarisse – crocheting her second life, ‘fashioning’ racial inclusion
We often imagine starting a new chapter somewhere else, but for Clarisse, this has not become any more real. In 2011, she fled from Congo and found herself a ‘refugee’ in Hong Kong. As refugees were not allowed to work in Hong Kong, Clarisse, who was a nurse back in Congo, had to live on the meagre monthly subsidy of $1,500 (on top of around $1,300 in the form of food coupons). ‘Everything was so stressful for me. I was having headache, nothing to do.You can only stay home everyday, eat, sleep, watchTV, not doing anything.’ Clarisse lamented.
That was the time when Clarisse turned to some charity organization for a sense of purpose. Sara, a worker at a church organization, taught Clarisse the basics of crocheting. In one week, Clarisse made a baby blanket out of crocheting. ‘When I started making crochet I felt like the lady was right. When I was thinking something I started making crochet.
Everywhere I go I bring my crochet in my bag.That was my deep counseling. Even when I am at home I start thinking I do doing crochet I made bunny, giraffe, I made Christmas decoration, everything of crochet I made.’
Crocheting not only cured Clarisse of her pounding headache, but it also inspired her to use sewing as a language of racial integration. She turned toYoutube for her sewing lessons, because she found few people specializing in sewing. Slowly but surely, she started to make her own clothes. Being an African woman in Hong Kong, she decided to take a locational advantage to order from Congo, from the PRC, but also from Sham Shui Po, which is the fabrics capital of Hong Kong. Clarisse made unique designs out of jackets which carry a special message. ‘I make reversible jackets with a Chinese design on the outside, and African design on the inside. I want to tell people that our cultures can mix; Chinese and Africans can work together in harmony.’
The plight of refugee women inspired Clarisse to start Art Women Collective. Looking back, Clarisse is surprised how far she has gone. Seeing herself as a ‘fighter woman’, Clarisse also believes that everyone is talented, if they can ignite their inner- strength. ‘My message to others is to be strong and believe in oneself. No one can stop you from making your dreams.’