|"Spirit of Forgiveness" 2014 by Carolyn Mazloomi, 58" x 58"|
Adriaan Johannes Vlok was Minister of Law and Order in South Africa from 1986 to 1991 during the final years of the apartheid era. He helped to plan and implement the death of thousands of anti-apartheid activists. In 1999, Vlok became a pariah among white South Africans when he became the only cabinet minister to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to admit committing crimes against blacks.
He was granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up to help the nation come to terms with its past. Bishop Desmond Tutu is a founding member of the Commission.
As atonement for his despicable acts, Vlok asked to wash the feet of mothers of some of the Black men he ordered killed. As a result of his request, Vlok washed the feet of 10 black South African women--mothers whose young sons were brutally murdered by the police under his watch in the 1980s.
This intriguing story inspired Carolyn Mazloomi to make a quilt. "Spirit of Forgiveness" started with original ink drawings, uploaded to the computer and digitized, then sent to a textile mill for printing and finished with machine quilting. Beyond the construction, it is a story quilt and it tells a remarkably poignant story.