The Documentary

THE DOCUMENTARY
Video Excerpts
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Africa on the Prairies, Peggie Hartwell’s artistic response to her experience on the documentary.
Africa on the Prairies, Peggie Hartwell’s artistic response to her experience on the documentary.

 

 

 

The Quilted Conscience is a 60-minute film showing the 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 Euro-American women, some of whom have had little previous contact with ethnic or racial minorities; and of a famed African-American quilt-maker, Peggie Hartwell, 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.

A typical response to The Quilted Conscience documentary
A typical response to the documentary at a Humanities Nebraska viewing.
See more Responses to the Documentary.

The Quilted Conscience viewing poster. Courtesy Denver Film Society
Courtesy Denver Film Society

The documentary producer / director, John Sorensen, set out to create an art project that would connect immigrant students with their new communities. Long-time friend and pre-eminent American quilt-maker, Peggie Hartwell, inspired John to use the creative art form, quilting, as the basis of the workshops.

TQC is a new expression of the unending ‘contrasts and connections’ that are at the heart of American culture. When the audience leaves the theater, I hope they know that they have just met some beautiful new friends.”
John Sorensen, Project Director (The Quilted Conscience: African Memories, African Dreams by Tammy Brislin, Women + Film Festival Voices, Denver Film Society)

The Quilted Conscience film premiered in June 2013 on NET Television (Nebraska’s PBS station) in celebration of World Refugee Day. After dozens of Nebraska broadcasts and related theatrical screenings across the U.S. (including special showings at the San Diego Black Film Festival and the Denver Film Society [Women + Film]), the film was accepted by the National Educational Television Association (NETA) for distribution to Public TV stations across the U.S. During the first two years of national broadcasts, the show, which continues to remain in distribution via NETA, aired a total of 311 times in 64 markets in 27 states, including four of the top 10 markets in the U.S.: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

 

 The Grand Island Independent photographer Scott Kingsley focuses on Nyabuom and her Dreams sketch. From the documentary The Quilted Conscience
The Grand Island Independent photographer Scott Kingsley focuses on Nyabuom and her Dreams sketch.
From the documentary The Quilted Conscience

 

December 5, 2011 KIOS-FM, Omaha Public Radio
Film Streams Discussion

Q&A with John Sorensen, with additional comments by some of the Sudanese-American quilters, led by KIOS Program Director, Bob Coate.

 

Visit About Us / TQC Partners to find out more about John Sorensen and Peggie Hartwell.