Panty Pulping: community empowerment at BluSeed Studios

SARANAC LAKE – Peace Paper Project’s outreach program, Panty Pulping, is on tour across the United States and Europe. Each stop along the way will be characterized by that community’s intention to end sexual and domestic violence by transforming underwear into paper in the public sphere. Peace Paper Project demands an end to violence against women and girls, and advocates for the global advancement of women in a unique way; by utilizing traditional hand papermaking to engage communities in expressions of resilience and empowerment.

The Panty Pulping workshop is designed for participants to take as much or as little time as needed, with rolling attendance.

First, participants will be asked to sign the Panty Pulping “Contract,” which was developed specifically for public events to maintain the mission of the project in the midst of participant turnover. The contract states, “By participating in this process, I am making a vow to myself and my community to use my power to prevent violence in thought, speech, and action.” This important element to the workshop encourages participants by being present together in an agreement to prevent violence. All who sign the contract will receive a letterpress printed Panty Pulping Manifesto.

Next, Panty Pulping participants will have the opportunity to transform their own underwear into paper. A portable beater will be set up to process fiber. Those who transform their underwear into pulp can make as many sheets of paper as they wish. There will also be community pulp that participants can use to get comfortable with hand papermaking. Participants may keep all the paper they create, be it from their personal fiber or the community pulp.

Participants will also have the opportunity to create a poster in response to a visual questionnaire. Participants can select the text, arrange the corresponding silk screens on the wet paper, spray pigmented pulps through the screens and create a complete poster in several minutes.

Peace Paper Project was started in 2011 by Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan to perpetuate the art of traditional hand papermaking by bringing it to vulnerable populations across the globe. Peace Paper works in collaboration with art therapists, universities, art centers, and community participants to establish systems of papermaking as self-expression and trauma intervention by engaging individuals with papermaking using fibers of special and personal significance. These fibers tend to relate directly to the social issues being addressed.