What is Wash!?
Things are often so much more than what they seem. Itís that simple.
   For instance, the washline isn't just a means to dry laundry,
when I see a laundry line, I see a spiritual sanctuary and safe haven.


Since the beginning of time, women have gone down to the river bank and out to the back yard, washing their clothes, hanging their laundry, trading stories and support and sharing their wisdom. Working side by side in a stream of laughter, tears and words, mothers and daughters, sisters and friends have been coming clean, conversing about life and what it means to be human and female.

Wash! is a multi-layered conversation and large-scale, participatory art project and platform for social change through which the collective contribution of our mothers and foremothers at the washline is recounted, fully experienced and amplified in order to make a difference.

Wash! provides the conduit or holding space for deep and meaningful conversations about community, connection and the importance of caring for each other through the socio-historic lens of the washline and the metaphor of wash.

Wash! explores the rich oral history and story traditions created by our mothers and foremothers as, day after day, they took on the family laundry and tended to the business of creating and keeping alive the community.

Wash! began over almost 15 years ago with a series of monologues written and performed by Maria Seddio. The monologues spring from a universal human activity: we wash our clothes. They gather strength by delving into this humble task to explore the metaphor that is wash and the intricacies of family life and the politics of identity and exclusion. And they create an on-going community by honoring and adding to the conversations that flow from the rhythms of our lives, the cycles of clean and dirty, wash and dry. They explore personal truths that emerge as a result of "coming clean" through conversations of sharing, intimacy and mutual support.

Along with the monologues that Maria performs in venues across the United States, WASH! comprises the making of a limited-edition, hand-crafted book that has been designed in collaboration with the award winning poet and founding member of the Taller Lenateros, Ambar Past. This website serves to connect the community to WASH! by creating a repository of stories, images, programs and social commentary to drive the conversation and by providing a virtual washline for washerwomen and men everywhere.



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