My inspiration for the Don’t Stay Silent Freewheeler tank comes from several different places. First of all, my passion for collage work was inspired by my uncle who first introduced me to the world of collage through his own work. He kept clippings from magazines and posters throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s and eventually, he composed the clippings into what he calls the Five Decades. These collages embody blatant reminders of the political unrest and failures of each decade, alongside pop culture images, and images of innovation, passion, and promise. Together, these beautiful works of art are a manifestation of my uncle’s unique point of view. His Five Decades collages were displayed at Sundance Film Festival and are a massive source of inspiration for this project, as well as the rest of my work. He is the one who taught me not to stay silent on issues of injustice, and by his example I have learned to look at my art as an act of resistance, and an act of revolution.
I made the Don’t Stay Silent tank in response to our current political climate, the police brutality toward the black community, the ever-deteriorating rights of immigrants, and the violence against the LGBTQ+ community--specifically trans people who are being murdered simply because of who they are. This is so much more than a tank top to me. This is a call to speak up when others have been silenced. This is a call to do more for your fellow human. This is a call to fight against injustice. We are all human, and we all deserve the same opportunities and respect. Because of this, I am going to donate my portion of the proceeds to organizations that are committed to helping refugees find safety, comfort, and a better life. I hope my work inspires others to get involved and stay vocal.
Find Hannah Henriques on Instagram: @hellohenriques
You can also check out her uncle’s Five Decades collages at: www.punktoad.org