The Gap Weavers Pledge 10,000+ Stars for the “One Million Stars to End Violence” Project

One Million Stars to End Violence Project

Two groups of volunteers from The Gap have pledged to weave stars for the “One Million Stars to End Violence Project”, a project initiated by Brisbane-based weaving artist Maryann Talia Pau. The project aims to gather one million stars from all around Australia, as part of a drive to increase awareness about the need to end violence.

With only 115 days to go before the July 2017 deadline for the submission of woven stars, The Gap’s volunteer weavers are hard at work. The project aims to use stars as symbols of global peace to end all forms of violence.

A Star Weave Community led by Kyle Halpin has pledged to weave 10,000 stars for the project. Likewise,  a Star Weave Jam group called GUCCE Craft, led by Faye Holmes, has also pledged to host friends, family, neighbours, and anybody who wants to join their weaving sessions in their bid to make as many stars as they can.

At present, over 340,000 stars have already been received by the One Million Stars (OMS) Headquarters at Brisbane City, with some pledges even coming from other Commonwealth nations. These stars will be installed for display at the upcoming 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (GC018) in Queensland.

How One Person’s Initiative Became A Global Peace Project

Maryann Talia Pau started this passion project in 2012 as a “personal response to the rape and murder of a young woman” in their community. “It was a difficult time for our community and I was moved by people’s kindness and compassion and by Dr Martin Luther King Jnr’s words of being light and love in the world,” she explained in her project’s blog.

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“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr Martin Luther King Jr

“I sent a message out on Facebook and invited the world to join me in weaving stars with the hope of creating an installation of one million stars by 2018,” Maryann said. In February 2016, she collaborated with the Queensland Government to eventually make her dream project a reality. They agreed on a plan to install the one million stars “as part of the arts and cultural program” for the upcoming 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

For Maryann, the star is a tribute to her ancestors, who navigated the oceans with courage and skill by using their knowledge of the stars to guide them. The woven star is also her way of staying connected to her Samoan and Pacific Islander heritage.

Other cultures also identify with the star symbol. For this project, the stars represent a coming together of like minds and kindred spirits, to end all forms of violence. For some groups, their stars represent their crusades to end violence against women. For others, the stars signify their stand against bullying, or racism. Whatever their cause, the stars serve as a reminder that amidst the darkness of violence, there is a beacon of light that, like Maryann’s ancestors did, people can follow to guide them to the safety of home.

Now more than just a passion project, Ms Pau’s lone initiative has gathered momentum and snow-balled into a “peaceful global weaving project that engages communities in a conversation about ending all forms of violence.” In an incredible show of support and solidarity against violence, more than 200 communities from across the Commonwealth and all over the world have registered and pledged to send in their 10,000 stars by July 2017.   

Boxes and packages of stars are currently being accepted at the OMS Headquarters until the July deadline. The installation of these beautifully woven stars at the Games will surely be both meaningful and memorable, for the athletes and the communities that contributed the work of their hands to pledge their commitment against violence.

Although registration for star weave communities is now closed, updates on star tallies and information on how registered communities can send in their stars are available from the project’s website or by emailing  weave@onemillionstars.net.

Photo Credit: One Million Stars to End Violence/Facebook