Skip navigation

Object Name: Handkerchief
Date: ca. 2008
Related People:
Medium: Cotton
Dimensions: Overall (Unfolded): 21 × 20 3/8 in. (53.3 × 51.8 cm)
Place made: Rwanda
Description: Printed cotton handkerchief featuring a repeating image of Barack Obama. Each image is composed of an outline of Obama, tinted light blue, with radiating red bands in the background. Each image measures 4 ½"H x 4"W. There are twenty full images on the handkerchief, with five images along the top and five images along the bottom that have been cut off.
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Object Number: 2012.34
Send to a Friend
Marks: Tags on verso: "VOTE OBAMA" / "MACHINE WASH / COLD WATER / COLORS SEPARATE / TUMBLE DRY. LOW / REGULAR IRON / 100% COTTON / MADE IN RWANDA"

Gallery Label:

Made in Rwanda from hand-printed organic cotton yardage, this bandanna tells a story not just of American political campaigns but of interconnected global markets. The three-tone design was originally produced for Fair Wind Trading, a company founded in 2006 by American artist and activist Willa Shalit to assist women in Rwanda in the aftermath of civil war and genocide. Two colorways of the fabric were created in partnership with UTEXRWA a textile producer in Kigali and made into bags sold in the United States declaring support for the man who would become the country’s first African American president.