My interviewee, Awichu Akwanya, migrated to the United States from Uganda in 2004 and filed for asylum. I wanted to create an art piece that honors his love for his home country. So I decided to create the flag of Uganda out of folded paper cranes. To create the art piece, I hand folded 37 cranes, which took about 14 hours, and stitched them together in six equal horizontal bands of black, red, and yellow; and black, red, and yellow—the colors and patterns of the Uganda flag. I chose to make the flag out of cranes because the grey crowned crane, well known for its gentle nature, is the national symbol of Uganda. I also chose cranes because, as birds, they symbolize migration. Finally, paper cranes are widely regarded in Asia, especially in Japan, as a symbol of peace and healing. So my art piece is an offering of peace and healing to the people of Uganda.
June 6, 2018