Textile Details

Juan Pablo te esperamos / John Paul we are waiting for you. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
Juan Pablo te esperamos / John Paul we are waiting for you. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)

 

Title of Textile:Juan Pablo te esperamos / John Paul we are waiting for you
Maker: Anonymous
Country of Origin: Chile
Year Produced: 1986
Size (cm): 47cm x 38cm
Materials: Scraps of materials hand sewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera
Description:

From March 31 to April 13, 1987 there was an historic visit by Pope John Paul II to Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. For Chile, a Catholic country, this visit was of major significance to the people.

In the arpillera, we see women carrying banners. One reads: "Peace, Justice, come soon," and the other says "John Paul we are waiting for you” . This classic arpillera makes it clear that, having had so much support from the local church, the women had socio-political expectations from the pastoral visit of the Pope. Actions such as theirs from all parts of society internally and pressure from international sources made General Pinochet call for a plebiscite in 1989. It was this anti-vote that deposed him.

In the wake of the military coup of September 1973, the church had established an office for the defence of human rights. Initially, the Protestant and Jewish communities were also involved. Later reorganised under the exclusive sponsorship of the archdiocese of Santiago as the Vicarage of Solidarity (Vicaría de la Solidaridad), this organisation continued to receive funds from international sources and valiantly collected information on human rights violations during the nearly 17 years of military rule. Its lawyers presented thousands of writs of habeas corpus, in all but a few cases to no avail, and provided for the legal defence of prisoners. The church also supported popular and labour organizations and called repeatedly for the restoration of democracy and for national reconciliation.

In these circumstances, women were encouraged and inspired to make their own direct and reasonable demands.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Provenance Kinderhilfe arpillera collection, Chile/Bonn
Location: c/o Dr. Jonathan Fisher, University of Birmingham , England
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh





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