Textile Details

'Aleppo school', by Linda Adams. (Photo: Linda Adams)
'Aleppo school', by Linda Adams. (Photo: Linda Adams)


Title of Textile:Aleppo school
Maker: Linda Adams
Country of Origin: England
Year Produced: 2016
Size (cm): 32cm (w) x 42cm (l)
Materials: Recycled furnishing fabrics and clothing hand sewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera

In March 2011, inspired by the Arab Spring, Syrians took to the streets, in ever-increasing numbers, demanding reform of the oppressive Assad regime. Repression of these nonviolent protests by Syrian Armed Forces & Allied militia was immediate and brutal. Soon the conflict escalated into civil war between government and rebel forces, with both sides aided by a proliferation of armed groups and powerful external players. Nearing the end of 2016, the country’s infrastructure is in ruins; over a quarter of a million Syrians have been killed and an estimated 13.5 million people, including 6 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance. http://www.unocha.org/syrian-arab-republic/syria-country-profile/about-crisis

Thousands of miles away in England, arpillerista Linda Adams was shocked at the images of Syrian children caught in the chaos of war. Digging deeper she “watched newsreel film and read first hand reports for days” and with needle and thread she stepped into their world. In this piece, as the barrel bombing continues relentlessly overhead we descend into an underground school, where teachers, at great risk to their own safety, persist in educating their students.

Absent children and adults, killed during the war “are represented …as shadows in the spaces where they would have been.” Children's drawings cover the walls, a common sight in schools worldwide. Linda reminds us that these images “came from children's drawings [in] Aleppo [and] show things children shouldn’t have to see.”

Mindful of the fact that that “ new news [items] … push stories like this away from the front pages” Linda is hopeful that her work will bring “some attention and understanding” to the crisis in Syria, where, as we see in this arpillera, people are striving, against all the odds, to educate children and rebuild communities.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
Location: Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Republic of Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Linda Adams

Textile exhibited at: War-Torn Children, 1/03/2017 - 15/04/2017
War-Torn Children , 17/07/2017 - 28/07/2017
War-Torn Children, 2/10/2017 - 27/10/2017
War-Torn Children, 8/02/2018 - 24/03/2018

Textile Detail Image(s)