Textile Details

'No al plebiscito, No podemos ni opinar/ No to the plebiscite, we are not allowed our opinion', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'No al plebiscito, No podemos ni opinar/ No to the plebiscite, we are not allowed our opinion', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)

 

Title of Textile:No al plebiscito, No podemos ni opinar / No to the plebiscite, we are not allowed our opinion
Maker: Anonymous
Country of Origin: Chile
Year Produced: 1980
Size (cm): 47cm x 38cm
Materials: Scraps of material handsewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera
Description:

This arpillera was acquired by curator Roberta Bacic in Germany, 2009, from a retired crafts teacher who had received it is as a present 27 years earlier. For Roberta this arpillera is unique: "It is a very striking image that recalls a political momentum which I have not seen recorded before in the arpilleras literature."

In 1973, when the military dictatorship, headed by General Pinochet, deposed the democratically elected President, Salvador Allende, Chile was ushered into a state of emergency. In 1980, General Pinochet ordered a new Constitution which was to be ratified by a referendum, known as the National Plebiscite. Government propaganda urged that a yes vote would bring about full democracy. While many people were not fooled by this propaganda, a significant number of influential people often argued that having a constitution was preferable to continuing under the state of emergency, which had already lasted seven years.

The scene in the arpillera vividly describes what happened to people who opposed the plebiscite. They were confronted with violence by the police, arrested and cruelly beaten. Nonetheless, almost a third of the Chilean electorate still voted NO in this referendum held on 11 September, 1980. Although defeated, grassroots people continued to publicly oppose the repressive regime. Facing great personal risk, they persevered in their collective struggle for democracy, a struggle which bore fruit in 1998, when General Pinochet renounced office, marking the end of his 16½ year military rule.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
Location: c/o Dr. Lydia Cole, University of St Andrews, Scotland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh



Textile exhibited at: Finding Our Voices -The Power of Arpilleras, 26/09/2009 - 30/10/2009
Threads of Life: Quilts and arpilleras that speak out, 16/10/2009 - 1/11/2009
Stitching Resistance, 12/10/2010 - 16/01/2011
Arpilleras e resistência política no Chile , 30/07/2011 - 30/10/2011
Arpilleras of Chilean political resistance , 22/03/2012 - 5/06/2012
Stitching and Unstitching The Troubles-phase 1, 5/09/2012 - 29/09/2012
Arpilleras in contested spaces, 3/09/2013 - 6/09/2013
RETAZOS TESTIMONIALES: arpilleras de Chile y otras latitudes, 28/09/2013 - 10/11/2013
COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria , 26/03/2015 - 30/09/2015
COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria, 8/10/2015 - 4/04/2016
COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria STITCHING PEACE: Conflict, Arpilleras, M, 13/04/2016 - 12/06/2016
Textile Language of Conflicts, 6/11/2017 - 10/11/2017
Arpilerak: Memoriaren Haritik Etorkizuna Josten / Arpilleras: Al Hilo De La Memoria, 12/04/2018 - 24/04/2018
ARIPILLERAS: AL HILO DE LA MEMORIA, TEJIENDO FUTURO / Arpilleras: Knitting the Future, 25/04/2018 - 30/05/2018
Threads, War and Conflict, 3/04/2019 - 29/04/2019



Textile Detail Image(s)