Textile Details

"Retorno de los exiliados / Return of the exiles", by Victoria Diaz Caro. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:Retorno de los exiliados / Return of the exiles
Maker: Victoria Diaz Caro
Country of Origin: Chile
Year Produced: 1992
Size (cm): 38cm x 48cm
Materials: Scraps of materials on burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera

This arpillera shows a joyful reunion of family members who were forced into exile during the Pinochet dictatorship. It was made immediately after the regime ended. Exile took many different forms. When the military coup toppled Salvador Allende in 1973, many government workers and supporters took refuge in embassies and some managed to leave the country. Others, after imprisonment and often torture, were deported and went to countries that accepted them. A third group were forced to take "economic exile" as they had been dismissed from their jobs and had no income. Some were even deprived of their Chilean nationality.

For the returned exiles, finding the country much changed, resettling in their native country was not always the joy they had anticipated. Furthermore, their children who grew up outside Chile were at a loss to understand their parents' longing to return to a country that had violated their human rights.

To deal with the new problems created by the mass return of exiles, the Oficina Nacional del Retorno (National Office for the Returnees) was created in 1990. It operated until 1994 and considered 52,557 cases. It was revealed that most of the exiles had been taken in by Sweden, Argentina, Canada, France and Germany.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Provenance Kinderhilfe arpillera collection, Chile/Bonn
Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh

Textile exhibited at: Arpilleras that Cry Out, 22/06/2009 - 10/07/2009
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
The Human Cost of War, 8/11/2009 - 21/11/2009
Stitching Resistance, 12/10/2010 - 16/01/2011
The Human Cost of War - An Exhibition of Quilts and Arpilleras, 4/11/2010 - 15/01/2011
Arpilleras e resistência política no Chile , 30/07/2011 - 30/10/2011
Arpilleras of Chilean political resistance , 22/03/2012 - 5/06/2012
ÜberlebensKunst - Konfliktbearbeitung durch textile Bilder, 12/07/2012 - 26/08/2012
Stitching and Unstitching The Troubles-phase 1, 5/09/2012 - 29/09/2012
Stitching and Unstitching The Troubles-phase 2, 13/04/2013 - 29/06/2013
Arpilleras in contested spaces, 3/09/2013 - 6/09/2013
RETAZOS TESTIMONIALES: arpilleras de Chile y otras latitudes, 28/09/2013 - 10/11/2013
SMALL Actions BIG Movements, 1/07/2014 - 11/07/2014
Textile Accounts of Conflicts, 17/11/2014 - 18/11/2014
Textile Accounts of Conflicts, 6/02/2015 - 7/03/2015
Arpilleras Dialogantes / Arpillera Conversations, 28/05/2015 - 28/05/2015
Overcoming, Remembering: The Politics of Sewing, 8/06/2015 - 12/06/2015
Arpilleras Bordando à Resistência / Arpilleras Embroidering Resistance, 25/09/2015 - 25/10/2015
Stitched Legacies of Conflicts , 7/10/2016 - 26/11/2016
Stitching Memoryscape 「記憶風景を縫う」, 30/05/2017 - 12/06/2017
Stitching Memoryscape 「記憶風景を縫う」, 29/08/2017 - 3/09/2017
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
Justicia Transicional y Arte-Textil / Transitional Justice and Art-Textile, 24/09/2018 - 18/10/2018

Textile Detail Image(s)