Textile Details

'Somos Mujeres cesantes / We are unemployed women', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'Somos Mujeres cesantes / We are unemployed women', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:Somos Mujeres cesantes / We are unemployed women
Maker: Anonymous
Country of Origin: Chile
Year Produced: 1980c
Size (cm): 47cm x 37cm
Materials: Scraps of material hand sewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera

Here we see women from a poor neighbourhood in Santiago protesting about their lack of employment. For these women, with their men-folk disappeared or imprisoned through the repressive actions of the Pinochet dictatorship, earning money to feed their families was a daily struggle.

“Percale” cotton, probably from old aprons, is used for the trees and flowers. The bright sun and the mountains framed by a crochet border are classical arpillera features. The simple stitches indicate that the arpillerista was not a seamstress but an ordinary woman undergoing difficult times.

The collective, non-violent actions of these women, in the face of violent repression, invite us to pause for reflection on international Women's day 2014.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Provenance Theresa Wolfwood, Victoria, Canada
Location: c/o Roser Corbera, Fundación Ateneu Sant Roc
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh

Textile Detail Image(s)