Tuesday, 31 March 2020
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  • Textile Details

    'Sala de torturas / Torture  Chamber', by Violeta Morales. (Photo: Colin Peck)
    'Sala de torturas / Torture  Chamber', by Violeta Morales. (Photo: Colin Peck)


    Title of Textile:Sala de torturas / Torture chamber
    Maker: Violeta Morales
    Country of Origin: Chile
    Year Produced: 1996
    Size (cm): 52cm x 47cm
    Materials: Scraps of materials hand sewn onto flour sack
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    This is a most visually startling piece with its simple black background and stark white figures. It graphically shows people being tortured in various ways, portraying them in a dehumanised way with featureless faces, just as torture dehumanises individuals. The symbolic enclosure of the people held in captivity accurately describes life in Chile during those years.

    Chile's second national Truth Commission Report on Torture and Political Imprisonment (Valech II) published in August 2011, states that the total number of people officially registered as torture victims, from the Pinochet era, is now 38,254.

    In this arpillera, Violeta Morales is outspoken about Chile's infamous history of torture, which was long unknown in the wider world. As Co-ordinator of the group Sabastián Acevedo, which was primarily concerned with the issue of torture, she was relentless in ensuring that people everywhere were informed of the widespread use of torture in Chile. With other women, she founded the Folkloric Musical Ensemble of Relatives of the detained-disappeared, as: "we also wished to sing our message of protest."

    Agosin, M., (2008)

    Violeta Morales died in 2001, never having found her brother Newton, who disappeared in 1974.

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Provenance Marjorie Agosín
    Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Colin Peck

    Textile exhibited at: The Politics of Chilean Arpilleras, 6/02/2008 - 19/04/2008
    Chilean Arpilleras , 11/09/2008 - 11/10/2008
    The Politics of Chilean Arpilleras, 23/09/2008 - 23/09/2008
    Arpilleras / Quilts that cry out, challenge and question, 12/11/2008 - 14/11/2008
    The Politics of Chilean Arpilleras II, 2/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
    Threads of Destiny: Testimonies of Violence, Hope and Survival, 9/05/2009 - 26/07/2009
    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 e resistência política no Chile, 3/11/2011 - 13/11/2011
    Transforming threads of resistance, 27/02/2012 - 9/03/2012
    Arpilleras of Chilean political resistance , 22/03/2012 - 5/06/2012
    ÜberlebensKunst - Konfliktbearbeitung durch textile Bilder, 12/07/2012 - 26/08/2012
    Arpilleras in contested spaces, 3/09/2013 - 6/09/2013
    RETAZOS TESTIMONIALES: arpilleras de Chile y otras latitudes, 28/09/2013 - 10/11/2013
    SMALL Actions BIG Movements, 1/07/2014 - 11/07/2014
    Sew to Speak – Human Rights, 12/09/2014 - 14/09/2014
    Textile Accounts of Conflicts, 17/11/2014 - 18/11/2014
    Textile Accounts of Conflicts, 6/02/2015 - 7/03/2015
    Stitched Voices / Lleisiau wedi eu Pwytho, 25/03/2017 - 13/05/2017
    Stitched Voices - textila berättelse om politisk våld och motstånd , 29/08/2018 - 21/04/2019
    II encuentro internacional de arte textil y resistencia, 22/08/2019 - 24/08/2019
    Tras las huellas de los/as desaparecidos/as , 29/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
    Chile 1973 , 22/02/2020 - 22/02/2020

    Textile Detail Image(s)