Sunday, 19 September 2021
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  • Textile Details

    'Al servicio de la vida / Servicing life', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
    'Al servicio de la vida / Servicing life', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


    Title of Textile:Al Servicio de la vida / Servicing life
    Maker: Anonymous
    Country of Origin: Chile
    Year Produced: 1978c
    Size (cm): 90cm (w) x 75cm (l)
    Materials: Scraps of materials hand sewn onto burlap
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    This arpillera depicts the kind of activities and areas of support that the Catholic church undertook to assist a substantial part of the population persecuted and abandoned by the Pinochet dictatorship. It shows the headquarters of the church where problems such as legal defence, exile, political imprisonment, the detained disappeared, and the presentation of habeas corpus to the courts are being dealt with, on behalf of local people. This arpillera was made in one of the handicraft workshops in the Santiago suburbs run by the Vicaría de la Solidaridad, founded by the Chilean Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez. Marjorie Agosín, describes these first workshops in her book, Tapestries of hope, threads of love: The Arpillera movement in Chile (second edition, 2008): "At the height of despair, approximately fourteen women arrived at the Vicariate...they met as a group, fearfully ...away from the dark corridors of death...they began to tell their stories on pieces of cloth."

    The Vicaría also provided support through its regional offices by offering legal aid, health care, work opportunities and training in human rights. It was active from 1976 to 1992, continuing its work for two years after Pinochet was deposed in 1990.

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Provenance Kinderhilfe arpillera collection, Chile/Bonn
    Location: c/o Johanna Menzinger, Freiburg, Germany
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Martin Melaugh

    Textile exhibited at: 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
    Textiles with a Story, 4/12/2009 - 4/12/2009
    Arpilleras: Voices on Tapestries, 8/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
    Arpilleras: Embajadoras para el Bicentenario Quilts/Arpilleras: Ambassadors for the B, 14/04/2010 - 20/05/2010
    Exhibit of Chilean Arpilleras, 20/05/2010 - 22/05/2010
    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
    Stitching and Unstitching The Troubles-phase 1, 5/09/2012 - 29/09/2012
    RETAZOS TESTIMONIALES: arpilleras de Chile y otras latitudes, 28/09/2013 - 10/11/2013
    SMALL Actions BIG Movements, 1/07/2014 - 11/07/2014
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria, 8/10/2015 - 4/04/2016
    Chilean Arpilleras, 29/06/2016 - 29/06/2016
    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
    Retrospective, back to the future 1989-2019-2030/RÜCK BLICK NACH VORNE 1989-2019-2030, 4/05/2019 - 31/10/2019
    Keeping Memory Alive, 24/05/2019 - 24/05/2019
    Poesie des Nähens / The Poetry of Stitching, 17/01/2020 - 8/03/2020
    Tras las Huellas de las Arpilleras / Following the footsteps of the Arpilleras , 27/04/2021 - 27/04/2021

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