Wednesday, 21 February 2024

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 many 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
Location: Deborah Stockdale, Donegal, Republic of Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh
Provenance: Kinderhilfe arpillera collection, Chile/Bonn

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
Threads of Empowerment: Conflict Textiles’ International Journey, 21/06/2024 - 31/03/2025

Textile Detail Image(s)