Saturday, 30 September 2023

Textile Details

'Exilio II / Exile II (Woman Mourning Those who have been Exiled), Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'Exilio II / Exile II (Woman Mourning Those who have been Exiled), Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:Exilio ll / Exile II (Woman mourning those who have been exiled)
Maker: Violeta Morales
Country of Origin: Chile
Year Produced: 1984c
Size (cm): Standard
Materials: Scraps of material hand sewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera

As in many other quilts the woman here is depicted mourning alone. The image is cold with a dark sky, snow-capped peaks and beyond a darkened city. The outline of the woman has big tears in her eye. In the right-hand corner we see a plane going over the mountains to exile. The woman is longing for the return of her beloved. This pain and sorrow is what fuelled the entire arpillera movement. During the Pinochet regime countless people were disappeared, executed or forced into exile. Families were broken, and loved ones went missing without warning or explanation. Women began speaking out against the disappearance of loved ones, and to that voice was added more voices protesting the economic situation, the torture, and the lack of justice. Through all the protesting, though, one longing remained predominant - the longing that some day families would be reunited or properly remembered.

Though the arpilleras often appear women-centred, it is the lack of men that is the cause of their creation. The women who created these arpilleras were not necessarily feminists, though some of them were. Though they frequently presented strong faces to the world, they still mourned the loss of their loved ones. Iris tells me that her husband disappeared when she was expecting a son. They talk about the fact that they have lost their sexuality, that they aren't interested in dressing up, or going out to parties. These women will mourn forever. All that remains is the collective trauma of a generation that never knew their fathers and that grew in a divided country.

Owner: Marjorie Agosín collection
Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh

Textile exhibited at: The Politics of Chilean Arpilleras, 8/02/2008 - 19/04/2008
Chilean Arpilleras , 11/09/2008 - 11/10/2008
The Politics of Chilean Arpilleras, 23/09/2008 - 23/09/2008
Nonviolence in Action: Antimilitarism in the 21st Century, 24/03/2021 - 31/12/2021

Textile Detail Image(s)