Tuesday, 17 May 2022
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  • Textile Details

    'Executions in the National Stadium', by Maria Mendoza. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
    'Executions in the National Stadium', by Maria Mendoza. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


    Title of Textile:Executions in the National Stadium
    Maker: Maria Mendoza
    Country of Origin: Chile
    Year Produced: 1990
    Size (cm): 50 cm (w) x 40 (h)
    Materials: Scraps of material hand sewn onto hessian
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    In the aftermath of the vicious military coup in 1973, the Pinochet military forces detained up to 7,000 people in newly created detention centres at two major sports stadiums in Santiago, Chile. Torture, disappearance and forced execution was the fate awaiting many of these detainees. According to Chile's second national Truth Commission Report on Torture and Political Imprisonment (Valech II), published in August 2011, there were a total of 3,216 cases of forced disappearance or political execution during the Pinochet regime.

    In this arpillera, Maria Mendoza depicts chilling images of the tortured and executed inside the National Stadium and the grief and anger of their families waiting outside the stadium walls. The image of the little boy holding a placard demanding to know: "Where is my Father?" is particularly poignant.

    A sense of anger and a desire that these atrocities are not forgotten is evident from the note tucked in the little pocket at the back of the arpillera which states: "The biggest of all concentrations that I think the dictatorship had was the National Stadium. There, many friends and companeros died. That's why I don't want pardon or forgetfulness".

    Owner: Oshima Hakko Museum collection, Japan
    Location: Oshima Hakko Museum
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Martin Melaugh

    Textile exhibited at: Arpilleras in contested spaces, 3/09/2013 - 6/09/2013
    RETAZOS TESTIMONIALES: arpilleras de Chile y otras latitudes, 28/09/2013 - 10/11/2013

    Textile Detail Image(s)