Sunday, 19 September 2021
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  • Textile Details

    '¿Dónde están? / Where are they?', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
    '¿Dónde están? / Where are they?', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


    Title of Textile:¿Dónde están? / Where are they?
    Maker: Anonymous
    Country of Origin: Chile
    Year Produced: 1980s
    Size (cm): 52cm x 39cm
    Materials: Scraps of material hand sewn onto hessian
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    In this arpillera, we see women in colourful dresses protesting on the side of the road displaying a banner, which contests the denied atrocities of the Pinochet dictatorship by asking a simple question: "¿Dónde están/Where are they [the disappeared]?" The answer to this simple question was repeatedly ignored by the regime, who frequently told the women checking jails and detention centres, seeking news of their disappeared loved ones that the people in question did not exist, that they had left the country or gave implausible answers.

    It is likely that the road is crafted from the trousers of a disappeared relative. The sun, a common feature in the majority of arpilleras, has been replaced by two grey clouds. Indifference towards the plight of these women and their families is also apparent in this arpillera. The motorist and the pedestrians in the bottom right hand corner avert their faces from the protestors, in denial of the atrocities committed by the Pinochet regime made public by these women.

    The Chilean Truth Commission of the post-Pinochet regime was mandated to find out what happened to the disappeared and also to determine where their remains had been disposed. 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.

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Provenance Theresa Wolfwood, Victoria, Canada
    Location: Theresa Wolfwood, Victoria, Canada
    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
    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
    Arpilleras Dialogantes / Arpillera Conversations, 28/05/2015 - 28/05/2015
    Overcoming, Remembering: The Politics of Sewing, 8/06/2015 - 12/06/2015
    Arpilleras Bordando à Resistência / Arpilleras Embroidering Resistance, 25/09/2015 - 25/10/2015
    Arpilleras de América Latina: Mujeres cosedoras de vida , 19/03/2016 - 24/04/2016
    LA VIDA QUE SE TEJE Tejidos de América Latina por la memoria y la vida, 11/05/2016 - 10/07/2016
    Arpilleras, yesterday and today, 14/09/2017 - 15/09/2017
    Arpilleras Speak Truth, 25/09/2017 - 28/10/2017
    Launch of book: "Grassroots Activism and the Evolution of Transitional Justice", 7/02/2018 - 7/02/2018
    Stitching Stories – the Power of the Needle and Thread, 26/04/2018 - 26/04/2018
    Justicia Transicional y Arte-Textil / Transitional Justice and Art-Textile, 24/09/2018 - 18/10/2018
    Conflict Textiles talk , 3/02/2019 - 3/02/2019
    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
    From Home to Here: Stories of Languages Old and New, 5/11/2019 - 20/12/2019
    Nonviolence in Action: Antimilitarism in the 21st Century, 24/03/2021 - 31/12/2021
    Documentation / Imagination / Creativity - formats of presenting conflict, 21/05/2021 - 21/05/2021

    Textile Detail Image(s)