Friday, 30 September 2022

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: 1985c
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 The sun, a common feature in the majority of arpilleras, has been replaced by two grey clouds.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)