Sunday, 12 July 2020
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    'No a la represa / No to the dam', Linda Adams. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
    'No a la represa / No to the dam', Linda Adams. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


    Title of Textile:No a la represa / No to the dam
    Maker: Linda Adams
    Country of Origin: England
    Year Produced: 2010
    Size (cm): 42cm x 29cm
    Materials: Scraps of recycled material and embroidery, including plastic, hand sewn onto a fabric backing
    Type of Textile: arpillera

    Moved by the power of arpilleras while attending an arpillera exhibition in Cambridge, England, 2008, Linda began her own journey of creating arpilleras. This culminated in her solo exhibition "The poetry of arpilleras" hosted by the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, in 2011.

    This arpillera focuses on the Mapuche people in Southern Chile. In preparation for this piece, Linda studied the history of the Mapuche for over a year, an indigenous group whose land struggles culminated in an 81 day hunger strike in 2010.

    The two prominent banners proclaim: "This dam was not necessary" and "How much more land are we to lose?" Here she links the current land struggles of the Mapuche people in Southern Chile and their resistance to the Ralco dam, to the impact of the Aswan Dam in Egypt contructed on the river Nile during the 1960s. She recalls: "the Aswan Dam in Egypt was begun when I was 13.Over 2000 square miles were flooded and I can still remember seeing photos of partly submerged villages."

    Commenting on the Ralco dam, located 500 km south of Santiago on the Bíobio River, completed in 2004, and the resistance of families to be displaced from their homsteads, she comments: "Sisters Berta and Nicolasa Quintreman who were in their seventies fought against it. The arpillera is my humble tribute to them."

    Her comment "The theme of people fighting to keep their lands is one that I've come back to several times in my life," illustrates the universal nature of land struggles.

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
    Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Martin Melaugh

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