Friday, 2 December 2022

Textile Details

'Paro de los estudiantes' chilenos 2 / Chilean students' strike 2', by Pamela Luque. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'Paro de los estudiantes' chilenos 2 / Chilean students' strike 2', by Pamela Luque. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:Paro de los estudiantes' chilenos 2 / Chilean students' strike 2
Maker: Pamela Luque
Country of Origin: Chile
Year Produced: 2012
Size (cm): 53cm (w) x 56cm (l)
Materials: Scraps of material hand sewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera

This arpillera depicts the actions of the mass student movement in Chile, which in 2011 initiated a series of mass marches and creative actions demanding free education as well as reform of the neoliberal policies imposed by the rightwing government of Sebastiàn Piñera. Over time, this focused movement with a set of concrete demands and solutions, developed strong links with workers unions and garnered widespread public support, both in Chile and abroad. Student leader Camila Vallejos, who led the movement, became Minister General Secretariat of Government in March 2022.

Here we see students carrying a placard demanding: "Education-liberty, dignity, no cost". A second placard assures the public that: "We are not doing this because we are terrorists or delinquents but conscientious students", while a third one states: "Kisses in favour of education", highlighting their creative approach. Illustrating the intergenerational support for this movement, another placard reads: "Grandparents support their grandchildren".

Chilean native Pamela, living in Ireland for 20 years, was moved to create this piece on seeing the exhibition "Events of the Year Quilts and Testimonies of Survival" in Donegal, Ireland in 2012. Purposely using only scraps of leftover and recycled fabric this piece is reminiscent of the work of the early Chilean arpilleristas, techniques she had learnt as a young woman while living in Chile. The influences brought to bear in this arpillera - which depicts current student protests in a country where grassroots resistance was immortalised in arpilleras a few decades ago - is testimony to the enduring and global reach of arpilleeristas.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
Location: c/o Karen Logan, Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh

Textile Detail Image(s)