Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Textile Details

'Rescate de niños judíos / Rescue of Jewish Children', by Ana Zlatkes. (Photo: Ana Zlatkes)
'Rescate de niños judíos / Rescue of Jewish Children', by Ana Zlatkes. (Photo: Ana Zlatkes)


Title of Textile:Rescate de niños judíos / Rescue of Jewish Children
Maker: Ana Zlatkes
Country of Origin: Argentina
Year Produced: 2011
Size (cm): Standard size - portrait
Materials: Scraps of material handsewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera

Ana Zlatkes, a well known and prize winning textile artist who has exhibited internationally, first encountered arpilleras at an international exhibition at the Women's Museum in Fürth, Germany in May 2009. She subsequently attended two arpillera workshops facilitated by Roberta Bacic and has become a passionate proponent of the arpillera mode of expression.

Working on this arpillera uncovered many different emotions and questions for Ana: "I felt the need to be honest and situate myself on the side of the wire fence of my roots. I wasn't on the other side and I can't imagine what it was like. Even presently people keep giving explanations, responses. They cannot find them, because there are none."

While her arpillera depicts the genocide inflicted by the Nazi regime on Jews during the second world war, in her view the theme is universal and current: "Genocide continues, changes in form and geographical location, but it is still a reality and it is the responsibility of all of us to try to prevent it."

This arpillera, as well as honouring those who resisted the repressive regime, has undoubtedly changed the artist: "this is my first homage to all the men and women who have had the courage to fight defending the lives of children. Today after making this arpillera I am not the same, something has happened in me and my life."

Irena Sendler, a social worker, was one such woman who resisted the regime. Between 1942 and 1943, working through the Polish underground, she led hundreds of Jewish children out of the Ghetto to safe hiding places.

Nicholas Winton, who worked on the London stock exchange, was instrumental in arranging for 669 children to leave Czechoslovakia at the beginning of the war. Vera Gissing, one of the children saved by Winton later commented: "He rescued the greater part of the Jewish children of my generation in Czechoslovakia. Very few of us met our parents again: they perished in concentration camps. Had we not been spirited away, we would have been murdered alongside them."

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Ana Zlatkes

Textile Detail Image(s)