Sunday, 19 September 2021
  • A A A

  • Textile Details

    'Somos Mujeres cesantes / We are unemployed women', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
    'Somos Mujeres cesantes / We are unemployed women', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


    Title of Textile:Somos Mujeres cesantes / We are unemployed women
    Maker: Anonymous
    Country of Origin: Chile
    Year Produced: 1980c
    Size (cm): 47cm x 37cm
    Materials: Scraps of material hand sewn onto burlap
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    Here we see women from a poor neighbourhood in Santiago protesting about their lack of employment. For these women, with their men-folk disappeared or imprisoned through the repressive actions of the Pinochet dictatorship, earning money to feed their families was a daily struggle.

    “Percale” cotton, probably from old aprons, is used for the trees and flowers. The bright sun and the mountains framed by a crochet border are classical arpillera features. The simple stitches indicate that the arpillerista was not a seamstress but an ordinary woman undergoing difficult times.

    The collective, non-violent actions of these women, in the face of violent repression, invite us to pause for reflection on international Women's day 2014.

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Provenance Theresa Wolfwood, Victoria, Canada
    Location: Canada
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Martin Melaugh

    Textile Detail Image(s)