Monday, 22 July 2024

Textile Details

'AUSENCIAS –PRESENCIAS Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo/Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo'. by Ana Zlatkes. (Photo: Ana Zlates)
'AUSENCIAS –PRESENCIAS Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo/Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo'. by Ana Zlatkes. (Photo: Ana Zlates)


Title of Textile:AUSENCIAS –PRESENCIAS Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo/Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo
Maker: Ana Zlatkes
Country of Origin: Argentina
Year Produced: 2014
Size (cm): 40cm x 49cm
Materials: Collage of images transferred to canvas, small pieces of discarded fabrics, sewing and embroidery threads.threads
Type of Textile: Arpillera

The military junta led by Lieutenant General Jorge Rafael Videla seized power in Argentine in 1976 and heralded an era of human rights violations, forced disappearances and illegal arrests.

The Nunca Más (Never Again) report (1984) by the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons estimate that up to 9000 cases of forced disappearance and other human rights violations were perpetrated and conclude the real figure to be much higher. Approximately 30% of victims were women with children under the age of 15 numbering 200.

Pregnant women, who gave birth under abysmal circumstances in detention centres were then generally killed whilst many of their babies were illegally adopted by military or political families affiliated with the administration.

Such atrocities seeded the beginnings of the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers) in 1977, a non-governmental organization dedicated specifically to highlighting and investigating the disappearances of their children and grandchildren. (See also: Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, Argentina and Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo – 1992, Argentina)

Here, Ana captures the anguish and determination of these grandmothers, who every Thursday for over forty years have continued to march around the obelisk in front of the government buildings in Plaza de Mayo, protesting at the disappearance of their loved ones, denouncing the actions of the military junta and demanding answers. The white stitches in circular format mark their weekly walk, whilst the bleak swirling nature of the arpillera alludes to this dark period of history in Argentine and portrays that their walk is seemingly never ending.

Commenting on the creation of this piece, Ana remarks: “As artists we would like to give a testimony of the story lived in our country..” Whilst the numbers who maintain the weekly nonviolent protest have declined due to ill health, time and death, their sense of purpose and determination in walking together to denounce these atrocities is captured by Ana who reflects through a poem.

Huellas marcadas por miles de pisadas.
Una Plaza nunca más abandonada.
Un largo camino recorrido.

Mujeres luchadoras por la verdad y la justicia.
Mujeres hacedoras de historia.
Mujeres cuidadoras de la memoria,
reivindicadoras de vida.
Dignidad verdadera.
Memoria encendida.

Traces marked by thousands of footsteps.
Square never again abandoned.
A long road walked.

Women who have struggled for truth and justice.
Women who make history.
Women who look after the memory.
Claiming for life.
True dignity.

Poem by Ana Zlatkes written to accompany this arpillera made for the exhibition "SMALL Actions BIG Movements" in South Africa

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
Location: Conflict Textiles store
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Ana Zlatkes
Provenance: Ana Zlatkes

Textile exhibited at: SMALL Actions BIG Movements, 1/07/2014 - 11/07/2014
COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria , 26/03/2015 - 30/09/2015
COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria, 8/10/2015 - 4/04/2016
COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria , 13/04/2016 - 12/06/2016
Art and Human Rights Network Day , 20/06/2017 - 20/06/2017
Arpilleras, yesterday and today, 14/09/2017 - 15/09/2017
Arpilleras Speak Truth, 25/09/2017 - 28/10/2017
Latin American Village, 16/02/2018 - 16/02/2018
Arpilerak: Memoriaren Haritik Etorkizuna Josten / Arpilleras: Al Hilo De La Memoria, 12/04/2018 - 24/04/2018
ARIPILLERAS: AL HILO DE LA MEMORIA, TEJIENDO FUTURO / Arpilleras: Knitting the Future, 25/04/2018 - 30/05/2018
Mujeres Disruptivas / Disruptive Women, 22/01/2019 - 29/03/2019
Conflict Textiles as Counter Archives in Truth Commission Processes, 26/05/2022 - 26/05/2022
Narrativas textiles: Tramas de dolor y empatía en América Latina / Textile Narratives, 5/09/2022 - 8/09/2022
Lenguaje Textil: materialidad, conservación y archivos, 26/10/2022 - 29/10/2022
The Troubles and Beyond: Mujeres Disruptivas / Disruptive Women, 8/02/2023 - 13/08/2023
Connecting Ties: A Transatlantic Friendship and the Northern Ireland Peace Process, 17/11/2023 - 13/03/2024
Conflict Textiles seminar with Year 3 students, School of Applied Social and Policy, 10/04/2024 - 10/04/2024

Textile Detail Image(s)